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Old 3rd May 2011, 10:16   #136
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A brief retrospection.

As I drive through the winding roads that connect the little settlements on Santorini I drift off into a reverie of sorts.

Can you blame me?

Little windy lanes are guiding me into beautiful little villages with stunning views. Now that the sun is out, it is almost 18 degrees.
Even though we're at the sea. the air isn't humid, it's just right.

The air is cool and fresh and clean and the roads are quiet, save for the occasional old Greek lady (so sweeet) and young Greek lady (OMG OMG OMG!) and the lads grinning happily and chatting with each other chewing on an occasional toothpick.
Island laze culture yes, but what a place to have it.

I look around me with a smile. I am deeply thankful. Thankful for my opportunities, thankful for the capability to express how I feel, the ability to write it down. Thankful that there are people who are able to enjoy my thoughts and feelings with me, thankful that I am loved by many and able to love in return.

I am not a man who comes from a fat background. I've probably seen more of the world than my family has. The past few years of my life have given me opportunity to see so much more than I would have ever dreamed of.
And I turn slightly right to catch a glimpse of Jenny, busy with her video camera, grinning like an eager child, enjoying every moment of this.

I'm blessed to have her too. Thanks to her I am able to rediscover my own country in ways I never thought possible. Thanks to my extended family through her, I am now part of a culture that I didn't know enough of a few years ago. I am lucky to have in her a fellow traveller, someone who has actually seen many places in the world I have still to see...

Greece was simply a place on the map for me, just like it is for many of you today. And yet here I am, driving through the lanes of an island in the south Aegean sea.

Simply because I can.

In my true belief, no person is ever completely mature till he/she has seen and lived in a culture that is far removed from the one one he was raised in. I pray that my future family, my next generation has the same opportunities I did/do and has the desire to grab each one as it comes.

Me, I simply want to see every single place in this world before I die. It will not be unique, many men and women have done it before me. But this is my ultimate goal. Not to visit, but to spend a little time in every country of the world before I die, whenever it may be.

I don't know if the future will hold this much travel in store for me. But the present does and I am thankful for this present.

And as I drive through these beautiful roads I grin at myself, smiling and nodding and thinking like an old man, thinking of life in general and how mundane it could have been if I had made some other choices...

No more thinking back. I am here to enjoy the present. Time to drive on.


Where to?
Let's go back to Fira.
Again?
Let's go see the old harbour, all the way down via the old step path.
All the way down!?
I laugh
Ja. Then we can take the cable car to come up instead of riding up on donkeys like the old days.
I laugh loudly. Sounds wonderful. Let's go.

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0350c_l.jpg

My mind is still full. If I was religious, I would have prayed this afternoon.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 3rd May 2011 at 10:32.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 10:35   #137
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Hey Sam, had been trying to resist posting for so long but I gave up.
As with all your travelogues, this too is just plain awesome. Really don't have any idea on what other superlatives can be used for your writing. You amaze me everytime.
And why wouldn't you post your India travelogues, your Rajasthan log was equally outstanding. Post them too after you are done with California and Vegas one, if you have time on hand.
There's so many of Ooty travelogues on the forum , one on Kerala and Goa wouldn't hurt either.
Well to keep it short, F5iiiiiiiinnnnnggggggg the keyboard . Keep posting , the place is just heaven on earth(i hope heaven looks like this).

Manish.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 20:10   #138
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Default Re: YetiBlog® - Greece!

Fira and the old harbour.

The drive is interesting, great panoramas all the way to Fira. The sun is our friend today.

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0344_l.jpg

Soon, we're at Fira. The construction of cliff settlements will appear weird to most. The entrances are higher than the rest of the houses, so the doors usually open up to nothing and then you make your way down, lol

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0352_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0354_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0356_l.jpg

The pool culture is special. I guess the cliffs don't allow for easy access to the sea, so the culture is to swim in a pool and stare out to sea. Lovely.

Now in the photo above do you see a tiny boat all the way at the foot of the cliff? That is the old harbour and we're going to take the hundreds of steps, hundreds of years old all the way down there.

Once we're down, we intend to take the modern cable car all the way back up. As opposed to taking the ...donkeys was it?

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0365_l.jpg

They don't look like donkeys to me.
They're mules!
No they look like horses.
They're mules!
I thought you said they were donkeys.
They're mules!
They're not mules.
They're mules.
Are you sure?


She asks the man. Excuse me, is this a horse or a donkey?
No horse donkey,
he says in his thick greek accent. Mule!

She looks at me. They're mules!

I shut up and continue walking down the steps.
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Old 3rd May 2011, 20:22   #139
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Beautiful pics and narration Sam.

No pics of you on the mules? Come on we know you took some.
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Old 6th May 2011, 17:00   #140
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Hi Sam,
My very first post in team-bhp and I just have to thank you for such hilariously riveting travelogues - this and the others before. I have to also congratulate you on your wedding to TheOne. I am definitely a fan of yours. I have been wanting to say atleast a thank you for your excellent writings but my membership was rejected two times. Third time lucky!
"I am not a man who comes from a fat background. I've probably seen more of the world than my family has. The past few years of my life have given me opportunity to see so much more than I would have ever dreamed of."
- This got me in a very uncomfortable situation as I was reading this at work and I was finding it hard to breathe and my eyes turned red!
When do we get more of the amazing narration of your travels? More, and soon, please
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Old 6th May 2011, 17:50   #141
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post


They don't look like donkeys to me.
They're mules!
No they look like horses.
They're mules!
I thought you said they were donkeys.
They're mules!
They're not mules.
They're mules.
Are you sure?

She asks the man. Excuse me, is this a horse or a donkey?
No horse donkey, he says in his thick greek accent. Mule!

She looks at me. They're mules!

I shut up and continue walking down the steps.
Hey Sam,

It has been a fabulous journey to Greece so far with you. Keep it coming.

Yes, mules are the stronger animals and used in hilly terrains. In fact, we in army use these lovely animals for hauling the stuff in mountains. It is cross between donkey and horse.
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Old 6th May 2011, 19:53   #142
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post

In my true belief, no person is ever completely mature till he/she has seen and lived in a culture that is far removed from the one one he was raised in.
+ 1 to that. And the more one sees of different cultures, the more tolerant, mature and dare I say it ... wiser a person becomes.
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Old 8th May 2011, 00:41   #143
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Hi Sam! Greece is truly Awesome. I have read most of your travelogues & have become a fan of yours. Almost every other picture is wallpaper material. Thanks a lot for sharing your experiences inspite of your busy schedule.
I find it a bit baffling as to why any Bollywood movie hasn't been filmed in Greece! I think a song from the movie 'Chalte Chalte' was shot there.
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Old 10th May 2011, 12:06   #144
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We continue to climb down to the waterfront occasionally peering up at the settlement of Fira and sometimes all the way down.

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0366_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0367_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0368_l.jpg

The cable car passes us once as we make our way down.

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0364_l.jpg

The way down is much longer than expected! By the time we approach the bottom, my thighs and calves are trembling a bit.

Soon we're at the waterfront and then we walk to the cable car station and buy our tickets up to Fira.

Inside the station.
YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0369_l.jpg

And we're off!!

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0371_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0376_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0383_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0381_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0375_l.jpg

And once again we see the interesting doors leading into roms carved straight into the mountainside.

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0372_l.jpg

Before we know it, we're at the station up in Fira.

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0384_l.jpg
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Old 10th May 2011, 12:13   #145
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@Sam, those dwellings that are built into the mountains, do you know what they do for ventilation? Seems a little claustrophobic if you ask me. And they cant be going all the way through the mountain/hill to the other side.

Thanks for continuing this one.
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Old 10th May 2011, 12:20   #146
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@sam,

The island is definitely tourist place but still i can't figure out the trademark spot of this island.
Besides the beautiful resorts, settlements and ocean, is there anything particular to remember?

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 10th May 2011 at 12:25.
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Old 10th May 2011, 12:35   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASHISHPALLOD View Post
@sam,

The island is definitely tourist place but still i can't figure out the trademark spot of this island.
Besides the beautiful resorts, settlements and ocean, is there anything particular to remember?
The island's trademark is its shape and the volcano Ashish.

Where else in the world will every house have a cliff view of the sea? This crescent shape and the sliced off cliffs were caused by the volcano.

Santorini is famous for its beauty, both natural and cultural, but there are a few tourist spots or highlights that you may go looking for, if on a sight-seeing tour. Like the ancient city or the vineyards. The vineyards offer guided tours and tasting too when the weather is better.
There is definitely more to do in the summer, starting now and loads of restaurants and parties and places to go. The time when I went, most of the tourist stuff was closed but it was quiet and beautiful.
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Old 10th May 2011, 13:13   #148
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Goodbye Santorini!

After getting off the cable car, we walk our way down to the car and drive to Imerovigli, to our hotel. Some tea and a sunset is scheduled for us.
My mood is dark and sad, faced with the inevitable goodbye.

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_03901_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_03931_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_03951_l.jpg

What's up?
Nothing.
Nice sunset, isn't it.
Yup.


I cannot bring myself to speak much. I find it hard to believe that this will be my last evening in heaven.

But all good things come to an end. Besides this isn't a real end. I'm going to Athens tomorrow. We will stay at a stunning beach resort in Athens.
OK perhaps I won't see much as I will be at a business conference, but I'll see what I can won't I? No need to be low.

Want to go out for dinner?
Sure!


We walk up the beautiful stair passage for the last time in the evening.
YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_03991_l.jpg

Tomorrow we will drive to the Airport and fly to Athens.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 10th May 2011 at 13:29.
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Old 10th May 2011, 14:06   #149
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So, Santorini has much more to it than Yanni .

No seriously, brilliant landscape. What a sight to wake up to every single day! Wish i lived there permenantly. The sun shining on you with some light tropical breeze. Wow, now if these are not the things worth living for, then what are?

Thank you for sharing this Sam.
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Old 10th May 2011, 18:18   #150
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Athens!

We wake up one last time in Santorini and the sun comes out in full force to say bye to us.
YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0402_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0404_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0405_l.jpg

After breakfast we drop the car off and take the flight to Athens. Even though I'm sorry to say goodbye to my holiday, we're not coming home. We're going to a business conference in Athens.

When we reach the hotel, it doesn't take long to realise that somehow, this is going to be great.
This turns out to be one of the better rooms I have stayed in, ever.

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0417_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0406_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0411_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0413_l.jpg

YetiBlog® - Greece! (and a wee bit of Germany)-dsc_0420_l.jpg

This is GREAT stuff!

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 10th May 2011 at 18:19.
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