Friday, April 06, 2007

Listen. Speech is the prudence of the aged
And time is a passionate sculptor of men
And the sun stands over it, a beast of hope
And you, closer to it, embrace a love
With a bitter taste of tempest on your lips.

-Odysseus Elytis


Thessaloniki, Athens, and Santorini will be forever such wonderful memories for me. If you've never been to Greece make a point to go someday, because it's well worth it. Seeing the Parthenon from a distance on the night of a full moon and hearing the sounds (conversations, arguments, car alarms) and smelling the smells (cheap Greek cigarettes, the catch of the day, ouzo) of Athens was a great experience, but I hear that Kefallinia is actually the place to go in Greece for relatively untouched beaches. Athens was the jumping off point for me for Santorini. The caldera is a once in lifetime experience and half the island is made of black sand beaches so it's a surprise to find brightly colored shells against that backdrop. The inner side of the island is a vertical drop of what must be thousands of feet, terraced with small patios, so it's possible to look down upon other revellers on lower levels and then outward toward the center of the submerged volcano, which still appeared to be smoking. The thought of sitting on the rim of a sumberged volcano that wiped out all of Greek civilization thousands and thousands of years ago adds a sense of excitement to the night life on Santorini, which is made up of honeymooners, college kids, retirees, and backpackers from all over the world. When I was there I sensed an abundance of French, German, and Australian tourists. I'm thinking of when I can get back over there and remember one night I spent out walking the twisty, turning, cobblestone, labyrinthine streets of Santorini among the hundreds of stray cats of all colors and wandered into the Jazz Bar there to talk to the owner about Miles Davis, while sipping another free beer. This guy was so happy I could have a conversation with him about jazz. Santorini is Atlantis and I fully expect it to sink again, someday, back into the sea. Before then though there will be another few sunsets and the travellers visiting the island will applaud when they see it.

No comments: