Now I feel sorry for the donkeys, don’t get me wrong. But I know where the mule part comes from and when you are negotiating a steep rocky path from the top of Santorini down to the ferry station everyone is fighting for territory. Maybe we should have taken the gondola – we did have the tickets after all – but the line-up was horrendous so we thought we would be clever and walk down. What we didn’t realise before we started was that the rocks on the path were polished smooth by the thousands of people (and donkeys) who have gone up and down this path. In addition to this they were well oiled by liberal doses of donkey poo. I was halfway down the path ahead of my sister when I realised that she was in a confrontation with a donkey. Unable to move and squashed up against the side of the wall by the donkey she burst into tears so her husband had no option but to punch the donkey in the neck.
Now before you go all PETA on me it hurt him a lot more than it hurt the donkey. Trust me – his hand was red for days.
The problem was of course that there were no less than 7 cruise ships in the harbour. Imagine pouring out all those passengers into the tiny streets of Santorini. The people pressure was unbelievable and I was told that 11 ships were expected the next day. What a shame. It is indeed a beautiful island with stunning little hotels literally hanging onto the side of the cliffs. My best bet – if you really want to see Santorini go in October, sleep late, eat lunch at the pool of your hotel and then by 4 pm you should be safe to venture out and enjoy the island as it was meant to be enjoyed.
After seeing Monemvasia I am sure there are many such undiscovered and beautiful places to visit in Greece and I plan to find them. Stay tuned! Preferably somewhere without a donkey ride involved!