Sunday, August 23
Having another beautiful little breakfast on the patio. There are no hard boiled eggs so I order a raw one. I need to get a painting done, find more donkeys, a bank machine and a tour! As fate would have it, I find myself in Santorini on the night of their annual reenactment of the volcano eruption and I shall have a perfect view from my balcony!
Took a bus to the far end of the island and walked back home via ancient paths and endless white washed stairways. There are random doors along the wall of the cobblestone path which lead to nowhere and I wonder why. I find a cool dirt path the donkeys use and followed it as far as it allows into a wilder more barren Santorini. Little lizards play chase up and down the dilapidated stone walls which have been consumed by cactus and capers. I picked a caper and pop it into my mouth. It shoots out like a projectile an instant later. Capers are vile raw. I did the same with an olive in Italy. Also vile. I make a note not to eat things I find growing along the way. I wonder where the donkeys live and why the domes are all painted cerulean blue. I enjoy a good wonder.
I seemed to be a target for honeymooners in need of photos. I am getting pretty good at it. As the day progressed, the standard face shots turned into photo shoots on ledges, cliffs, sitting on stairs and all manner of smoochy shots. I got bored with the concept and stop making eye contact. I should sell selfie sticks.
Back at the villa I tried to paint an egg on my balcony, but it fell over the edge. I heard a British man yell "Bloody EL! Another hit. I moved to the vacant lot next door where two sweet little churches stand like confections overlooking the town and paint for the rest of the day.
For dinner I had a fig, rocket and walnut salad in a parmesan bowl laced with strawberries and balsamic reduction. I need to find out what exactly rocket is. The salad is enough, but a delicious bowl of beef falling from it's bone melts into a saucy sea of wide ribbons of home made pasta. My eyes instinctively closed to appreciate how incredible this dish was.
There is a handsome Greek in white linen leaning against the bar looking out at the sea. He is smoking a cigarette. It's all very Casablanca here and I believe Jason Priestly is my waiter, but I don't let on. I linger for bit because the last time I rushed off, he said "Where you to go?"
I stop at a market and ask the vendor for a good Greek wine. He tucks a bottle in a brown bag and for no apparent reason I feel like a street drunk. "Ze best." 46 euro later, I head home.
I'm sitting on the balcony in my underwear drinking wine and waiting for the show to start. The egg painting is on the table and I am pleased with it. It's hard to believe a light show is about to begin as I hear no cheers or chatter of any audience. I do see little dots making a pilgrimage down the mountain and gathering at the cliff but it's all so solemn.
Across the water a loud and foreboding drum begins to beat in the darkness. A few little flashes of low fireworks begin to bang the silence away in rhythm with the drum and the dots cheer enthusiastically. A trail of red lights begins to spill down the mountain as the fireworks pick up momentum until they are so loud they drown out the dots and echo over the sea. It ends abruptly with the usual spectacular flare. After a moment of silence, cruise ships moan and the dots let out a final whoop and their noise trails off as they hike back up from wherever they came from.
The cloud scars of the fireworks fade into night sky and once again, Santorini is still, silent and hypnotically beautiful. Oh you volcanos.