Tag Archives: Santorini

Sharing My World 66

img_2995
In case you slept through the first day of the month.  Not like that would ever happen unless January wore you out completely….

Share Your World – January 30, 2017

What is the most incredible natural venue that you’ve ever seen in person?

I’ve seen the Canadian Rocky Mountains and Arctic icebergs and glaciers and the Atlantic provinces rocky ocean shores.  I’ve been to Niagara Falls.  Those are all pretty impressive.

Whenever I see a picture of Glencoe Scotland I remember how being there gave me just the weirdest feeling of chills and deja vu and I get those sensations all over again.  In another life maybe I died in battle there.  Maybe I just have a green lumpy hills fetish.

img_2998

I’ve seen the vertical sea cliffs of Santorini from the water and from the bus driving up the zig zag road and from various places at the top of the island looking down.  It made me wonder why any sane person living there would ever let their children go outside to play.  They didn’t inspire awe in me as much as a rather anxious fear and dread thinking about how we had to go back down them to leave the place.

img_2994

How many siblings do you have? What’s your birth order?

I had an older brother who loved his visit to Santorini and was the reason we traveled there, to remember him.  I have two younger sisters.  So three siblings, but now two.  I am one of the middle children, but the oldest daughter.  How to make a simple question complicated, right?  Quite often I make people regret asking me things.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be and why?

Oh, probably an old comfy croc.  Because it’s not making much of a fashion statement but it’s really amazingly good for your feet.  And bonus, it can also be crazy colours.

What is the strangest/weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

Muktuk, haggis and calamari.  Imagine having those three on your plate all at the same time.  I liked calamari just fine until finding out what it was.  Muktuk was smelly and disgusting.  Haggis was surprisingly not so bad.  But not good enough to want to ever have it again.

Optional Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Hmmm.  Laziness without guilt.  Or more laziness than usual with less quilt than normal.  My knee is fine but I’m still resting it to avoid re-injury.  This could go on for weeks.  I’ve cut back on the news because I think I finally reached my personal disbelief saturation level.  I baked muffins.  Amazingly enough that was less stressful for me than baking normally is.  More proof that the whole world has gone crazy.

I’m looking forward to getting lab work done (because I will be leaving the house to do it), renewing my passport (not going anywhere, it’s just expiring in April) and closing a bank account which has gone defunct from me ignoring it for two years.  If the balance had been higher than sixty seven dollars it might have interested me more.

Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday!  I’ll be watching Netflix and eating muffins.

share-your-world2

 

 

Sharing My World 18

045

Share Your World – 2015 Week #6

What was the last time you went to a new place?

That would be island hopping in Greece, almost a year ago.  Various family members made the trip to remember my brother, who  loved it there but never got the chance to go back.  So we went back for him.  I even drank a beer in his memory.  Funny thing about Santorini,  his favourite spot, was that travelling up and down its cliffs by bus scared the hell out of me.  Never mind the gondola ride on which I faced the side of the hill rather than look at all that water.  How in the world could you raise children that close to a cliff edge?  With donkeys running around?  Plus be surrounded by ocean everywhere you went?  Those Greek people are incredibly brave.  Maybe there’s something in the olives.

If you were or are a writer do you prefer writing short stories, poems or novels, other?  And what type of genre would you prefer?

I fancy myself a writer, because I write things and always have.  I have never published anything except blog posts, and I don’t think that counts.  Short stories work with my particular attention span.  And whether I’m good at it or not, I love writing poetry.  I have a big sheet of paper with copious notes about many different types of poetry with the mechanics and rhyming information.  One fine day I will get around to actually using it.  Time is running out to write novels, I’m afraid.  A plot would be an excellent start, but I’ve never come up with one.  Maybe I should just stick to Biography/Memoir.  Soon I will be able to throw in some historical fiction based on my actual life.  And that could slowly turn in to Fantasy if I live long enough.

Out of your five senses (touch, taste, sight, smell, hearing) which is your favorite?

I have five incredible grandchildren, and it would be just as mind-boggling to choose my favourite one in that group as in this one.  Seeing and hearing would maybe be missed the most if they were suddenly gone, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.  If I didn’t have taste and smell perhaps I might enjoy my own cooking more.  Would losing ones sense of touch mean winter skin wouldn’t feel dry and itchy anymore?  That might be worth a shot.

If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you’d find leading a more satisfying life than yours?

My life is 86% satisfying, so the answer is 14.  Well, I had to come up with something using my limited math skills.  But if all of these random one hundred people were asked to write down on a random scrap of paper their definition of a satisfying life, there would be a hundred different sized paper scraps, a hundred different answers, a hundred different regrets, and more than a hundred different reasons for each of them to celebrate the life they were given.  Satisfaction is all in your head.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I can’t remember what happened yesterday, never mind last week.  Oh, wait!  My son turned 39 on Saturday.  I also don’t remember what happened when I was that age myself for an entire year.  I’m sure it was a good time.  This weekend I’m looking forward to a visit from the far-away four grandchildren, and the Valentine’s Day birthday of the closer-to-where-I-live one.  She will be fourteen on the fourteenth.  Time is flying by at an alarming rate.  I’d better get going on that memoir.

share-your-world2

My Big Fat Greek Holiday (SANTORINI)

We put in a lot of days waiting to get to Santorini.  Not that the rest of our visit to Greece wasn’t amazing, but the island of Santorini was the place in this beautiful country that my brother wanted to return to and sadly never got the chance.  We were visiting the island  as much for him as for ourselves.  This was a way for us to see it through his eyes and to remember so many things about him, and to miss him of course, but in a good way.  It was an emotional time for all of us, the final goodbye, but with a promise to never forget.

My nephew Andy (my brothers oldest son) for the entire trip had boundless enthusiasm and such an adventurous spirit.  His passion for good food, his energy and interest and joy in just being there, his obvious love and concern for his mom – it’s so easy to imagine the smile he would have put on his dads face.  Countless times I was reminded of my brother in the things Andy said, his gestures, his expressions; and amongst all of us, the recounting of our many shared memories.

On the ferry to Santorini
On the ferry to Santorini

The trip from Paros to Santorini took three hours.  The ferry was huge, with escalators and gift shops and hundreds of passengers. Our first views of the island were breathtaking.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


You may notice there are no pictures of those breathtaking first views of the cliffs of Santorini on my camera.  The bus ride up the cliff on a winding hair-pin turn road was seriously the scariest ride of my life.  This is an excellent place to find out once and for all if you have some latent fear of heights.  What a relief it was to finally get to the top, and then all I could think about was that we would have to make the trip back down again in a couple of days.

We checked into the Kalisti Thera Hotel with a big group of German tourists and a lot of confusion.  After our Transat orientation we spent a quiet evening enjoying the poolside bar and figuring out our Santorini itinerary.  The next day we were off to Oia on the northern tip of the island.  For some reason or other I decided to take pictures with my phone that day.  A combination of incredibly bright sunshine, polarized sunglasses and this brain resulted in me pushing the wrong button and taking at least a dozen pictures of myself.  They were quite funny.  If you would like to know how squinty-eyed and frown-y you look taking a photo, this is a great way to find out.

Quite by accident we stumbled upon the Paradox Thai Food restaurant (looking for a restroom actually) and ended up chatting with the waiter and ordering drinks and MORE FOOD.  Shrimp, skewers, pot stickers, spring rolls, an appetizer mix, all of it delicious.  We were urged to go to the trip advisor website and post a review.  So I did.  I now have one review there.  In which I said pretty much just what I said here.

We drove all over the place, trying to read a map and asking for directions,  looking for the cable cars and the place where the donkeys take you up the hill to Fira.  It turned out to be about four blocks from our hotel.  We parked the car in a gravel/garbage bin lot squeezed into an impossible space and set off walking up to a cobblestone walkway on the cliff edge beside the sea.  There were the usual gift and souvenir shops and some cliff hanging bars.  At the Palia Kameni the waiter informed us that Mythos is not authentic Greek beer and urged us to try Yellow Donkey instead.  We met a couple from New York, a lady from London, people from Ontario, Athens, Italy.  Many people spend six months of the year working here.  One man told us he would love to visit Canada in the dead of winter when it’s thirty below.  Obviously it’s possible to be out in the sun too long.

It was late in the afternoon and the donkeys were heading home for the night, so we had to take the gondola down to the sea and back up again.  Thank God the donkeys don’t work around the clock.  The gondola ride was enough stress for me.  Our Transat rep had told us that the donkeys smell bad and poop and stuff.  Just in case we weren’t aware of them being real live animals I guess.

We had three full days on this delightful island, spent by the pool, on our balconies, going back up the hill to the shops and the fish spa.  We watched the sunset from the Zafora Café.  Lots of fresh air, sunshine, great food, long walks on cobblestone streets and up and down stone and marble steps, good wine, great company – I don’t know about everyone else, but I was happy for a soft bed and sweet dreams.

Now I know why my brother wanted to come back to Santorini.  It was sad to leave.  Off to Crete tomorrow and our last two days in Greece.

The Twentieth Day of May

santorini wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ia_Santorini-2009-1.JPG

Where in the world am I today?

Santorini!  This is the spot I’m most excited to see, because my brother liked it the most when he visited Greece.  And this trip was lovingly planned for all of us to remember him.

I’ve heard the red wine in Greece is an acquired taste, so I will do the polite thing and try to acquire a taste for it.  Because Canadian tourists are supposed to be known for how ridiculously polite they are.  I would not like to disillusion anyone about that.  No hanging over the balcony railings here!

 

Summer Feet

image
You know you’ve hit the bottom of the barrel full of hot topics when you start posting pictures of your own feet.  But I don’t care, I’ve got nothing else.  And this could serve as a gentle reminder to us all that if your toes look all gnarly and deformed, a pedicure, no matter how lovely and relaxing and thorough, is not going to miraculously cure that.

These are my sparkly going-for-a-pedicure sandals.  They are good for wearing while you are sitting down, and great for presenting a challenge after your feet are all soft and slippery and have to carry you down a flight of stairs and across a gravelly parking lot on the way to your car.

I chose this colour from the summer pallet, which also had yellow, pink, coral and several shades of brown in it.  I didn’t ask what’s with all that brown, just in case they know something about our up coming summer that I don’t.  This shade is called “Intention” because calling it watermelon red would be too easy.  It’s got sparkles in it.  The lady next to me had her toes painted a kind of dull mink brown, and then asked for gold sparkles over top.  Mine were done first, so I’m going to assume they inspired her.

There was also a man in a black bathrobe across the room from us having his size twelve feet treated to everything but the polish.  More men should have spa days.  I keep trying to convince W to at least have a pedicure done.  If there are other more futile ways to exercise my powers of persuasion I can’t think what they might be.

The trip to Greece of course came up in our six way conversation and my esthetician assured me that my toes would look gorgeous against the black sands of Santorini.

image
These are shoes I can actually walk in.  Now that my feet are ready for summer, time to go find a summery place to show them off.

Summerfly

I don't normally have Fridays off, but when I do, not everyone can keep up with me.
I don’t normally have Fridays off, but when I do, not everyone can keep up with me.

Sometimes things to talk about come in the mail or mysteriously surface during a clean-up and neither will leave your head until you forcibly remove them.  At least that’s been my experience.  For today.  Tomorrow could be another whole ball of wax. (Where did that strange expression come from? I tried looking it up, but it seems no one can agree on its exact origin and after reading the third or fourth educated guess I lost interest.)

Anyway, after waiting all week for it, an invoice/receipt arrived at last in the mail today.  I am sharing part of it here because I think it’s pretty exciting.

itinerary 001

If all goes well, I will be celebrating my May 13th birthday in Athens this year.  Santorini is one of the places my brother visited and loved and thought he would like to return to see again some day but he never got the chance.  So this trip is a family holiday to remember him.  Good Gawd, look at all those island ferry transfers across the deep dark sea.  I hope they make good wine in Greece.

The other thing I’m sharing surfaced from a filing cabinet, in a file folder labeled ‘recipes’.  Who in the world prints off random recipes from the internet and files them away and ignores them for a decade?  Never mind, we already know the answer to that.  Inside this folder I also found a copy of a Christmas letter written by our cats in 1997, a three-fold religious pamphlet and a letter from a fitness spa, but there was something else in there even MORE interesting.  I can picture you rolling your eyes and sighing but sorry, that’s not going to stop me.  Here are the amazing printed words I found with no title and no explanation.

In another younger day I could dream the time away
In the universe inside my room
And the world was really mine from June until September
And if it wasn’t really so I was lucky not to know
And I was lucky not to wonder why
Because the summer time is all that I remember

A summer fly was buzzin’ every night when I was young
In the gentle world my child-like senses knew
And the world was just my cousin
And the wind was just the tongue
In the voice my lonely moments listened to

And I look at me today all the dreams have gone away
And I’m where I never thought I would be
Seeing things I never thought I would see happening to me
And I lay awake at night til the darkness turns to light
Hearing voices calling out my name
Droning over and again the same message to me

Crying who’s your partner, who’s your darlin’, who’s your baby now?
Who wakes up at night to pull you in
But it don’t matter, you’ll just make her lonely anyhow
I don’t know why you even try to win

At first I thought it was a poem but then I remembered it’s the lyrics to a song and went searching for it on YouTube.  It’s amazing what’s on that site and the stuff that comes up and how much time can go flying by while you’re sitting on the living room couch with your I-Pad and a gigantic cup of coffee.

If you don’t know this song but like the words and the kind of sad and dreamy way they sound in your head, I think you’re going to love the music.  There was some method to my madness, writing it down and putting it away in safekeeping to be discovered again on some very distant future Friday off.