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SANTORINI YOU IN SANTORINI It is impossible to take a bad photo here!

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Like in one of those epic love movies, I had to say goodbye to the one I loved. And the farewell scene could not have gone any more to script. As the plane took off from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, I was positioned over the wing, looking down on the place I called home for the past 6 months. The sun was setting and it was that perfect time of day just before total darkness, when its light enough to see, but dark enough for lights to twinkle. I watched from my little window, the Eiffel tower come into view, its spotlight catching my attention. Then, as quickly as it had appeared, quite miserably, I watched it become smaller and smaller.

The flight directly from Paris to Santorini takes about 3 and a half hours. Thanks to my Paris shopping, I took the cheaper option – 9hours. Yes, at 2 am I arrived in Athens airport and set up camp on the floor with the hippies trying to get some decent shuteye. I managed 10 mins before I was moved along by security. Talk about feeling like a drop kick!

Today I have been exploring Fira and taking in the calderas. I believe now that it is impossible to take a bad photo here. The stone white walls of buildings, the deep blue of the ocean and the dirty mountains in between. It really is exactly how I pictured it to look, yet slightly more overrun by Australian tourists! (I think I have seen more Australians than Greeks so far.)

I adore the way people act here, so relaxed and as if time goes so slowly you are forced to slow down with it. I have been told off by two people already today for trying to do too much, go, it is time for you to enjoy the island now. You need to experience it. Strange coming from a shopkeeper who discovered it was my first day and ushered me out of the store telling me not to buy. I am staying just out of town, but it is only 5 minutes walk uphill to the touristic chaos of its tiny vendor spewing lanes.

I arrived so early this morning, Fira was dead quiet. I sat outside my hotel waiting for the owner to wake and absorbing that beautiful sea air you never quite miss until you are reminded of it on your breath. As I sat on the porch, looking out onto the volcano before me, I experienced the luck of perfect timing. From what sounded like sleigh bells ringing, I caught the glimpse of a local man leading 10 donkeys up the steep hill into town. Each of their collars adorned with tiny ringing bells. It was that quintessential image I had of Santorini, big tourist town, but little local charm. I sat so still as I watched them jingle past just meters from me, completely ignoring my existence. Yet I was frozen in awe. It was one of those moments, nobody was around, it was just me, an old man and some donkeys.

From Petite Amie Paris, your little friend who sends you beautiful things from Paris



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