(Or The Day An Ass Pooped on My Husband)
Day 7 we arrived in Rhodes, Greece. After walking around in the picturesque town for about an hour, we returned to the ship to spend the rest of the day sipping drinks by the pool.
The next day our boat was tendered off the coast of Santorini, Greece. The port does not accommodate large vessels, and our ship was ginormous. The company shuttled us back and forth on smaller boats to get to the island. Santorini is basically an island formed by leftovers from a massive volcanic explosion. The result is absolutely gorgeous. Santorini was hands down my favorite stop and one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been so this is going to be a long post.
We had the whole day there so we decided to take advantage of it. Early in the morning we left for a volcano hike and hot springs excursion. Ever since my geology classes in college, I have been fascinated by volcanoes and their impact on the earth and human civilizations. Our guide shared the history of the area as we climbed to the top of the volcano. Then our group headed back onto a boat to head to some nearby hot springs.
Our boat pulled up to a little cove and they instructed us to jump overboard. Most of the Americans were from the northern states so they jumped in and said “Ooh, it’s a little cold.” FP (my husband) jumped in before me and promised it was okay. My southern self doesn’t swim unless it’s 80+ degrees outside and in warm waters. I jumped in and had the breath knocked out of me by the icy water. I swam as fast as I could to the hot springs. Occasionally I’d pass through a lukewarm area that felt like someone had peed in the water. Once we got to the cove we were greeted by a German Shepherd barking along the edge of the cove. An elderly man, the sole resident of the island, came out to assure us the dog was just saying hello. When I imagine hot springs I always picture this in my head. Not so with the Santorini hot springs. Turns out they are merely lukewarm-feels-like-pee-springs. After a freezing swim back to the boat, we returned to the ship to clean up and take the tender boats to the main island.
There are three options to get to the top of the island: cable cars, donkey rides, or walking. Since we heard the donkey ride is a must have experience and a bit terrifying on the way down, we opted to ride the donkeys on the way up. We set off with our guide in a group of four. The guide insisted on FP taking the smallest donkey. Why he didn’t give it to me or the other woman, I don’t know. So naturally FP migrated to the back of the group. The donkeys weren’t exactly thrilled with the experience. Mine kept running me into the stone walls (ouch)! Unfortunately, he seemed to have a bit of an upset stomach as well. None of the donkeys were shy about pooping on the walk up, but my donkey decided to projectile diarrhea right onto FP and his donkey. It was just the right amount of donkey poop to make it hilarious but not totally disgusting. If you value your footwear and hygiene, I highly recommend not walking to the top because you will be sharing the path with free pooping asses.
Once we reached the top we found a restaurant on the cliffs overlooking the expansive ocean. We ate traditional Greek food while taking in the breathtaking views. It’s just one of those places where the pictures don’t do it justice. You have to feel the wind upon your face, smell the ocean, and wonder at the power of the volcanic explosion.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit Santorini, Greece, DO IT! Whether you like being active, shopping, or just relaxing and enjoying the views, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Pooping donkeys and cold hot springs, it’s worth it all for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.