Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 234 - Oia Sunset

Thought of the day: After spending a couple of days in Santorini, I am noticing a few things here - some of them were expected and some of them came as a surprise. First of all, there is an abundance of sunlight here.  It's closer to the equator and the summer sun is very strong. I see a lot of people walking around town with sunburns - they are probably the unsuspecting first-time tourists to Greece.  Secondly, there are many painters here.  At any time of the day, I see painters working on the walls, roofs, chimneys, stones, you name it, until they are painted as white as fresh snow.  Even part of the cliff adjacent to our hotel is painted white. In any case, it's apparently a lot of work to keep up the impossibly white image of Oia. Thirdly, there are a lot of tourists from China. I used to run into more Japanese tourists than Chinese, but in the past few years, the trend seemed to have reversed. That's probably not too surprising given the rise of upper and middle class Chinese and Japan's persistent economic woes. Fourthly, the most frequently used language in hotels and restaurants is not Greek, not Spanish, not German, not French, but English in a variety of accents. Perhaps it's not too surprising for a tourist town, even if it's an European tourist town. What's a little surprising, however, was that even the hotel staff often talk to each other in English.  It turns out that they come from all over Europe to work here, not just from Greece.

Photo of the day:
Sunset in Oia is an event in its own category.  At around 8pm, the town empties out to the western tip to watch the famous Oia sunset.  People spill back into the streets and restaurants after the sun completely disappears into the ocean.  It looks as if the time is suspended during the sunset hour and everything can go back to normal again only afterward.  People claps the moment when the sun is completely gone - and you can almost hear the collective sigh "OK, it's finally over, phew!"  Or maybe it's just in my imagination?

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