That which can be seen at Blue Sky.
That day, we opted for personal freedom on the transportation front. This concretized in the form of an ATV rental from Zack, a man who looked, acted, spoke and generally emulated Sylvester Stallone in the role of Rocky Balboa. Unfortunately, since I lacked the presence of mind to digitally commemorate the occasion of our meeting with this man in audiovisual form, we must settle for this textual account of the adventure.
Naturally, immediately after securing a form of fast, open-air transportation in one of the countries with the highest motor vehicle death rate in the world (more on this later), we immediately headed to the nearest and largest wine tasting facility. Santo Wines, a pretty swanky place, actually represents all the wine producers of the island, which is mostly known for its whites.
Since I was designated driver by default, the task of ingesting three samples of wine under a beating sun after naught but a token breakfast befell Laurence, my girlfriend and longtime companion-in-arms. I did have a few sips however, and was duly impressed; I highly recommend the experience. The Vinsanto desert wine particularly stood out.
This put Laurence in a happy place:
The next best thing to a unicorn on film: mythical dual ponytails!!
We hit the beach up in Perissa, where the sand is actually made of little black rocks:
Perissa beach black sand.
The thermodynamically astute among you may surmise that in a country such as Greece, where the cosmic oven is always set to "MAXIMUM BROIL DEATH", the heat-absorbing qualities of such pebbles may tenderize the feet. Your postulate would be correct.
Dry, hot, blister-inducing.
Shortly afterwards, we followed a long dead end up into the hills to see some broken-down windmills. This was actually one of the highlights of our stay on the island for us, and it inspired us to go searching for less-travelled paths more often during the rest of the trip.
Old windmill with scenery.
A ruined axle.
Part of the mechanism.
A few more pictures that I like (many of the better pictures from this trip were taken by Lau):
Square hole with no peg in sight.
People live here, growing tomatoes.
Lau calls this picture "Donkey and the City."
Next, we headed to Red Beach, by Ancient Akrotiri. It gets its name from - you guessed it - red sand.
Busy Red Beach.
Stuff that pebbles are made of.
And finally, we caved in and joined the throngs of tourists in Ia for the sunset. Ia is the town which is most often seen on photos of Santorini.
Ia's houses, build right into the cliffs.
Backside of Ia with the sun setting down.
Yet another windmill.
Architectural construct which does not have a North-American equivalent.
Obligatory sunset shot. The town is completely crowded.
Back in Fira, we had an excellent meal at Lithos and passed out for the evening back at the Blue Sky.
Fira at night (caldera side).