In March, almost all activity in Oia is geared towards the start of the tourist season, when guests flood into hotels and cruise ships enter the caldera, spilling daytrippers into buses so they can shuffle slowly along Oia’s streets, snap their photos, be amazed and then move to their next destination – Mykonos, Athens, Rhodes, Istanbul…Lucky them: the sheer cliffs of Santorini rise sharply from the water to embrace them, brilliant white houses clinging to the cliffs – a spectacular sight indeed!
But there is a secret side to Santorini, and this is mine to enjoy. All around me, men and women get ready, preparing Oia for the season, putting her face on. Painting of doors and windows (how else can those pictures be so dramatically white and blue?), building, cleaning. The sounds of the cement mixer reverberates through Ois. Santorini slowly comes alive during March as Spring finally arrives.
One of my favourite sights is the team of Donkeys who walk up and down the massive stair cases. Most mornings, on my way to or from the bakery, I run into them. The sound of their handler echoes around the caldera – you can hear him like he’s right next to you; this place is a natural amphitheatre. Today I took my camera so you can meet them too!