Letters from Santorini (4)

This post is part four of an online letter from the blogger to her little sister.

Dear Littlest,

They say that the sunsets in Oia, on the island of Santorini, are among the most beautiful in the world. I myself am not an expert on sunsets but DP has watched more than his fair share of suns setting over Canadian and Caribbean waters. He said the Oia sunsets were okay but not the most spectacular he has seen. For me, the coolest part was sharing the experience with so many other people from all over the world. Some of the townspeople and all of the tourists (including the throngs of cruise ship people and some tourists bussed in just for the event) gather at the north end of the island to watch the sun drop into the sea.

When we walked down to the end of the village that first night, we didn’t really know what to expect. The sunset-facing cafes were already filled to the brim with experienced sunset watchers so we wandered down the hillside a bit and found a lovely, quiet perch. People continued to gather on the hills above us, their faces golden with light. Soon every available wall, step and patch of ground was occupied. Unfortunately, wicked storm clouds then rolled in, grey and ferocious, obscuring our view of the sunset. Icy rain drops sent us all scurrying for cover.

Our second sunset unfolded without any dramatic interventions from the natural world. You can see the evidence of a lovely setting sun below. (Do you remember that when I was living in Mexico, I travelled to the Grand Canyon? It snowed during the day and the Canyon filled up with such a dense fog that I was unable to see a thing? After the downpour on that first evening in Oia, I was beginning to think I had been cursed. Murphy’s Law. Not so, though!)

DP and I witnessed the setting of a third sun on an impulse. (Mine, of course.) We rushed down the main street and found the improvised theatre crowded with people. We tried a couple of different location before we finally settled on a spot where a group of teenagers were so busy taking photographs of themselves in front of the sunset (smile… peace sign) that they almost missed the sunset itself. I had to work hard to stay Zen about the setting of the sun that night. I had to remind myself that not everyone wants or needs to enjoy their sunset in a quiet and contemplative way.

Enjoy the sunsets, sweetie.


Photo Credit: The fourth photo, with the reflection of the church bells, was taken by DP.


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