30 Sep 2013
A funny thing happened while we were in Greece. Every couple of days, I’d upload my pictures to my laptop and scroll through them, delighting in the bright colors and majestic scenery. But I started to feel like I wasn’t capturing the things I really wanted to remember. We go on vacation for lots of reasons, but one of the primary ones is definitely to pursue the beautiful and the sublime. We want to have those mountain-top experiences and take those perfect pictures, and they’re well worth the time we spend in travel and jet lag. But I didn’t want to lose all those little things that make a place what it is, all the little things I treasure even as they fall through my hands like grains of sand. I know that once I’ve left I can never have them back, and so I set out to capture them. Santorini is shaped like a crescent moon, and the towns along the inside of the caldera are linked by a road for cars and a much older cobblestone footpath that winds its way up and down the cliffside. It’s impossible to have a bad view from this footpath, and I took so many pictures of those views. But then I realized that I didn’t have any pictures of the footpath itself.
Santorini is hilly and steep, and I spent all my days there climbing up and down that footpath, whether on my way to the bus stop or to the bakery for bread. I came back ready for another shower after every morning excursion. I miss it so much. This is part of the footpath I took up to the neighboring village of Imerovigli, past the monastery and up to the crumbling fortress.
Sometimes the path would turn into steep stairs, and sometimes you’d wonder if you’d ever round the corners and see the other side.
If I set out early enough in the morning, and I often did, motorcycles would buzz past me, making morning bread deliveries to all the hotels and restaurants along the cliffside.
I want to remember the breakfast we were so lovingly served at our hotel every morning, and to remember the joy of slowly picking up more Greek words and being able to use them.
I want to remember walking into this sunlit room every morning and wishing everyone, “Kalimera.” That table under the picture on the left was our regular spot.
Most days I ate lunch at our little table under the window, the wind gently blowing the white lace curtains my way.
I never want to forget every step of the way from our room down to the footpath. Our view of the pool on the way down.
And the marble steps we took down to the footpath.
The sunrises we caught almost every morning, the one benefit of jet lag.
The majestic sunsets we watched every evening from our wide open window.
The special white eggplants that grow in Santorini’s rocky volcanic soil and have the sweetest flesh and the tiniest seeds.
Our little town’s tiny and adorable square.
The endless stretches of blue and white, punctuated by bright bougainvillea.
The perfectly polished volcanic rocks I collected at Perissa Beach.
And the bustling restaurant right underneath our window, sending up a symphony of clanging knives and plates and wine bottles every night. That’s what I want to remember.