I had heard so many wonderful things about how beautiful the island of Santorini was, so we were excited to have it as a port stop.  A friend told us NOT to schedule an excursion, that one could see/do all that was needed just by taking the cable car or the donkeys up the cliff.  Her words, “Pat, I know you’re in shape and you keep fit, but don’t even consider trying to walk the 685 steps to the top.”

    I had wanted to ride the donkeys, just for the heck of it, but Carol wasn’t so keen on my idea.  Well, there was another ship anchored in the harbor with us, and the line for the cable car was @ 6 blocks long, so we chose the donkeys.  It was cheaper, quicker, and a much cuter memory.

    We were never told if our donkeys had names, we were just loaded on to them in an assembly-line fashion and sent on our way.  There were no reins, you held on to the horn.  I learned quickly that mine liked to take the turns on the outside wall, which meant s/he would cross in front of people and/or other donkeys - coming either up or down - in order to get to the outside.  Have no clue how many switchbacks there were, was concentrating so much of taking video and shots and not being run over by herds of riderless donkeys coming down the steps. Enjoy the video below of our ride up the cliff.

    When my donkey and I were just about to make the last turn before the village at the top, my donkey turned the opposite way and faced DOWN!  OH, NO, you are not taking me back down this hill!  As we were gracelessly removed from our donkeys, we deduced that the animals are just on automatic pilot: they turn around at the top, wait to get their load removed, then head back down the 685 steps to get a new rider.

    We spent a few hours wandering the endless streets of tourist shops and cafes and restaurants, not worrying about being in a certain place at a certain time to make it back to the ship.....everything done on our time.  What a restful day!

    We took the cable car down.......nothing special.

A chance to sit down, enjoy the view and say good-bye to @$25.