City On A Cliff

Photo: Caldera Fira, Santorini

Friday, February 11, 2022

I once had to search Unsplash for photos of Santorini. Today, they’re in my iPhone’s photo album—and I have enough for now and forever.

Reread if you don’t believe me…

I’ve never ran a route so rocky, windy, having many odd sized steps along the trail, narrow pathways, confusing turnoffs, and with half the run uphill, the views, which took my breath from a run I needed my breath the most. With all that said, I’ve never ran a route so beautiful, empty, clear and quiet—as if it were just for me.

Serene.

I’ve also never came to a heavy tourist attracted island to experience its off season—where 90 percent of the businesses are closed. From small shops, restaurants, spas, hotels and bars, they’re either shut down until spring or getting ready for the conspicuous tourist season.

There’s a lot of construction going on outside the suites and hotels, from painting, furniture moving, or they’re just boarded up—because it storms during this time of year.

For me, it’s peaceful, which is exactly what a writer needs after Cairo, Egypt.

What it took to get here was a rocky, turbulent flight. After exiting the aircraft, I saw part of the airport flooded, muddy, and closed off because there were puddles of rocks on the walkway leading out to the arrival’s exit. My luggage wheels got muddy because just outside the airport was like a hurricane had swept the island.

“We get hit really hard with the storms this time of year,” said my driver. And I experienced that Tuesday night, at about 3:30AM, when the winds were gusting up to 55/60 miles per hour. The power had went out in my room but that wasn’t what kept me awake.

My hotel is at the top of the Caldera cliff in Thira. Which means, I’m at one of the hardest hit points on the island. Hollywood couldn’t have projected better sound effects of mother nature’s sneeze.

No, not a chance.

It was the middle of the night and my eyes were wide shut. From the whistling and howling winds, to some bullshit on the top of the hotel roof getting blown all over the place, it kept me thinking the ceilings were going to fall in. What’s running through my mind is an assumption that this isn’t the island’s first power outage or windstorm, so I figured the power will be back on soon.

Like my driver said, this is their normal. Whatever’s damaged from winds beyond repair is likely far out of commission. Most of the infrastructures on this island are storm proof. The heat was also a concern, because it was off—and it was cold outside.

Fortunately, my blankets were doing its job. I actually got hot.

After an hour of trying to fall back asleep, I hear a beep, bop, and a boop.

First light, the red power indicator on the television. Next, the fridge powers on, so a relief runs through my body because my sandwich meat and cheese won’t spoil at this point.

I’ve been making sandwiches.

After the heater powered on I turned the temperature down, because the blankets were enough. I got on Tik-Tok to drown out my excitement of relief, because at some point I’d get enough of that bullshit app and fall asleep. Although the wind kept gusting into my balcony door’s window, I found satisfaction in the idea that mother nature has a runny nose so it’s needing to blow its nose.

This is life on a cliff—where it’s rocky yet stable, isolated but secure, breath taking views but enough wind to blow it back into your lungs. And although windy enough to knock the ‘cool’ out of a pimp walk, there’s a reason these rocks don’t talk.

The wind hits different on this side of the island.

So be it, enough.

Bye 🙂

-Budd

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