Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ringing the Bells of Oia, Santorini

I pause for a moment, drop my pack in the dust, and plop down beside it in the shade. Just past the toes of my hiking boots, a line of sun bakes the earth.
Beside me there are blue domed churches with bells in their steeples, rung by hanging cords tied to hooks on the sides of buildings. I sit in the shade and my brain works like sixty... a plan is being hatched.
A black clad woman beneath an umbrella passes, sneering, smiling, grimacing. It's too hot and bright to watch me for long. Yeah, I'm suspicious, but she soon moves along.
Despite the heat and the wozzy drive through the Santorini hills, I feel refreshed here in the shade. Just a moment. Just a little time out, for me, before I reach out to ring those bells!
We've come to Oia just for this, just for this day, to this little fishing village 7 km outside of Fira, overlooking the mighty Mediterranean blue, with it's wonderous churches and white walls, and quiet abandon, to ring the bells.
These church steeples look like happy little pieces of candy or sliced up cake on a platter one could just pluck and nibble.
A sugary snack treat... see how inviting those bells are? Really, what was I supposed to do afterall?
I'm sure that's how my daughters feel. Oh, and thank God for American breakfast cereals when traveling with hungry little tummys. It gives me time for the surprise.
I don't suppose all those orthodox monks minded me sneaking onto the side of the church and ringing the bells. I couldn't resist, really. Just stirring up some trouble to make sure I am still alive. Got my daughters out of the shade and showed them their dad has still got it.
Those monks had a sense of humor too, racing out of the church in their black robes. I am told not to do that again and to enjoy my stay on the island, which I will. That's what life is about, right? One of the monks even took this picture, how sweet is that?

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