I was really trying NOT to write this article. Really. It took me a full year of trying to stay silent and keep it buried inside that memory coffin.
But I just can’t any more. I can’t because, it’s not just the fact that I keep seeing people seemingly enjoying spending time on a blazing hot volcano rock, but the fact that this is such a perfect example of a phenomenon where we are taught to enjoy something, which, at it’s core, has actually NOTHING enjoyable to offer!
Santorini is a pure example of people jumping in and WANTING to love stuff simply because it’s overhyped; and I really want to dig into that. And yes, I’ve been there, spent 3 nights in one of the more luxurious hotels (because, you know, you don’t want to go there and NOT watch a sunset from jacuzzi in your suite, right?) and even found out my wife was pregnant in those days.
Let’s talk about what Santorini is, without a hype
Let’s presume there wasn’t so much hype around it and that it was just another small island you wanted to visit. Let’s see how you’d perceive it.
First things first – as you approach it (via boat or airplane) you just can’t help but notice that this isn’t even an island, but a damn volcano rock; or volcano island, whatever you want to call it. Well, call it what you want but it’s a damn volcano mountain with no much shape to it.
Do you know what is ONE thing that you will never have inside a rock? Vegetation! A god damn tree!
There’s not a SINGLE tree on Santorini, not to mention any fruit or vegetable. It’s a dead soil! Dead as in in Mars; or a desert. Just different kind of dead (at least there’s water around, I guess).
Please, do take a moment to enjoy the moment of beauty. And if you’re confused, then you must have grown in poverty and don’t really understand the INNER BEAUTY of having a pool overlooking this perfection.
Just for fun though, if I shared the image below, and photoshopped a pool to it, I’d really want to know if people would see any difference (and yes, that’s Mars):
Do you know why the scenery looks so similar? Because there’s no LIFE to it! There’s no fertile soil and it’s just lifeless mass! It’s a freaking Mars!
But yeah, there’s bunch of people willingly wanting to get a one-way ticket to Mars, so, I guess that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, eh?
Bear with me now — this beautiful rock (with a pool) is referred to as … Caldera! And not just Caldera, but a BEAUTIFUL CALDERA. And I have to admit, the word itself does sound sexy! Marketing at it’s best! It’s not a volcano rock but **with Greek accent** BEAUTIFUL CALDERA! Welcome! Sirtaki!
I have to quickly digress now as this whole pile of crap reminds me of a beautiful memory that I had on Thailand, where I met a woman who spent HOURS telling (and showing) me how she had a damn amazing time visiting some crazy village full of small creatures with big dicks, or whatever the heck it was. Definitely a highlight of a visit, I agree!
Anyway, back to the original story. As you approach further the island, you do notice one thing that I have to admit – scenery really is BEAUTIFUL (I’m not being sarcastic now). Apparently, there’s a law on the island that every object that you build has to be a combo of Blue and White. And frankly, this does look stunning, just like anything would that you put on a completely black ground. So yes, this is something to admire:
Again, I’ll give you this Santorini – being there for a one-night stay and walking around Imerovigli and Oia could actually be an attraction. It is beautiful and dream-like. Buildings, colors, general scenery, … yes, I agree, there’s at least SOMETHING positive about it.
But honestly? That’s all there is to it. Go for a one-night stay (or two nights if you don’t want to rush yourself), explore a bit, take a picture or two, and then MOVE ON! Because …
Because it’s a Greece and, one of the reasons you go there is for the beautiful beaches and seaside, right? Trust me, Santorini should be a freakin’ Vatican of Greece, because it shares NOTHING.
Yeah, let’s talk beaches. Websites that want to sell you something would call them “Beautiful beaches with BLACK SAND (on a beautiful Caldera!)”. Do you know what the black sand really is? It’s a bunch of freakin’ volcano pebbles! Freaking stone! Stone that is black because it was fried out!
Do you happen to know why is volcano stone usually offered in massage parlours? Because it can get freakishly hot and keep that temperature for a while! So good luck walking barefoot on that beautiful sand!
So, without going too much into it, one thing that you won’t experience on Santorini is beaches. Or beautiful sea. Because the sea is fucking cold! And stone is damn hot! So unless you wear protective gear, you are on a ride to have your feet and balls explode from the beautiful mixture of the two.
Well, one might say, but there’s that beautiful image that everyone shares, right? It’s like a secret signature that grants you access into a luxury club. Share it on Instagram and expect an invite from Freemasons within 48 hours …
Yeah, I’m talking about this one:
Look, if you spent your whole life dreaming and searching for a white church with a blue rooftop – well, search no more! You just found your secret place; possibly the meaning of life.
But for those of us who spend time searching for other ways to find that meaning, yeah, this one makes us wonder “what the heck?”. I mean, you do realize it’s a … church, right? Yeah, I agree, it’s white with a blue rooftop but … it’s still a … church? Hell, have you actually seen the Milan Cathedral? Serbian Monasteries? Damn …
“But but but,”, I hear you say, and this one is my favorite, “have you actually watched the .. SUNSET?”. Frankly, one thing about sunsets seems to be that the more expensive the wine you consume along it, the more romantic it is. And yes, we consumed a really freakishly expensive champaigne, because I wanted to really LIVE that sunset. I lived through 11.688 of them (yes, that’s 32 years converted to days) but hell, this one was unique.
Sunsets are a topic on it’s own honestly. Like, do you actually realize WHY sunsets are considered romantic? It’s the idea that we were sold onto! I haven’t investigated enough to figure out whether it was the MOVIES that sell this, or was it popular even before, in the printed form …
Anyway, not to spoil that much fun but, this is really the nature at it’s purest, and I’d give my left-hand to bet that you don’t find it romantic any more:
The reason you’d find this awful is because it spoils that scenery that movies sell you! And yet, have you ever actually seen people take dump in the movies? No? I guess there’s a reason for it!
Wanna know WHAT’s really romantic and pleasurable? As in – physically pleasurable? Cuddling with your partner! Really. Fucking try it! Great if you catch a sunset as well, but you can freakin’ cuddle in a broken car as well and still have a TRUE experience of pleasure. Not to mention sex, but I guess you already know that one!
And don’t even get me started on the people, because let me tell you – I pity the people who live there. Really. Those people are freakin’ prisoners of that island. It’s INSANELY expensive (due to it being one of the, possibly, most expensive places in the world), it’s OVERCROWDED with tourists, and, the most awful thing – those crazy tourists LOVE walking over people’s roofs! Yeah! Just imagine if you were having a supper and bunch of idiots climbed and started taking pictures on your roof, because they think that the fact that your roof is white and walkable, makes it a perfect candidate to climb there!
I kid you not, but I saw so many signs stating: “PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB AND WALK OVER OUR ROOF!”. Achievement unlocked!
What about the roads? Well, Greece isn’t famous for great roads and Santorini is no exception really. I won’t even mention the amount of idiots driving quads who probably never even sat on bicycle in their life …
Oh, but I forgot – what about OTHER attractions? Well, sure, I forgot to mention the … Lighthouse! One of the main attractions of the island …
Hate to disappoint you but the only thing fun about THE Lighthouse is that there’s a story of ancient lightkeeper who lives in that lighthouse and changes the lightbulbs every year or whatever.
List goes on really …
So, should I avoid Santorini?
Absolutely not! It’s a place definitely worth of a visit.
Since my wife was in the beginning stages of pregnancy, we had to avoid peak sunny hours and couldn’t really go for longer hikes, and that’s something that really is cool!
There also seems to be tons of wineries and wine seems to be one thing that Santorini is famous for. Again, we had to back out on that as we didn’t want to bring another alcoholic to this world.
And the island is generally nice … to see .. for a day or two really. Definitely not worth spending too much money because you can really go from one end to another within 30 minutes by car. So, if you are planning on going there, you could definitely go with cheaper accommodation as well. I mean you can literally visit THE WHOLE island within a day. Two days if you want to do it on relaxed pace!
There are also some beautiful villages you can stumble upon along the way, and they’re cool paying a visit to.
But honestly, given all the fuss about it – it’s just a perfect example of what hype can do to our minds – it can make you ENJOY things just because you’re perceiving others enjoying it.
But why did I decide to rant over Santorini?
Because I just can’t get over the fact of how much we could be influenced by a pure hype; and marketing. Really!
I mean, kudos to whoever genius pulled this out – converting a rock into the most exclusive holiday destination (they did the same with wedding rings, btw!). Great job, really!
But if you ask me, you really need to look beyond the hype. And if you want to actually see an amazingly stunning scenery, how about heading over to Crete? Or Lefkada? Or Naxos, which I haven’t visited but I hear it’s beautiful as well!
Just go and do your due diligence. Greece has over 200 islands, with 15 of them have airports. Fifteen! This means you can probably reach ANY of those 200 islands within an hour or two of a boat ride!
Google the destinations and visit something non-standard. Don’t enjoy it only because others are seemingly enjoying it (and I guarantee they are doing so because they’ve seen others do it).
Finally, if you had an amazing 10-day vacation of Santorini – kudos to you! I really AM, genuinely, happy for you.
Maybe it’s just not my cup of tea … Who knows …
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