Oia is the location of THE photo of Santorini (and indeed, Greece) – the one used on all the tourist brochures. It was sublimely beautiful but also a complete tourist trap.
We entered Oia in a large courtyard with a lovely whitewashed church, and headed straight for THE view. (Yes, yes I’m a typical tourist!) We had to wait for a chinese couple to have their wedding photos taken there, which was cute, but we got our photos after a short wait.
We continued to meader around the cute whitewashed houses. A friendly Australian women came the other way and after saying hello, said “These crazy Asians, eh?”. I thought this was a racist remark so I was quite taken aback. It was only later that I realised what she meant – every corner we went around, there was another chinese couple having wedding photos taken. What was at first cute became a bit of a drag as I felt I had to wait for them to finish their shot – and it’s not just a quick snap – they have a photographer and photographer’s assistant, all working to set up the shot, so it can take a while.
We made our way down to the castle where everyone watches the sun set. (Apparently this is the last point you see the sun set, which I don’t get, as you can see the sun set from all around the island?!). Anyway, when we made our way down to the castle, it was packed and people were vying for the best spot to watch the sun set and blocking others from seeing. I know that this sort of pushy behaviour annoys me, so we thought it best to leave them to it. We found another alleyway to watch the sun set and it was much nicer, away from the crowds.
I felt sorry for the locals – some of the flat rooves had writing on in English saying “Please do not stand on our roof!”. I only experienced it for a day, but it must be frustrating to have to put up with it on a daily basis. That said, the tourist industry also supports the local economy so it isn’t all bad!
Once the sun had set we found a bustling restaurant on the edge of the cliff and ate stuffed peppers, baked feta, and aubergine. A lovely end to a memorable visit to Oia!
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