Valondonkey'sbackDonkey back riding is one of the ways to reach a small Greek town Santorini which is located high in the mountains. The other way –  by walking or by Cable car where is a big line-up. I preferred donkey back riding.

Donkey back riding would be simple if the donkeys were not so stubborn. They stop usually where they feel like it. It was nice of me when I was climbing onto the donkey’s back I heard the animal driver who yelled at him with wild, loud voice: “Olek!” and then the donkey started to move again. I memorized his words, and when my donkey stopped I shouted at him: “Olek!” and he kept on trotting. But once I was scared not jokingly as my little donkey stopped and did not react to my voice commands. He stood and stood motionlessly. “Oh!” I thought to myself:”What to do with him? If he were not moving at all?” I puzzled. The donkey looked at the ground carelessly. It seemed he did not care about the person who was riding him.

He stood his ground. That was it. Nothing else concerned him. I looked around searching for help. Nobody of the Greek handlers was there. My gaze fell down: it was a steep cliff and I was at the edge of it. Oh,Oh! It could be the end of me very soon if my donkey would not have sympathy for me at the moment. It lasted maybe 2-3 scary minutes but for me those minutes seemed like eternity. I was waiting patiently…

Finally, the donkey began moving by himself without my commands. Bougou! I am in engine again! This is my photo of donkey back riding. All the rest were walking and enjoying the scenery around.

My perception of Greece is: white colors of its buildings and houses plus blue-azure skies and waters which are all around, lash Mediterranean vegetation: palms, cypresses, rhododendrons, gigantic blooming magnolias. Poignant odor of the air, humid and fresh, impregnated with floral element, makes a picture irresistible and unforgettable.

We see different faces, young and old, friendly and not, concerned and joyful. I noticed many women wearing black. I asked one old gentleman about that. That is what he explained to me: “It is by Greek tradition: if someone dies in the family, the ladies are dressed in black. In such a way they are mourning. And because Greek families are always big, it happens to be that some females are wearing the black for their whole lives. It is a women’s tradition.”

I heard the same story from Armenian and Georgian people.

Watch our photo expose: “Santorini (Greece) 2011

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Listen:Greek Island Santorini Music

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