The Other Side of Santorini

Everybody thinks Santorini comprises entirely of gleaming white hotels, infinity pools and little houses cascading down the Caldera. Well, it doesn’t. It’s full of dilapidated dwellings and forgotten pathways, interspersed with unfinished [money ran out, buggered by bureaucracy or illegal] building sites.

When you move away from pumping nightclubs, trendy beach bars, quaint cafes and souvenir shops populated by preening peacocks overdosing at an alarming rate on selfies to send back at home – “Look where I am, wish you were here [not really, take that you twat]”, you will realise there’s another side to Santorini.

Within those neglected neighbourhoods live the elderly or soon to be. Some, since the boom of tourism in the 70’s, got rich, substituting mules and goats for a Land Cruiser. Others have become greedy landlords demanding robbers’ rent for a hole in the ground. And others recall their childhood, when food on the table was a luxury. When a family was so poor that their father was forced to feed his nine children cauliflower stalks because the rest was to be sold at market. Such is a story my landlady recounted with glistening eyes as she handed me a plate of boiled stalks. She still eats them till this day.

The photos are taken in Pyrgos from an upper terrace and view towards the sunset and the rest of the island. The last photo faces Pyrgos Castle.

View from Pyrgos, Santorini © jldweb

Sunset from Pyrgos, Santorini © jldweb

Old path to Pyrgos Castle © jldweb


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Shell says:

    Joanna thank you for your honesty and for keeping it real.
    People forget that life exists beyond the pools and beautiful white cottages in Santorini. Thanks to your story we are reminded that life is hard for many on a tourist filled island but stories of the heart bring us back to our senses even for a moment.

    1. joanna says:

      Shell my friend thank you. I may be raining on someone’s parade when I write this stuff, but it is what it is.

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