In my last post I mentioned that Fira’s old port sits at the bottom of Santorini’s Caldera cliff and is linked to the town above by a steep cobblestone path with 587 steps. Traditionally Donkeys were used to haul goods and people up the cliff, now these Donkeys are used to ferry the hordes of cruise ship passengers and other tourists up and down the steps.
This sort of thing doesn’t really appeal to my wife and I and although the Donkeys looked to be reasonably well looked after and were given plenty of breaks and shady spots to stand out of the baking sun, we chose to take the cable car down the cliff (more of which in the next post) and then to walk back up. It might seem strange to do it this way round, but believe me that because of the sloping angle of the cobblestones it was far easier and safer to walk up them than risk slipping over on the way down.
The observant amongst you will notice that most of the images below are not of Donkeys at all, but rather they are Mules (which admittedly is a cross between a horse and a donkey, so close enough I suppose). However clearly Donkeys are easier to market than Mules, because we saw loads of not-so-cheap tourist souvenirs stamped with images of cute Donkey’s, but not one with an image or even a reference to the humble Mule.
© Mark Simms Photography (2018)