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Though it’s only September, the day cruise

from Heraklion to Santorini

hits dirty weather: rain, wind and high waves.

The toilets are awash with vomit.


We arrive in sunshine and calm waters.

The immense caldera diminishes

all manner of cruise ships. We ascend

the three hundred metre pumice cliff

by cable car – eschewing the footpath

and the donkeys. We visit Akrotiri –

like Pompeii, a city redeemed from ash.

There is the Admiral’s three storey house

with its stone path to the harbour – buried

and inundated like all of Minoa.


We leave as the sun is beginning to set.

The upper deck, with its bar tables and chairs,

is packed. The sun is huge as it reaches

the horizon, and, suddenly, everyone

is silent, watching this daily event

as if for the last or first time. When the sun sinks

everybody, unprompted, applauds.

The glow lingers on the waters awhile.

Then a cold wind blows as the dark falls.




© Copyright David Selzer
1 Response
  • John Huddart
    October 17, 2013

    The ultimate in day cruises – taking all back to the days and disasters of Minoan civilization itself. The gods have their work cut out demonstrating their power here – as if bad weather and vomit weren’t enough, they have to resort to an epic sunset. The fate of Santorini, the cold wind and the darkness are suitable reminders of our historic and continuing vulnerabilities.

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