Why is it that some memories stick hard and fast while others are so fleeting?
For me, the donkeys of Santorini were at once a gleeful wild ride and a charming taste of everyday Greek life I'll never forget.
When you approach the harbor at Fira by boat, you can't help but notice the steep zig zag path leading from sea to town.
While there's a modern lift, I wanted to take the traditional lift of a donkey up the cliffs.
What an adventure!
Proud Greek donkey masters managed the animals carefully and with great dignity...
They seemed to me like men from another era, and foreign in ways I can't even pinpoint.
It was my first peek at Santorini and I felt I was living in a book that had magically come to life.
Bells around my donkey's neck rang merrily in chorus with those of the others on the trail, and I laughed hilariously as she suddenly ran uphill and just as abruptly jerked to a stop.
We spotted donkeys carrying families around the towns of Oia and Fira while we were in Santorini, and the Greeks seemed to love their rides as much as we did.
I am home now, but the laughter and the happy sound of hooves and bells
echo in my mind, as they always will whenever I think of Santorini and the welcome given me by one small donkey who shared with me the joy of a bright blue Greek morning.