I boarded the bus back to Fira from Oia and it was a much quicker drive because we had less people on our way back to the main city. I was armed with some great pictures, a full stomach and ready to see what was left for me to explore in Fira. I got off the bus and decided that I would head back to the coastline and just start walking in hope that I would find a couple of interesting things to see. I made my way back to the same walking paths I had explored just a few hours earlier and just started walking north again. I’m not sure why I decided I wanted to head north but it was the direction that I went. Come to think of it, I’m not sure why I never really explored south of my hotel, maybe it was because the city center was north of the island so I felt like that’s where all the happenings should have been.
As I made my way to the walking path, I saw these stairs that went from the city center all the way down to a port at the bottom of the cliff and I wanted to know what was at the base of the stairs. I wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into and so I decided it was adventure time so I started walking down the stairs. At the top of the stairs, there was a collection of donkeys just hanging out and the owner offered to give me a donkey ride down the stairs for 5 Euros and I declined it. I gingerly made my way around the donkeys because I was terrified that they would kick me if I startled them since some of them weren’t paying attention to me. I, officially, started on my path down the stairs and the further down I went, the more I started to wonder where I was going and whether it was going to be worth it. I passed a few people huffing and puffing up the stairs while I was heading down and I swear that each one gave me a look of “you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into lady” as they walked by. But I continued trekking and trying to avoid all of the various donkey poop landmines that were littered all over the stairs. At one point, there was a group of five riding donkeys back up the stairs and the owner offered me a ride for another 5 Euros. I almost took it but decided that I wanted to continue down the path on my own and finish what I had started.
Eventually I made it about 3/4s of the way down, I was sweating and I was tired. I stopped, stared down remainder of the staircase and decided that this was the turning point. I needed to either continue and finish off the adventure or just turn back up and start the trek to the stop of the stairs, the very slow trek. From what I could see down the stairs, there wasn’t much at the base so I made the official decision to turn back and I started up the stairs, working again to avoid all the donkey poop landmines. It took me twice as long to get up the stairs, but I made it and eventually found myself at the donkey base again and this time there were three times the amount of donkeys just chilling, some were eating and not a single one looked at me. On a staircase full of donkeys where you have to walk behind them and they’re not paying any attention to you, it is terrifying. I didn’t want to make a lot of noise for fear of spooking them but at the same time, I wanted them to all be aware of my presence so none of them would kick me as I walked behind them. The owners assured me that the donkeys were friendly and they wouldn’t pay attention to me so I took the chance and started walking carefully past them.
When I finally made it to the top of the staircases, I stared out over the island, while trying to catch my breath as I got ready to finish off the rest of my Fira exploring adventure.