It's November 2015, on the Cycladic island of Santorini. In defiance of the bitter cold, a large group of scientists of various specializations from the United States, Britain and Greece are stood on the bridge of the Marcus Langseth, one of the largest seismic vessels in the world, scanning the horizon for traces of an orange flag.
Canaves Oia Epitome, an all-villa boutique hotel located above the fishing village of Ammoudi in Santorini, the 2019 award for Best Resort Hotel in Europe, bestowed by the readers of the prestigious Travel + Leisure magazine.
The boutique hotel was one of five Greek entries in the top 10, all of them on the popular island of Santorini.
The Aegean islands of Milos and Crete have been voted, respectively, first and second Best Island of Europe for 2019 by readers of the American Travel + Leisure magazine.
Paros, last year's number one pick, placed fourth, ahead of Santorini in fifth place.
"Greece rules this list with four islands," the magazine declared on its website.
Animal rights activists announced they will hold a rally outside the Greek embassy in Washington, DC on Thursday at noon (local time) to call for an end to Santorini's donkey rides.
The group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) described the practice as "notoriously inhumane," pointing to a damning eyewitness investigation by the group's German chapter.