Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mediterranean Cruise - Part 5 (Santorini, Greece)

I have wanted to go Greece, especially the island of Santorini, for so long! And, finally, I made it! The island is as beautiful as you have always heard!

We arrived in Santorini just in time to see the sun rise. Not a bad way to start the morning! Sun rising over Santorini... I love this shot... Ahh, here it is...Santorini! Glamorous Santorini, in the southern Aegean's Cyclades islands, curves round a giant lagoon, a caldera left by a volcanic eruption. The island's capital, Fira, clings to cliffs above, providing stunning views of the lagoon below.

The picture below is the Santorini caldera (A caldera is a cauldron-like volcanic feature formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption.) with Nea Kameni in the center. Santorini is essentially what remains of an enormous volcanic explosion, destroying the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island, and leading to the creation of the current geological caldera.

The volcano eventually erupted (in 1645 BC) sinking the center of the island, creating the Caldera and leaving the semi-circled shape of modern day Santorini.

The magnitude of this eruption was supposed to be so great, that it was held responsible for creating tidal waves, reaching as far as the island of Crete, 70 miles away, wiping out the Minoan civilization in its entirety. This has caused much speculation as to whether Santorini was in fact the mythological lost city of Atlantis.

The islands of Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni, both still volcanically active, appeared after continuous eruptions that started around 157 BC and continued right up until 1950.

This is the city of Fira on the island of Santorini. You can see that these homes, hotels, and businesses are built on the side of a huge cliff. I will explain further down how you get to the top! The winding road may give you a little hint!
The city of Fira. Houses built on the edge of the caldera. So, to get to the top you have a choice...either take a donkey, a cable car, or walk!! This option was not for me... We decided on the cable car! A much safer mode of transportation, at least in my mind, than that dang donkey! View from the top. The city of Fira. The island is really best seen in photographs...so here ya go! We only spent a few hours on the island; however, I would have liked to have stayed longer. We shopped, walked around, and just absorbed what the city of Fira had to offer. I will say that it is very touristy which takes away from the attraction to me. Nonetheless, it was gorgeous! This is definitely a place I could come and relax in a nice pool hanging over the side of the cliff!!

It has been said that the sunsets in Santorini are the best in the world. I think you might agree. When the boat was leaving Santorini, I was inside the cabin and walked out just in time for this beautiful sunset. It took my breath away. All I could do was snap pictures (I took at last 50 in a matter of about 3 minutes.). For a split second the sky changed from the pink picture you see below to blue, like in the first picture. Seriously, it was a split second and this was the only shot I got of it. God has a way of showing us his beauty! And this is what Rosa left us...(it is a little dog!).
Up next...Corfu, Greece!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Tippa those are gorgeous, really. I rememeber when Matt Lauer from the Today show was there and they kept showing the crisp white buildings and the most beautiful blue sky and the bluest water I've ever seen. But I did not know the history, so thank you for that. Great job capturing it! Thanks for sharing!