Saturday, June 13, 2015

Santorini.


I just returned home to Mykonos after three storied days on its sister Cycladic island of Thira.  That’s its official name but it’s known to most as Santorini.  I can see your heads nodding in sympathy for what I must endure to practice my craft. 


Santorini is said to have inspired the legend of the lost island of Atlantis.  I can’t say whether or not that’s true, but I can say Santorini’s inspired me to place my 2016 Andreas Kaldis mystery there, and that, dear readers, requires a lot of research.   


Admittedly I’m a little late for catching the Atlantis show, as it stopped playing more than thirty-six centuries ago when one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history devastated the island, sending forth a mammoth tsunami toward Crete ultimately contributing to the destruction of the Minoan civilization.


But that’s all in the past. Or so we hope.

Today the only tsunami in the area of Santorini is tourism.  Santorini and Mykonos rank as the two most popular tourist islands in Europe (their tourism boards can argue over which ranks #1 this year :)).

Tourists in Fira

The unique call of Santorini is undoubtedly the breathtaking views from the northern part of the island, looking out from the rim of the caldera (crater) across the sapphire blue lagoon formed within the crater. It is a view truly worthy of a wonder of the world. 


Santorini is a place for staring hypnotically off into the middle-distance for hours while you contemplate the meaning of life.  Mykonos is more about the beauty of its old town, its fabled beaches, and 24/7 nightlife.  In other words, you come to Mykonos to find the person you want to spend time with on Santorini.

But enough words.  Let me show you Santorini in photographs, courtesy of my faithful photographer Barbara Zilly.  We stayed north of the island’s capital city of Fira, just before now famous Oia—the town on the western tip of Santorini featured in virtually every Santorini advertisement.

First, I have to say about our hotel (Csky) that it’s hard to imagine more spectacular views anywhere on the island, sitting as it does on the crest of the narrow caldera rim, with the lagoon in front and the broad blue Aegean to the rear.

Csky Hotel, Imerovigli, Santorini
Our View






 Our 3+ kilometer hike to Oia











The Promised Land
Oia




My photographer on break

Proprietor of Atlantis Bookstore
Goodbye to the port of Santorini


Jeff—Saturday


21 comments:

  1. As they say in Italy: Issa Thira no island more beautiful than Vis?

    Okay, so I'm stretching. That's supposed to be good, no? And besides, I owe you a little pain for going on holiday without me. Sheesh. And here I thought we were friends.

    Well, at least I'll get a good read out of it... if I live so long.

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    1. Actually, EvKA, in Italy they would say, "Non c'e' un'isola piu bella di questa." Or as they would say in Portland, "Duh!"

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    2. :) Perhaps I should have said, "As an Italian in Portland speaking English as a second language would say..." But that just didn't have the same ring. :-) By the way, Issa was the Ancient Greek name for both the town of Vis and the Adriatic island of Vis, in modern-day Croatia. As I said, I was stret-t-t-t-t-tching. :) Duh!

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    3. I'll spare you my imitation of how people from Portland sound when they try to speak Italian as a second language.

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    4. I'm so happy to see the children playing nicely in the island sand box. Strange puns and regional challenging of course, but no serious personal affronts on the order of, say, AmA telling EvKa to remove his Portland logo cap if he wants to avoid a Man Hat Tan.

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  2. Thank you for stretching, I needed that visual first thing in the morning.

    I did think of you, EvKa. And no, not because of the donkeys in straw hats wandering the island in search of tourists braying in foreign tongues--yes, on that score the tourists and donkeys sound about the same to me.

    I thought, 'Who best to test Newton's theory of falling bodies on this land of cliff faces than the most fallen soul I know."

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  3. My favourite of the Greek islands - at least of the ones I've seen so far, I'm working my way through them. The beaches with their dark-coloured sand were a bit of a revelation though (and hot!)

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    1. A lot of people agree with your preference, Marina. I did try to (subtly) get across that, at least in comparison to Mykonos, Santorini is not a place to go for a beach vacation. Hot tootsies for sure.

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  4. I just want to sit here and whine that I never get to go anywhere. Fortunately, your pictures take the edge off of my self pity.

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    1. I take it as a personal obligation, Jono, to help you through these tough times. :)

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  5. Thank you Jeff and Barbara for bringing a little ray in to a dull and rainy Saturday.

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    1. It's the least we can do for all the smiles and laughter you bring into our lives. Most even intentionally. :)

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  6. Here's the scoop about Atlantis and Santorini.

    http://www.ancient-origins.net/opinion-guest-authors/atlantis-revealed-platos-cautionary-tale-was-based-real-setting-003224

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    1. Thank heavens for the maps in that article. What awful writing! When I got to the 69 word sentence that ended with the 38 word parenthetical, I thought my head would explode. But then the map with the green and white illustration made it all clear. I used to teach engineers to write clearly. They all started out BETTER than that guy! But I am happy I saw the map. Thanks, Stan!

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    2. Thanks, Stan, but frankly I think the author made a wrong turn at Hyperborea.

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  7. Those blues and whites are unlike any other place on the planet! T. Straw in NYC, who loved Greece but never made it to your paradise island.

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    1. Yes, the blues and whites are stunning, Thelma. Mykonos and Santorini share that sea.

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  8. Jeff, David an I started out for your gorgeous islands many years ago but were turned around by the attack on the Achille Loro. I hope I get to see Santorini one day when the streets are not thronged. THANKS for the gorgeous views.

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    1. Not thronged? Please don't wait that long.:)

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  9. Thank you for another beautiful journey. Beautiful and informative! The pictures are delightful and inviting.

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    1. Thank you, Lil...err Barbara thanks you.

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