SANTORINI - SPECTACULAR CYCLADES - SEPTEMBER 2006
"SANTORINI, also known as Thira, is a circular archipelago of volcanic islands located about 200 km south-east from Greece's mainland, forming the southernmost member of the Cyclades islands. Santorini is essentially what remains of the Minoan Eruption, an enormous volcanic explosion that destroyed what was formerly a single island (some believe the tsunami originated by the eruption destroyed some of the palaces of the Minoan Civilization in Crete, 110 km to the south), and lead to the creation of the present-day caldera. A central lagoon measuring about 12 km by 7 km is surrounded by 300 m high steep cliffs on three sides. On the fourth side, the lagoon is separated from the sea by another much smaller island called Therasia; the lagoon merges with the sea in the northwest and southwest. Its beauty is absolutely spectacular!"
"SEH120 – We were supposed to take the Flyingcat hydrofoil to Thira, but when we arrived at the port the ship was not running due to the traditional Aegean Sea summer wind. So, we went to the airport, and after a tough negotiation, we convinced the manager of Sky Express to organize a special flight for us, and for 15 other ship travellers meanwhile arrived to the airport. That was flight SEH120 and 25 minutes later (two hours before the ship was due) we were landing at Thira airport. Great trip!"
"VEDEMA RESORT - This was our second visit to Santorini (a post with pictures of the first one may be found here). This time, our home in the Island was the Vedema Resort, a beautiful hotel located in the middle of the village of Megalochori"
"THIRA, THERA OR FIRA, the capital of the Island, grips to the top of the cliff, overlooking a magnificent caldera atop some 300m of sheer black, red and brown stratified cliffs. Astounding views of the caldera are offered from the tables of cafes and bars on the west side"
"PORT - The sea is nearly 400 m deep in the centre of the lagoon, making it a safe harbour for the many cruise ships getting there"
"THE OLD PORT (Ormos) lies directly below Fira in so deep water that ship anchor chains won't reach the sea bed. The old port, which may be seen at the bottom of the picture, is only a small quayside. Tourists are usually harassed with offers of a mule ride up or down the steep, zigzag staircase. It seems that riding a mule down is even worse than up, as the animals career at speeds that suggest they would like to catapult their burdens over the walls and into the sea"
"IMMEROVIGLI is a traditional village, located next to Fira, but on the top of a higher cliff. The village was almost totally destroyed by the earthquake of 1956, but it re-emerged to become a beautiful and quiet village, with interesting accommodation solutions..."
"DOMES - Beautiful domed churches spill down the terraces in Fira"
"SUNSET - The fumes from what is still an active volcano (actually the most active of the South Aegean Volcanic Arc) are responsible for those showy skies"
"VEDEMA BY NIGHT"