Last year Ryan and I were so fortunate to have his brothers come and and join us in Europe for an Eastern Mediterranean expedition by sea. Of course we couldn’t miss out on Santorini, once a victim of one of the most violent volcanic eruptions in human history, the Minoan eruption. Prior to this mega eruption around the 16th century BC, there had been a thriving ancient Minoan civilization living on this island. Back then, the caldera island still retained its ring shape, almost entirely continuous except for one opening to the sea.
Santorini map (from www.ferries.gr)
Then came the mega-powered Minoan eruption from the belly of the earth, ripping the island apart and blasting down some of the caldera walls, leaving it more or less the shape we see today. The pumice from this eruption buried everything on the island, including the entire ancient settlement. However, thankfully, there’s evidence that the people had left the island before this catastrophe happened.
Our ship entered the caldera through the opening to the ocean. The water that was previously wavy becoming gentle and calm inside this secluded caldera. The view of the caldera island from the ship was quite magical, realizing that you’re sitting in an hollowed out cauldron from a volcanic explosion, and that the volcano might erupt again… quite eerie.
After landing, we took a donkey ride up the cliff to reach Fira, the city at the top. The view was fantastic, but unfortunately the donkey tried hard to make you focus on him instead, by alternately tottering along the edge, or scraping your knees along the stone wall.
Fira looked fantastic. Remember those famous romantic Santorini images of cascading white washed houses and blue domed churches, flowing down a cliffside? Yep, it looks exactly like that. Very cute!
We didn’t stay long in the city though; we chose to explore the rest of island with 4-wheelers, fun! We saw many faces of Santorini.
Do you see Ryan’s sparkly teeth in the picture above? Here’s the famous style of white washed blue domed church of Santorini:
The typical interior of Santorini’s churches:
Here’s a beach cafe:
Santorini’s barren land, white washed town, and deep blue ocean:
Gorgeous view to the caldera cliff:
Here is a Santorini wedding idea:
Before we had to jump back to the ship, we got the chance to witness this spectacular sunset. The price? Falling on a pile of donkey poop. Since we waited until the end of sunset, we had to climb down the stone steps to the bottom of the caldera in the dark. The stone steps were now almost entirely covered by donkey poop. It was slippery, and I don’t usually do well on slippery slopes, so I ended up falling on the slimy layer of poop. Talking about the price you have to pay to witness a gorgeous sunset…
So, I bet you’ve heard of Santorini before. Have you been there? What’s your favourite thing about it, or what do you expect to see there? Share with us!