Santorini Part I

Santorini from the water We steamed into the magnificent Santorini caldera at the end of a morning’s motoring from Ios.  Our gulets moored in the Old Marina and we disembarked to have some lunch in the port.  The we reboarded La Finale for a tour of the caldera.  We sailed under the gravity defying villages that cling to the edges of the great island basin.  Each picture postcard perfect with the classic sugar-cube architecture and blue-domed churches that define the Cyclades.

Caldera-clinging white-washed towns

On our starboard bow we were able to observe the steaming lava dome that makes up Nea Kamani island.  After our sightseeing idyll we docked once again and everyone made there way up to Fira in the convenient cable car to enjoy a sunset and a caldera-view dinner.

Fira sunset light

Maia and I had a drink in a bar, a picture of which is featured in all my Greece talks, photographed years ago (see the featured image at the top of this blog).  You can’t get more picturesque with a wrought iron balustrade and a weathered statue of Venus backed by the amazing western vista of the great watery crater.



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A word more about Santorini in general before I continue describing our activities.  Santorini is impossibly beautiful.  Impossibly breathtaking.  Impossibly romantic.  I have been saying it for years, and this latest visit cemented my opinion:  in all my travels, this is the most beautiful spot on earth.  I’m not usually willing to take definitive stands, but this island is just impossibly wonderful.  It is the perfect combination of nature at its magnificent best and culture in the form of the impossibly quaint and attractive whitewashed buildings, colored domes, and picture perfect bell towers that make up the Cycladic architecture.  Greece Research and Italy 2005 141You can even ride a donkey up to town if you desire – impossibly quaint.  Yes, it is overcrowded, expensive, and overdeveloped for commercial tourism.  But there is a very good reason for it:  the world, like me, clearly views Santorini as impossibly irresistible.  We had lots of activities planned for our 3+ days here, but we really needn’t have.  It is enough to sit in a comfortable bar or restaurant and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.Greece 5-06 070Greece 5-06 075Greece Research and Italy 2005 118Greece Research and Italy 2005 092