May 29 - June 4, 2016: Issue 265
A WALK ON SANTORINI
Buildings hugging the side of the caldera - Santorini
A WALK ON SANTORINI
By George Repin
About 3,600 years ago a cataclysmic volcanic eruption occurred in the South Aegean Sea in an area which first became volcanically active around 3-4 million years ago and where eruptions continue to this day. The devastating eruption, in the view of some, may have been the largest volcanic eruption in the last few thousand years on Earth and certainly was the most important event in the Aegean before the fall of Troy. Some believe its effects led to the collapse, on Crete, of the Minoan civilisation.
Santorini, the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands lies about 200 Kms. southeast of the Greek mainland, and is all that remains of a populated island which was destroyed by the eruption. It now is, in effect, a large water-filled caldera forming a protected bay, surrounded by 300 m. high, steep cliffs on three sides. The caldera is so deep – 400 m. – that ships generally are unable to anchor in the bay and cruise ships use their engines to hold their positions in the cone of the caldera. Several years ago a cruise ship came to grief in the caldera.
Map of Santorini
Cruise ships in the caldera with Tharassia beyond (photo by Nick Repin, September 2008)
Although Santorini has an airport most visitors come by boat. Backpackers and other wanting to spend time on the island to visit its significant archaeological sites use inter-island ferries and disembark at the ferry port Athinias, while passengers on cruise ships are taken by tender to the Old Port at Skala. From here they can go up to Thera (Fira), the main town on the island, by cable car, by car on the switchback road, by donkey on the donkey trail or on foot. The cable car, in a trip that takes 3 minutes, connects the port to Thera. It can carry 1,200 people per hour.
Arrival point at foot of cable car and switchback road up to Thera
Thera and Oia (the oldest settlement on the island) are the two main towns. They are built on the crest of the caldera - as are smaller settlements and individual houses.
Buildings hugging the side of the caldera
Passing IMEROVIGLI on the walk from Thera to Oia
SKAROS - A distinctive rock between Imerovigli and Phirostephani
The group on the walking track
One of the churches on the way
Tower of the church
Oia is an attractive village on the north-west edge of the island extending for about 2 Kms. along the northern crest of the caldera at a height of 70 to 100 m. above sea level. Houses are built on the steep slope into niches carved into the rock on the seaward side. In the town itself there are narrow passageways, a central square and white washed blue domed churches. Spectacular views of the sunset over the caldera attract tourists.
Houses hugging the cliff in Oia
Mosaic over the lintel of a church in Oia
Oia - sunset
On 9 July, 1956 an earthquake caused considerable damage and many inhabitants left the town so that by 1977 there were only 306 people remaining.
The town has since been redeveloped and now attracts tourists to a “picture perfect” destination in the Cyclades.
A walk along the edge of the caldera from Thera to Oia is a rewarding way to spend a morning on Santorini.
Pictures, other than that by Nick Repin in 2008, were taken by George Repin in 2001 and 2006
Watching the sunset from Oia
Previous Reflections by George Repin
The Nineteen Thirties Remembering Rowe Street The Sydney Push Saturday Night at the Movies Shooting Through Like A Bondi Tram A Stop On The Road To Canberra City Department Stores - Gone and Mostly Forgotten An Australian Icon - thanks to Billy Hughes Crossing The Pacific in the 1930s Hill End The Paragon at Katoomba Seafood In Sydney How Far From Sydney? Cockatoo Island Over The Years The Seagull at the Melbourne Festival in 1991 Busby's Bore The Trocadero In Sydney Cahill's restaurants Medical Pioneers in Australian Wine Making Pedal Power and the Royal Flying Doctor Service Pambula and the Charles Darwin Connection Gloucester and the Barrington Tops A Millenium Apart Have You Stopped to Look? Gulgong Il Porcellino Olympia Durham Hall Sargent's Tea Rooms Pie Shops and Street Photographers The Ballet Russes and Their Friends in Australia Hotels at Bondi Alma Ata Conference - 1978 Keukenhof - 1954 The Lands Department Building and Yellowblock Sandstone The Goroka Show - 1958 A Gem On The Quay Staffa The Matson Line and Keepsake Menus Kokeshi Dolls The Coal Mine At Balmain The Hyde Park Barracks The Changing Faces Of Sydney From Pounds and Pence to Dollars and Cents Nell Tritton and Alexander Kerensky Making A Difference In Ethiopia William Balmain J C Bendrodt and Princes Restaurant Azzalin Orlando Romano and Romano's Restaurant Waldheim Alcohol in Restaurants Before 1955 King Island Kelp The Mercury Theatre Around Angkor - 1963 Angkor Wat 1963 Costumes From the Ballets Russe Clifton at Kirribilli Chairman Mao's Personal Physician The Toby Tavern The MoKa at Kings Cross The Oceaographic Museum in Monaco The Island of Elba Russian Fairy Tale Plates Meteora Souda Bay War Cemetery Barrow, Alaska Cloisonné Tripitaka Koreana Minshuku The Third Man Photographs and Memories Not A Chagall! Did You Listen? Did You Ask? Napier (Ahuriri, Maori) New Zealand Borobudur Ggantija Temples Plumes and Pearlshells Murano University of Padua Ancient Puebloe Peoples - The Anasazi Pula The Gondolas of Venice Cinque Terre Visiting the Iban David The Living Desert Bryce Canyon National Park Aphrodisias The Divine Comedy Caodaism Sapa and local Hill People A Few Children Cappadocia Symi Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre Aboriginal Rock Art on Bigge Island ANZAC Cove (Ari Burnu) 25 April, 1997 Hotere Garden Oputae Children of the Trobriand Islands Page Park Market - Rabaul Rabual Kotor, Montenegro Galleries of Photographs I Lascaux Galleries of Photographs II The Cathedral of St. James – Šibenik, Croatia Ivan Meštrović - Sculptor Delphi Gallery of Photographs III The Handicrafts of Chiang Mai Raft Point San Simeon - "Hearst Castle" Floriade - The Netherlands - 1982 Russian New Year Mycenae "Flightseeing" Out Of Anchorage Alaska The White Pass and Yukon Route Totem Poles Tivkin Cemetery Krka National Park - Croatia Tavistock Square and the BMA Orthodox Easter Wieliczka Salt Mine
Copyright George Repin 2016. All Rights Reserved.