Exploring Santorini’s Caldera and Nea Kameni Volcano

 

The Cycladic island of Santorini effortlessly enchants with its phenomenal landscape that’s replete with sapphire blue water, snow-white architecture, and multicolored mille-feuille-like cliffs. What I found myself equally impressed with – perhaps even more dazzled by – was learning about the powerful geological events that shaped the island 3,600 years ago with the eruption of one of the most powerful volcanoes in recorded times.

With Santorini-as-lost-civilization-of-Atlantis myth theories swirling in our minds, exploring the caldera and the still-active volcanic island of Nea Kameni were at the top of our must-see list. To make our understanding of geological events more complete, we also wanted to see the remnants of the prosperous community at Akrotiri, which was decimated by the volcano. Archaeologists believe that Santorini was once inhabited by a group of people similar to those on nearby Minoan Crete. Some even believe that the nucleus of Atlantis might have been situated in what is now Santorini’s caldera.

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Photo du Jour: The Santorini Donkey

 

A donkey, decked out in colorful beads and an evil-eye amulet, awaits the day’s passengers on the stairs leading up to the village of Fira, on the island of Santorini. When visitors arrive to Santorini’s Old Port via cruise ship or boat, they have three ways to make it up to the town of Fira: climb the almost 600 stairs, ride a donkey (5 €  one way), or ride the cable car  (4 € one way). Riding a donkey is controversial – animal rights organizations and some visitors say it is cruel, whereas the local government assures visitors, via signs posted at the port, that the animals are well-cared-for by veterinarians and offered regular periods of rest.

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Santorini in Black & White

bw white church santorini

A mere mention of the name Santorini conjures images of turquoise domes, crisply-painted white walls, and a sparkling azure sea. Perhaps it is a sin to present this Greek gem in black and white, yet I appreciate how it opens the eyes to lines and textures often overlooked when the island is otherwise presented in all its glorious pastel hues.

Iron railings become more prominent than the jewel-toned walls behind them.

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