Those of you who have been following the blogs posts had probably breathed a sigh of relief over the last few posts as we talked of sunshine and heat rather than the rain that had been following us for most of the trip. Thank goodness he is giving that subject a rest.

Well it has found us again, on the Greek Island of Santorini. What on earth do you do on Santorini when it is raining? Um, write a blog post.

Ruth is not bothered by the rain, she does not feel the need to sit in the baking sun admiring the view, instead she can blat out in the Cave.
Ruth is not bothered by the rain, she does not feel the need to sit in the baking sun admiring the view, instead she can blat out in the Cave.

Santorini was not really in our budget but as we would be nearing our “wedding” anniversay (you could not have called our pizza and video evening with the kids in a partially demolished house a normal wedding) we would splash out and include it in the itinerary.

This is not a “get to know Greece” experience, all you will get to know here are other travellers. We used to occasionally frequent a Greek restaurant in Little Manly in New Zealand (sadly gone now) and they had a painting of Santorini on the wall. It looked like a fascinating combination of awesome natural and man made activity that looked like a pretty special place.

The houses on the top of the crater look like a dusting of snoew from a distance
The houses on the top of the crater look like a dusting of snow from a distance. Yes there is a road up the side of the crater from the port.

Now in our crater rim cave house, I can confirm that it is probably more awesome standing several hundred metres above the sea than I ever expected.

It is so photogenic that you just want to get the camera out and start shooting but as your digital storage starts to disappear faster than the Euros do here, you do have to check yourself and start being pretty brutal in your culling of photos.

Ruth explores the neighbourhood. Dead ends and heat lead to dehydration.
Ruth explores the neighbourhood. Dead ends and heat lead to dehydration.
Well It is hard to avoid taking these types of snaps when in Santorini. The initial reaction on artival has the smoke coming out of the camera but you soon realise that you are going to spend a lot of time later culling most of them
Well It is hard to avoid taking these types of snaps when in Santorini. The initial reaction on arrival has the smoke coming out of the camera but you soon realise that you are going to spend a lot of time later culling most of them.
Another of my
Another of my “post card” shots. Oia
The stray cats have been everywhere in Greece (makes it feel like home) even here in Santorini
The stray cats have been everywhere in Greece (makes it feel like home) even here in Santorini where they and the stray dogs have more interesting terrain to climb over. This is our neighbourhood stray.

When we were in Paris and London we always saw (usually Chinese) bridal couples having their wedding photos taken near famous landmarks. Here it is taken to a new level. Vertigo is not a condition potential photographic subjects are allowed to suffer from as they are made to pose in all types of life threatening locations.

We have seen little children being dragged around in their “sunday best” to undergo similar photo shoot sessions, what looked like a magazine shoot below our cave house at 7:30am this morning and, I witnessed a group of young girls going through various gymnastic poses (handstands, etc) on the precipice. I have a few ideas for Ruth for our walk along the crater to Fira (the main town) tomorrow that will make great shots for the next blog post.

The bridal couple need to be athletic in order to get the more spectacular shots.
The bridal couple need to be athletic in order to get the more spectacular shots.
A head for heigths is required if you are going to get your wedding photos shot in Santorini
A head for heights is required if you are going to get your wedding photos shot in Santorini
Some look absolutely bedraggled by the end of a day long photo session
Some look absolutely bedraggled by the end of a day long photo session. The couple on one of the earlier photos had some snaps taken outside our cave – we were on the patio – they probably wanted to get a genuine Greek couple into their photo – his dark trousers white white around backside where he had been sitting on all the whitewashed surfaces.
This team was out at 7:30am shooting as the sun rose. There were enough to suggest that it was probably a magazine shoot
This team was out at 7:30am shooting as the sun rose. There were enough to suggest that it was probably a magazine shoot

We are staying in Oia at the Northern end of the Island which is about 30 minutes from the port where we landed.

To get from sea level to town level is challenging as the island is essentially one giant volcanic crater and the crater rim is high and pretty much just a cliff face. They have carved a road with many switch backs up the side of the cliff and like all of these roads it is a white knuckled ride even with a safe driver.

Rather than catch a series of buses we decided to take the soft option and catch a cab. This was no normal cab ride but a terrifying ride that would struggle for patronage in a “fun park”. It started by the driver rushing out and pouring water into his radiator (it was a Mercedes but in pretty poor condition). I assume the subsequent speed that he drove at was to ensure that the car would not get the chance to overheat again. He had two mobile phones that he worked the entire trip and the car was a manual transmission so the “wheel hand” actually had to be used to change gears as the phone hand was more than occupied. It made our other road trips look tame.

We were met off the taxi by the airbnb “porter” who directed us to the cave. He gave us a quick run down on the area. The very crowded lane we were in (there were five cruise ships down in the crater and it was peak hour, the “roads” were chocked with buses) was main street, the sunset was that way and that was all we really needed to know.

The main drag in Oio at peak hour when the cruise ships have disgorged their passenger onshore.
The main drag in Oio at peak hour when the cruise ships have disgorged their passenger onshore.
The more fascinating back streets (also taken at peak hour) although only 20m from main street, are deserted.
The more fascinating back streets (also taken at peak hour) although only 20m from main street, are deserted.

Well the sunset was apprentaly a BIG deal in Santorini so we decided to go down and check it out at the designated hour that the sun was due to sink below the horizon. Wow, did we need reservations? The pathways and tops of houses were shoulder to shoulder with people, it was like going to a major sport event. When the sun finally sunk, the crowd broke into applause, it is the first time I have ever heard nature being applauded.

It was like a football match, the crowds lined every vantage point to watch the sun set. When it duly obliged, the crowd broke into applause. I have to say it is the first time I have seen nature applauded.
It was like a football match, the crowds lined every vantage point to watch the sun set. When it duly obliged, the crowd broke into applause. I have to say it is the first time I have heard nature applauded.
The sunset was ok but not the best we have seen, the setting however was spectacular.
The sunset was ok but not the best we have seen but the setting for the event was spectacular.

Well, hopefully the rain won’t hang around too long, I don’t want to bore you with too many more posts from Santorini.

The softer morning light puts a different perspective on our view
The softer morning light puts a different perspective on our view
The Church bells on Santorini.
The Church bells on Santorini.
The sea is a deep blue colour which contrasts to the almost over powering whites and pastels which almost indusce snow blindness when the sunglasses are removed
The sea is a deep blue colour which contrasts to the almost over powering whites and pastels which cause a type of snow blindness when the sunglasses are removed
The best part of the famous Santorini sunset was the effect it had on the Island
The best part of the famous Santorini sunset was the effect it had on the Island’s colours.

5 comments

  1. AMAZING photos and what a quirky place! Guess if we ever decide to take a trip for the sole purpose of no-fail photography – this would be it. So pleased to see the sun did make a reappearance. The photos wouldn’t be quite the same with a dull sky and no sun!

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    1. The day we arrived was picture perfect, has been overcast for the last two but eventually the novelty of the setting and the feeling that you need that licture does wane. I have even gone for a couple of walks without the camera. We took advantage of the overcast conditions to do the caldera walk today, very dramatic, a long way to tumble if you slip. I have found the behaviour of people and the lengths they will go to for that ultimate picture the most fascinating part of Santorini

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Stunning photos of Santorini. How you get the deep blue water to come out like that I don’t know. Brilliant. Glad you made it through the Samaria gorge in Crete ok too. It’s quite a walk in the heat isn’t it? I hope the rain fades and you get to clap through a few more sunsets 🙂

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    1. Hi Jane
      The deep blue is simply the colour of the sea, it is almost a navy blue to look at. I put it down to the clarity of the water snd the depth, 400m off the caldera.

      The cold beer and swim at the end of the Samaria Gorge were the best for a long time.

      In Rhodes at the moment on very patchy WIFI, head off to Kos on Wednesday.

      Hope all is well back in NZ, I see the other JK is getting worked up over important matters like flags, sigh.

      Like

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