Sunday, 8 November 2015


This is the island that everyone was raving about!  I couldn't wait to visit - but was a tat disappointed when we got off the cable car and hit the main street in Fira.  The narrow cobbled street was packed with traffic, there was barely space for us as we walked along the miniscule pavement, all the while watching out for big buses making turns, possibly on us!

It was with relief that we found the Museum of Prehistoric Thera which was the meeting place with our driver guide.  We paid the museum a quick visit so as to be prepared for the visit to Akrotiri, the Minoan Bronze Age settlement on Santorini.  It was an interesting museum with many of the original frescoes and artifacts from the excavation.

We were thankful that our driver Simon quickly whisked us out of the traffic and showed us the more attractive side of Santorini, in particular an old village called Megalochiri, which amazingly, had empty streets!  One big reason is of course the streets are so narrow, his compact Saab could just squeeze through - no big buses, no tourists!  This was the village of his grandfather so he knew his way around.  Check out the photos below.

The pier was at the base of a cliff.  The only ways up to Fira were via cable car, or a hike up a steep trail together with donkeys or a bus that would take you the long way along a coastal road to Oia and from there along the top of the cliff to Fira.  We chose the most direct way up - the cable car.

Fira spread out along the top of the ridge

Santorini is actually on part of the caldera of an extinct volcano

Original fresco from Akrotiri in the Museum of Prehistoric Thera    

The streets of Megalochir are very narrow - barely the width of a car

Charming centre of Megalochiri

Streets of Megalochiri

The red cliffs and the red beach below it

The Akrotiri Minoan site.  We were thankful that it was fully covered as the sun was very hot that day.

The unusual black sand at Perivolos beach

The monastery near Pirgos at the top of the hill - spectacular views and a glimpse of the chapel and the monastic garden 

We finally made it to Oia - our mission - hunting down the location of that iconic shot of the double blue domes!  It was the highlight of our trip in the sense that we achieved what we set out to accomplish but really, it was not the most enjoyable part of our day.  Oia was crowded, in fact, swarmed with both tourists and locals as it was the weekend and there was a "roof jumping" contest going on.  The only reason you don't see people in these photos was because of how Oia was built - on a slope and so if we shoot down, we could only see buildings.  

An unusual moment on Oia- an empty street!    

Many couples were doing their wedding/engagement photo shoots here!    

Can't resist this Santorini cat...

Sign on restaurant

The donkey driver calling it a day

Sunset over the caldera - end of an amazing day on Santorini!

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