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The Caldera our second navel of the world in one week

Three thousand five hundred years ago a volcanic eruption caused the whole center of the circular island to sink into the sea.  Today Santorini  is a large crescent shaped island encompassing a vast bay some 6 miles across at it's widest point and 4 at the narrowest.  Some believe the island is part of the lost continent of Atlantis.   The volcanic islands of Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni lie in the largest caldera in the world

Rocca Imerovigli to Oia                                                      

Oia to Imerovigli to Fira- St Nikolaos Peramataris in foreground


The official name of the island is Thira but it's known the world over by the name the Venetian crusaders in honour of their patron St  Irene.  They  built teh two castles to guard the Western entrance to the island, one sits atop the Rocka.   A second at its base where the Venetian nobles and Catholic bishops lived.  Several castles were built by the islanders to ward off attacks by pirates but the Skaros built by the Venetian crusaders on The Rocka at Imerovigli were the most powerful.  The flag was raised on the Rocka in 1207

Rocca  Bay


We arrived at our beautiful tiny two bedroom apartment at 6.30 am to a very warm welcome, our rooms ready and waiting as promised.   Located on the edge of the caldera at it's highest point it originally belonged to a sea captain .  Steps away was a small supermarket and the bus stop into Fira.  We were thrilled with our choice

Sitting on our terrace that first morning, Crete rising in the distance from a low level mist floating on the ocean, and the strains of Angelis drifting on the still morning air, the theme from Chariots of Fire will forever transport us back to that sublime moment

Imerovigli to Fira the stuff of Photographer's Dreams

 So why does blue and white dominates  Due to the ancient belief that the colour of the sky repels evil spirits?  Because the Greeks couldn't fly their flags for 400 years of occupation, so used the flag colours in defiance? Because white repels strong sunlight? Because white paint made with asbestos was readily available as was blue, a laundry additive mixed with  limestone plaster and voila, blue domes?  Because  in the  1970's a military Junta mandated all houses be painted in the national colours.  Or because?
















Agios Theodori most photographed church on Santorini but not often from this vantage point

The Cinderella side of the Greek Orthodox Church of Agios Theodori

                        One mans solitude



The views along the path from Imerovigli via Firostefani to the capital Fira are spectacular

There are no gardens along the caldera but many plants grow in containers and the climate is perfect for succulents.  Getting around in the heat of the day can be exhausting.   Best take a break, sit under an umbrella beside a windmill housing an Italian restaurant , sip a glass of wine and get lost in the view



  The Cathedral of St John Baptist - Fira

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