Friday, August 12, 2011

Lost Atlantis?

Feeling less than stellar after only a few hours sleep, Melanie and I took the "Flying Cat 3" ferry to the island of Santorini. This island was also formed by a volcano thousands of years ago, however, it used to be much bigger. The volcano sunk part of the island long ago and created the current caldera. What's left of the original island is now in the shape of a crescent. The volcano is still active and the molten lava raises the tiny island, which sits about a mile east, half an inch every year. Our boat Captain told us how an ancient civilization used lived on the island that was extremely advanced for it's time. They built intricate cities with complex architecture that was capable of running hot and cold water! Unfortunately, the city was lost when an earthquake hit, causing the volcano to erupt, culminating in a giant tsunami. Many historians believe this could be the location of the lost city of Atlantis...

Upon arrival, I was surprised by how steep the cliffs were and how high up above the water the towns start. We stayed in Fira, which is in the center of the island. Fira is not the town you see from postcards but it does boast a tremendous view. The picturesque town most think of is called Oia, and we went there our second night.

Here is the view from our hotel. You can see the volcano in the middle and the small island further in the distance is a chunk of what's left of the original island.

In the distance is the town of Oia, you can see how far away it is from the water.

Once again, Mel and I got some R&R by the pool and enjoyed dinner with a gorgeous sunset.

Our hotel at night

Day 2:
For our second day in Santorini we decided to go on a catamaran tour around the island. For those of you unfamiliar, a catamaran is a boat with two hulls instead of one with netting in-between that you can lay on!

We started on the back side of the island where the winds were calmer, we could pass the Red Beach, and swim in the water. This is Red Beach.

Santorini lighthouse

The boat stopped several times throughout the day so we could all enjoy swimming and snorkeling in the water. The water was warm and its transparent lapis color was surreal. We saw a couple of little fish, but the ocean felt pretty empty! It was so clear that we could see the bottom.

Our next stop was to the volcano and it's "hot springs"... surprisingly not so hot for an active volcano.

View of Oia from the volcano

The wind really picked up after the hot springs so we had to turn back and get to the other side of the island. Our crew really worked hard as we were in the midst of 10 foot swells... miraculously Melanie and I didn't get sea sick, whew!

After some more swimming we headed back to the harbor. It worked out because we had time to go back to the hotel and clean up before heading to Oia for the evening.
On our way back we passed some of the many well known vineyards on Santorini. Apparently Santorini is home to Greece's best white wine.

Vineyard overlooking the water.

Oia is the postcard picture perfect Town we hoped for and more. I'll let my pictures speak for themselves.

Our restaurant

Our view

Almost a full moon

I hope these photos somehow capture the beauty and splendor of this magical place.

Location:Santorini, Greece

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