Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pyrgos, once capital of Santorini

Santorini is a very windy island and the motorbike is not really encouraged at all but many locals use this transport because the island is so small and riding around in a motorbike is the easiest and most efficient way of reaching point A to point B.

Right in the middle of the island stands this white mountain and from a distance it looks like a mound of salt or a whipped cream topping. White is theme of this place. A white village. White houses. White roads. White staircases. White walls. Yes, this is a white mountain village and everything is white here.

Moi in sitting in front of a Greek Orthodox Church. On the second foto, the little white crop mountain from a distance is Pyrgos.

So we checked the map to see the name of the village. It says Pyrgos. The little unspoiled white town with 500 inhabitants used to be the capital of Santorini. Upon closer look, I noticed that the stonewalls rounding up the mountain resembles that of a wreckage of an ancient castle. The village was built around the Venetian castle that now lies in ruins.

I did my customary exploration, getting lost in the narrow white winding alleys and being surprised at the pretty architecture in every corner that I turn to. The Dutchman on the other hand followed me obediently until he finally declared he has had enough and will be going back down to the rotunda where the square is located. OK fine. I went up further up, mounting on the steps, always curious what is there above waiting for me =)

While going up, I saw an old man resting, rather sleeping, on the steps leading to the castle ruins. He has 2 donkeys tied to a tree and on the little square he has some products placed on top of the table for sale: house wine, some grappa, and tomatoes as well. He was sleeping soundly like a little baby and I didn’t want to disturb him so I tip-toed passing by slowly.

When I reached the top I realized there was no castle. I mean no physical castle, just ruins and walls, and houses inspired by the Cycladic architecture that were built on the crest and around it. It was quite charming though because the ruins were left on its own, just leaving it as it is side by side with the new occupants.

I also found a café restaurant and a church, and from up there were beautiful views of the plateau. It was a perfect place to sit down and relax. I was actually quite tempted to order a drink and just savour the ambiance, but then I remembered that I am with the Dutchman who is waiting for me down at the rotunda square. Jammer.

Here are some fotos:

Such little door, wonder what its function.

It is very charming here, the little narrow streets and stairs leading to houses and churches.

White everywhere and the plateau towards Kamari, in the southern part of the island

On the right foto is an example of a Cycladic house.

The old man napping on the steps leading to the castle ruins.

His donkeys under the shade.

The old man's little store on the small square, and signs to the castle ruins.

The church on top of the mountain village and touristy souvenir shops.

More fotos of Pyrgos here: Pyrgos - Santorini, Greece

The Dutchman indeed was waiting for me patiently, sitting on the bench and looking like the typical tourist with his straw hat and orange shades. I told him to come follow me because I have something yummy in mind. It is 32C and the sun is glaring madly down at us on our sweaty scalps. We badly need a refreshing treat like a mouthwatering ice cream cone before hopping on the motorbike back to Kamari.

Travel Period: June-July 2008
Destination: Pyrgos (Santorini - Cyclades Islands), Greece

Link Within

Related Posts with Thumbnails