Sunday, August 24, 2008

Caldera Cruise

I am always way behind my travel entries but this is the last of the Santorini holiday: the evening cruise in the Caldera.

Caldera is a cauldron-like opening formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption. In my earlier posts about Santorini, I mentioned that the island is the remains of a volcano eruption thousands of years ago before inhabitants occupied the area.

Santorini’s caldera is formed by the following volcanic uninhabited and inhabited group of islands: Nea Kameni, Palea Kameni, Aspronisi, Therasia, and Thera.

The view of the Caldera lagoon from the bus. We have to go down the scary zigzagged road to the Athinios port where we will board a traditional ship for the evening dinner cruise.

This is a satellite view of Santorini archipelago showing the mouth of the Caldera.

The cruise was really nothing fancy but we wanted something different from our beach - pool - visiting small villages schema of things, so we chose the evening dinner cruise, which we thought was much better than the other day cruises offered. The boat was a traditional old replica of Santorini’s sailing boats that were used during the “Golden Age of Sails”, in the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century.

Oh, we had a bride and groom on board! Santorini is famous for wedding destinations and the couple just had their “I do” ceremony and now have joined the whole tourist troupe in cruising the Caldera and later to catch a glimpse of the lovely Oia sunset.

Greece is quite south of Europe but the sun during summer goes down later than in the Pacific, so we had a good time sailing the Caldera lagoon and admiring the beautifully formed rocky boulders, setting our eyes on the unspoiled white villages of Fira, Imerovigli, and Oia. They are so lovely up there, sitting on top of the graveled cliffs, we just had enough time to witness and experience the spectacular views before the sun vanished into the horizon and darkness enveloped us.

We had a little accident during the trip. Dutchman spilled my red wine on my Italian hand-made fabric bag. Good thing there was salt on board so I quickly smeared a lot of it on the stain. When we got back to our hotel I rinsed it with warm water. Thank heavens the stain was gone. I am pretty sure Dutchman will frown if he knew how much I paid for this bag.

Moi here, waiting for the boat to sail.

Here is a beautiful view of Fira from a distance with a huge ship mooring on its banks. I may have written this many times, Santorini is a very popular destination for touristic cruise ships touring the Mediterranean Sea.

The newlyweds, the bride and groom on our boat. I wish I had a better foto but it was not easy sneaking this one out.

The beautiful colors of volcanic rock layers on the boulders due to erosion.

Moi balancing on the deck.

Moi again. Windy day eh? Background is Fira, the capital of Santorini.

We have arrived in beautiful Oia.

And the famous sunset of Oia:

Anywho, it seems like I might be going back to Greece in a few weeks...

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

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