Friday, August 01, 2008

Fira, capital of Santorini

hen I first heard the name Fira, Fire comes to mind quickly, maybe because it’s almost spelled the same. Ah, very easy indeed, but... did you know that fire really did come out of Santorini? Like eons ago?

It was very interesting to learn that the Santorini archipelago (it is an archipelago as it is composed of several islands) before inhabited by human beings was actually a volcano. Oh, wait... hold on. Quite a feat in there—Santorini is an archipelago part of a bigger archipelago, called the Cyclades Islands, which is within a much larger archipelago, Greece. Now, how cool is that?

The main island was non-existent until the volcano erupted triggering the collapse of the Minoan civilization in nearby Crete through a gigantic tsunami, which also was hypothesized to have caused inspiration on Plato to write about the Atlantis legend, the lost continent. Slowly by the slowly, throughout the years, the rest of the remains of the once volcanic territory emerged and rose from under the Aegean Sea.

Santorini is the perfect example of mother nature’s process of Erosion. Erosion discovered the island which is now Santorini.

And coming back on Plato... Santorini is also believed to be the remains of the lost continent, Atlantis.

Because of the beauty of Fira, pristine white buildings and houses dug-out from the rock cliffs, blue domed churches, and the fantastic nature views of Caldera and the volcano crater, the island is a very popular stopover for cruise ships touring the Mediterranean Riviera.

In my earlier post about Oia, I also mentioned that Santorini is a very popular place to wed and spend the honeymoon. Well, there were lots of couples there and I have lost count of seeing a groom in tuxedo and bride in white flowing dress!

But compared to Oia and Kamari, I find Fira a bit discounted on the shopping front mainly because of the gaudy touristy shops and thrift stores. There were scores of shops selling rubbish, which is quite typical anyway in every tourist infested place. Fira is definitely not an exemption I can see.

Now, if someone asks me if I want to visit Santorini again – I would. And, I would stay in one of the elegant hotels hanging from the rock cliffs in Fira (or Oia, or perhaps in Imerovigli) looking out to the captivating and romantic Caldera horizon, but I doubt if the sun and beach worshipper Dutchman would agree.

Panoramic view of Fira:

More cliff views:

Cute residential houses:

Shopping, churches, cool restaurants and more:

More of Fira next!

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

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