Friday, August 29, 2008

Stunning Santorini

After a tough year of travelling, a little downtime is needed, and after an overnight back in Moscow, Katya & I headed to the Aegean. I hadn’t told her where we were heading, but after a quick stop in Athens (with a lightening tour of the Acropolis), we were headed for stunning Santorini, one of the most truly ridiculously beautiful places in the world.

For those of you unfamiliar with Santorini (or Thira), it’s a Greek island in the Cyclades which had the misfortune to suffer a catastrophic volcanic eruption about 2,500 years ago. While no doubt traumatic for the residents at the time, it has left an amazing semicircular west-facing volcanic rim island perched high above a beautiful blue caldera.

The villages of the island (and its innumerable churches) are mostly perched on the clifftop and are uniformly white, with the occasional pastel or blue roof, which create the most photogenic scenes imaginable. Add to this a (mostly overblown) reputation for wine, and some great beaches, and you have a very nice place to spend a couple of days! I had previously visited with friends on a yacht, but this time Katya & I were here to see a different side of Santorini!

Our days were absorbed with touring the island on our 4WD bike, locating new beaches, sampling the various wines, comparing which tavernas had the best grilled octopus & fetta, but always ensuring we found chilled champagne and were back in our jacuzzi to watch the magical sunset. A truly rigorous schedule.

After 3-4 days of this tough life, it was time to head to Germany for a close friends wedding, and then on to Paris.

Photos are here.

Worldguide is here.

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