Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Jan 3, 2014: Santorini, the site of lost Atlantis?

10_ Santorini-5441Located in the southern Aegean Sea, 120 kms north of Crete, the beautiful island of Santorini lies in the island group known a the Cyclades, often referred to as the Windy Islands due to it's total exposure to all winds in the Aegean Sea.

 

Thera, the small capital town of Santorini, hangs onto the edge of the "Caldera" (the brim of the currently inactive volcano which was last active in 1950).  The extraordinary beauty of Santorini's high walls, draped by whitewashed villages and blue domed churches combined with a sunny climate and perfect observation conditions, have made it a magnet for volcanologists, as well as a highlight of tourism in the Aegean.

 

Thera lies at the middle of Santorini whereas to some 6 kms north is the possibly even more picturesque town of Ioa (pronounced "Ear") perched at a  point on the northern edge of the Caldera from where it is a particularly popular destination to watch the sunsets.

 

The huge Minoan-era eruption of Santorini in the 17th century BC may have inspired the legend of Atlantis. It was rated as a massive level 7 eruption and blew out the entire side of the Caldera allowing the sea to fill the  centre of the Caldera to a depth of some 400 metres.

 

Today, Santorini is a magically beautiful magnet for tourists. Amongst them are Chinese couples who have married in their home country and who then travel to Santorini to have photos taken of them in their wedding finery. It is quite a surprising and amusing sight to see 6 or 8 bride and groom couples in full white-wedding costumes posing with great enthusiasm at some of the most beautiful locations.

 

 

 

 

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One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things."  Henry Miller

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