|Stepping off the hydrofoil late in the morning in
Santorini, it' easy to feel like you've just died and arrived in heaven. The
major settlement on Greece's, and one of the world's, most spectacular island;
Thira, is perched conveniently on the edge of the caldera's clifftops at the
center of the islands central eastern coast. Thira's pristine white marble
houses and blue dome churches overlook a lagoon formed by what was one of the
most violent volcanic eruptions in known history. At the center of the lagoon
lies the center of the volcano, the Nea Kameni crater.
Set on the
southern tip of the Cyclades island chain in the Aegean Sea, spectacular
Santorini is truly a sight for sore eyes. Tantalizing views of the caldera's
cliffs and adjoining lagoon, accompanied by the harmonious architecture
sprawled throughout it's cliffside make Santorini an inimitable place on earth.
The blue sky, tranquil sea, white houses, and staggering cliffs make Santorini
a photographers paradise with breathtaking sights almost every step you take.
While basking in all the enchantment of it all, it's easy to forget
that this was all formed by one of the most impetuous natural disasters history
has ever known. Three and a half thousand years ago; Santorini, its lagoon, and
its surrounding satellite islands was all one freestanding mountain. Then, in
about 1650 BC, it was all blown apart by one of the most ferocious volcanic
eruptions ever known. It is widely believed that the tsunami created by this is
largely responsible for the complete annihilation of the Minoan civilization
residing in Crete, some 130 kms away.
The remnants of the eruption,
supplemented by the sedative nature of its villages, makes Santorini one of the
most extraordinary places on earth I spent two days here. The first simply
wandering around the island's biggest settlement, Fira - before heading off to
the Nea Kameni crater and nearby town of