Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Glorious Greece :: OIA

I took this picture on our trip to Greece; it is at one of the most recognizable points of Santorini. The church bells are on the cliffs edge on the tip of OIA. Travel brochures generously show the image of OIA on the island of Santorini with the white buildings shining like beacons against the Aegean Sea.
I took approximately 100 pictures per day while we were in Greece, and I feel fortunate that I had several days to explore Santorini to capture the beauty with my camera (ok, I admit it...... I was in heaven). 

Richard and I wandered through the streets in OIA and discovered the steps at the edge of the crescent shaped island ....... all 510 of them. We walked down the winding steps to the fishing village at the sea edge. On the way down to the village we discovered many beautiful buildings that are a glorious patina mix of rustic original stonework and new white stucco walls.


Sitting on the dock at the fishing village with the sea slapping up against the shore was a memorable experience. The open air restaurant had a huge grill with fresh calamari .... our absolute favourite. So we enjoyed the sea, the sunshine, some wine, village salad and grilled calamari.

We could eat this every day........ so yummy.

Of course the problem with enjoying wine and food in the sun is you feel a little too relaxed after............ and there were 510 steps to walk back UP. We could have taken a taxi, but thought it's not a big deal. Thankfully we hadn't had too much wine, but 510 steps down and then back up ...... are a big deal.


Buganvilias grow everywhere in a variety of colours.

We rented a car and explored the rest of Santorini, first visiting Fira which is the capital of the island and the port where the cruise ships come to dock. And just like the end of the island in OIA, Fira has a generous amount of stairs for visitors to climb before they reach the bevy of shops and restaurants at the top. There are donkeys to transport travelers up the steps; and it's a frenzy of noise and animal aroma in the process. 

Fira, Santorini, Greece
We drove out to explore a few of the wineries on the far end of the island and discovered some incredible wine and beautiful vistas. Grape growing in Greece is a bit different than anywhere else. There is a big hole dug into the ground to allow the grape vines to grow in a spiral down into the open hole. When the leaves sit over the open hole and vines, it keeps the grapes safe from the strong sun.  The moisture from the sea or the rain drips into the pit keeping the vines moist.

Grape Vine Spirals

Gorgeous doors at the winery in Santorini

We recorded several movies on the camera along the way in the car (complete with Greek music playing in the background), at the wineries, and at the beach. We landed at a spot called White Beach..... which is connected to Black Beach....... and Red Beach. Hmm, a real theme. All beaches names are noted because of the colour of the stones that washed ashore.

At White Beach :: Santorini, Greece
I have watched all of the movies several times since we came home; it's a wonderful way to show the kids what the vista is really like on our trips. When you take more than just pictures on a trip it allows you to revisit and reminisce on a broader level.

Watching our little movies again, I heard myself giggling like a school girl and realized how much Richard makes me laugh, how much fun we have together. I loved exploring Greece with him and making more memories together.

For Glorious Greece : OIA part one click here.

Up next.......... Glorious Greece :: Rhodes.

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