Watching the Caldera

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During our last trip to Santorini (see other photos from previous post), I was mesmerized by the beauty of the place.

First of all, Santorini is a natural wonder of the world. The magnificent sight and attraction of Santorini, including the island and its current shape and geomorphology was formed by a massive volcanic eruption, thousands of years ago. So one of the iconic feature of this place is the caldera.

Though iconic too are the blue dome churches which abound on this island, but for me the most striking feature is the caldera.

What is a caldera? Here it is according to the dictionary:

cal·de·ra (kalˈderə, kôlˈderə, kalˈdirə) – a large volcanic crater, especially one formed by a major eruption leading to the collapse of the mouth of the volcano.

Although currently dormant, Santorini has been active several times in historic time. The last major explosive eruption was in1645 BC. This activity built the dark-colored islands of Nea and Palea Kameni inside the caldera. At present, Santorini is dormant, and volcanic activity manifests as emerging sulfurous gases and hot springs around the islands.

the caldera and the islands of Nea and Palea

My wife and I did a few activities when we were there. We sailed for a romantic boat ride that offered a swim in the beach with the hot springs, wherein the highlight at least for me, was watching the Mediterranean sunset from the boat.

We also walked from Fira to Oia, a 10-kilometer hike (took us 3 hours to complete) around the caldera, while passing through different towns. Though some part of the trek was rugged terrain.

Of course the place is also a shopping haven with lots of eclectic stores that are open even at night, as well as restaurants with good food and a view to die for.

But my favorite activity was just relaxing and watching the caldera, may it be morning, night or noon.

caldera before sunrise
caldera after the sunset

Photo below is me watching the caldera on our last day just before we left this place.

Well, I am home now and back to reality. I miss the idyllic island. So for now, I’ll just resort to watching the kaldero.

(*kaldero in our language means kettle or metal pot; photos taken with an iPhone.)

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