Tag: Cyclades island

In Search of the Blue Domes

I may have found the famous postcard motif, but the myth of Santorini still evades me. I am torn between the goodwill I normally extend to a holiday destination that is new to me and the gut feeling I trust that when something just doesn’t seem right. And since I took this trip at my own expense, I am free to write the truth as I see it. So, my opinion: Santorini is completely overrated. Yes, the picturesque little villages with their white houses nestling on on the slopes or clustering around a hill are lovely. But this is the case on every Cycladic island. And yes, there are glorious sunsets to watch. But aren’t these to be found everywhere? Even at home in Bavaria? Volcano born In terms of geography and history, Santorini or Thera – as the Greeks call it – is an anomaly. The 92.5 km² large archipelago in the south of the Cyclades consists of five islands, formed by volcanic activities 3,600 years ago. The main island Thira, and the islands Thirasia and Aspronisi are grouped in a ring around the water-flooded Caldera, a kind of huge cauldron said to be around 400 meters deep. In its centre lie the two islands Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni, where the last volcanic eruption took place in 1950. So much for history. Donkey tour, no thanks! In aiming to do some relaxed exploring of Santorini at the end of June, I perhaps just picked the wrong month, It was not relaxed at all. Hordes of people pour off the cruise ships and, at a time, up to seven of these ocean giants can be found at anchor in the Caldera just outside the capital Firá. Once on land, passengers are carried up the steep path by donkey or mule. The “donkey tour” is also popular with those tourists not on cruise ships. This is just incomprehensible to me which is why I wasn’t tempted to take any photos. How can one enjoy such a ride, seeing the distraught animals toiling in the blazing sun, pressing themselves against the rocks in desperate search of shade. Without water, without food. After all, for a mere 6 Euros, the 220 meters to the top and back can easily be reached by cable car. Or one can walk up the 588 steps of the serpentine-like Karavolades stairs connecting Firá with the old port.… weiterlesen

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