Tag Archives: ammoudi storm

My secret lover…

Funny thing happened to us this winter… we never really had one.

That’s not to say it wasn’t a turbulent time in Greece, nor can we say we didn’t have our fair quota of storms and punishing winds. All of these things happened… we just didn’t experience a real winter in terms of cold. The temperatures in Santorini ranged from 6-17c all winter, which is really the winter you have when you don’t have one.

But winter in Oia is not about temperature, or the events on the mainland. Winter in Oia is about serenity, rejuvenation, introspection, a time to think and a time of self discovery. It’s a time to hear your mind’s voice and to defrag the brain. It is a time to enjoy the company of a small, quiet village that just happens to be too ridiculously beautiful for it’s own good…. for most of the year.

Sounds funny if you say you can enjoy the company of a village… but only because you’ve probably never experienced it. A city full of people doesn’t keep you company. It makes demands on you, it controls you, it intimidates you… but it doesn’t keep you company. A big city is like a dominatrix in leather thigh-high boots… a beautiful small village is like a secret lover.

If you do live in a big city… it is almost beyond the boundaries of your imagination to think about walking around with not another person in sight.
It’s only possible in a  ‘day after’ scenario… armaggedon. The difference here is that nothing is damaged, nobody is dead and everything is almost too beautiful for your brain to comprehend. Walking around in winter the mind wonders at times why people choose to visit naturally beautiful places in the peak of summer? Why would you want to share all this with twenty thousand others on a daily basis… when you can have it all to yourself in winter?

There are of course exceptions… and in Oia the exceptions are our wonderful Asian friends… Japanese, Chinese, Korean. They visit in winter… and they get to see sights the summer tourist can only dream about. They take their time, hundreds of photos and much exploring. Some are a bit odd… but then again they probably think the same about me for living here almost completely alone in the middle of winter.

One Chinese fellow asked me where ‘sunset’ was… and when I looked at him funny, he felt compelled to ask again “w h e r e   i s   s u n s e t”?  Speaking very slowly as if I was a sub-60 IQ moron… a descendant of the local mules perhaps. He even made a circle with his hands depicting the sun…. followed by a swan-dive with one hand for the sun obviously hitting the sea. The man was clearly describing sunset to me. So I pointed in the general direction and he gave me one of those “thanks… I hope I didn’t hurt your brain too much” looks  and started almost running towards ‘sunset’. I turned and walked away shaking my head and looking at my watch… it was 12 noon !  WTF?

Another major plus this winter was the fact there were no construction sites near us. No jackhammers at 7am, no mules crapping on the path in front of the house, no Albanians yelling all day long. I know… it all sounds strange to you, when was the last time you had jackhammers pumping, mules crapping and Albanians yelling at 7am at your house? I’m guessing never… but I think you get my drift.

You could sit out the front on a sunny winter’s day and lose yourself in your own thoughts. The eyes send back images and the brain gets inspired. The mind conjures up all kinds of ideas and you get an urge to create.

Then there are the walks. Oia is a joy to walk through at any time… but during winter months it is a storybook. Every corner reaveals another wonder, every step gives you a better view, every ancient doorway hides more secrets. If you are into photography of course it is an absolute delight… the old girl doesn’t have a bad angle. My new camera and I bonded very well this winter and I have many thousands of photos to prove we get on just fine…

All this talk of Oia reminds me of the words of the old master Enzo Ferrari. A journalist asked him why would anyone want to pay such a price for a “car”?
The old master looked at him and smiled “no my son, you don’t understand…
a Ferrari is not a car. It’s a mistress”.

Oia is not a village..

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But wait…. there is more !

Had some fun taking some pics of a recent storm at Ammoudi… the small port below Oia. The images are spectacular and for those of you who have been there and know this place as an idyllic spot for a memorable lunch or dinner in summer…. now you will see the “other” side of it. Poseidon was angry that weekend… enjoy ; )  M



Ammoudi – Oia…port under troubled water !

On a balmy hot August night… a sky full of bright stars, the full moon reflecting off the calm, crystal waters… it is a mesmerising sight. Ammoudi is a small port, a pirate’s cove where thousands of people enjoy a memorable lunch or dinner… looking at the small fishing boats and the large cruise ships as they sail silently into the night. It’s one of the most enchanting places on Santorini to enjoy as a couple…or with a group of friends. It’s picture perfect… day or night.

But there is another side to Ammoudi… one that tourists never see. When the westerlies blow at 50+ km an hour… the sea gets angry and it hits the tiny port in a harsh, sometimes savage way. This morning was one of those days. I looked out and saw the wind patterns on the surface of the caldera and you could tell the westerlies were working. It’s “show time” at Ammoudi…

The following images & videos are a rare treat for all of you, but especially those of you that have been lucky enough to have enjoyed  Ammoudi in summer…

It’s hard to see but where the white water is at the bottom of the pic
you would probably see 10-20 cars in summer.

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The waves wash all the way across the car park and beyond. Moments
after taking this shot (while standing on a rock) I was completely
drenched by the wave following this one. Only looked away for a second
to check the previous photo…. and whooosh !

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It was one of these that got me… looking away is not recommended.

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As the waves retreat the white water pours back into the sea.
Every single one of the tavernas would be flooded after today…
something that happens several times during the winter
months at Ammoudi.

But to really give you an idea of the power of the sea on such a day
I decided to record a couple of short
videos. It was a lot of fun to be there…
but it can also get dangerous if you get too close:

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Winter is full of delights and surprises on Santorini and especially in Oia. Hope you enjoyed a peek through my eyes ;-)

PS: Apologies for the “phantom post” that was showing for most of today. I was playing around with some drafts this morning
and one somehow was published ;-(


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