Tag Archives: Cave house in oia

Caldera views ~ a day in the life of a cave dweller…

Among the many ‘strange/odd’  questions I get asked by readers….is whether I ever get sick of the view. Whether it becomes ho-hum, whether it gets boring looking at the same thing on a daily basis.

So… for the benefit of those that have never been to this Santorini and/or have never gazed out over the caldera for any length of time… I thought I would let you into a secret.

“It never get’s boring…. because it’s never the same”. Certainly not the same from day to day, or even hour to hour… depending on the time of year, time of day, weather and even the very spot you sit to look out on this wonder of the world.

I could write pages and pages on this… but figured it’s probably best to let some images speak for themselves. Let’s look at some boats, of all sizes, that typically sail past the house. The following four photos were all taken on the same day… the first three being early morning, all within 30 minutes of one another:


 first up was my favorite cruise ship… the mighty Princess, probably one of the largest ships around… almost totally silent as she glides in at daybreak !


then… even more quietly, the sublime site of one of the sailing cruise ships that frequent the island. To see this just after sunrise… in the full glow of the early morning sun, is one of life’s exquisite little pleasures.

All this… in less time than it takes me to finish my cup of coffee.

ten minutes later… a young couple (as seen through the binoculars) were sailing
past, probably heading to another island. Just a tiny white spec on the magnificent blue of the deep caldera below me.

All this was just as the island was waking up. The parade is endless during peak summer… with dozens of boats/ships making their way in and out. The light changes… therefore the water color changes and if there is a hint of a light breeze, there are magnificent paintings that appear on the blue surface. It is a living canvas thats constantly changing… always capturing your glance, becoming ingrained in your mind for ever.

And then… then there is sunset. If there is a better somewhere on this planet I’d like to hear about it…

this is a sunset image of the caldera for me… nightly. This is one of at least half a dozen old sailing ships that do the sunset/twilight cruises… offering the most incredible images to those of us lucky enough to watch them from above…

So… to those of you  wondering, the short answer is NO… I do not get sick
of the view ; )

Happy summer to you… or warm winter if you’re down under !


Christmas in Oia Santorini…

I know that Santorini was the last thing on your minds on Christmas morning…especially if you have young kids that start circling the presents under the tree like vultures over the savannah. But in case you were wondering… below is what our special Xmas sunrise looked like!

and below is what my neighbourhood looked like an hour later…

you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that “none”
of these houses have any people in them right now.

I guess my little part of the world is a bit different to where most of you live. Christmas is normally a time of frantic shopping, dinners & drinks with friends, traffic jams and lots of street noise. In Oia… well, in Oia things are a little different at Christmas time. Oia goes into complete lock-down around mid-December. Even the so-called locals pack their bags/cars and leave. Quite a few of you wrote to me asking what the place actually looks like during this period…what do I see when I walk around. Well… you asked for it, so here is what I saw today during a brief walk around my tiny village:

All images are copyright http://www.oiasantorini.com

this is Meteor cafe…less ornaments, less people, less tables .

So as you can see I wasn’t exaggerating when I said that the village is in complete lock-down. Behind each of these gorgeous doors there are shops, bars, boutiques and galleries… and there will be again around March when they will open for Easter. But for now… each doorway presents you with a heavy lock, which is shop-owner’s code for “you had your holiday during the summer months…now it’s my turn”. Can’t blame them for that !

It will be a new year the next time we meet here my friends… and in the immortal words of John Lennon “let’s hope it’s a good one”. Second thoughts… John was a bit of a whimp. Let’s MAKE it a good one… hope doesn’t come into it!

Stay safe and have a silent toast to Oia Santorini at midnight…I’ll hear you ;-)

PS: the next time I post something the blog will look quite different. It’s taken a while to plan and it’s far from finished, but the new interface is long overdue and will make it a lot easier to navigate & hopefully enjoy the blog, for everyone that visits. I could’ve given this to someone to do, but interface design has been a pet hobby for many years so I decided to do it myself. I want to see how far I can stretch the capabilities of the wordpress.com platform (as opposed to dot org which is more suitable for customisation) without any real coding changes. It will be interesting to get your feedback when it’s all done.

Enjoy your NYE wherever you are !

Oia Santorini – traffic delays

I know that some of you think that the view you wake up to is very special…. and it probably is. However, somehow I don’t think any of you wake up to anything like this:


good morning Mr M !


are you looking at me?


Morning traffic… Oia style !


early start for the mule team… the good doctor next door is renovating
his cave house…which means these guys will be visiting us a lot
over the coming days/weeks.


Alessi patiently awaits for the mule traffic to clear so he can go to school…

No… it’s not your average suburban neighbourhood or traffic jam… but then we never signed up for that ;-)

PS: this is in fact the 99th post… the 100th will be on Sunday night. Santorini Dreaming essays all next week… and please keep sending your “Respect” photos... they are very much appreciated !

Aegean seachange…

– “What on earth made you move to an island in Greece ? ”
– “If I need t0 explain it to you… you’ll probably never understand ! ”

Its July…. the island is teaming with people from all over the world. All age groups, all kinds of people, seeking to enjoy a holiday on the Greek islands. For many its a holiday they had planned for years, or a dream wedding, or an island-hop adventure, or a second visit to an island they fell in love with years earlier. Each visitor has a story…their own personal story.

Many people have been visiting the Aegean Design studio since it opened. A surprising number of people actually. Some happen to walk passed, others have heard about it somehow and seek it out. Most are very curious as to how it came about and they will ask questions… many questions. They want to know how, when, why and what. They want to understand, they want to hear the story and listen to the rational behind it. However…it often makes me wonder if they really want to know “our” story or do they want to mentally compare it to the story/vision/dream they themselves have deep in their minds.

You see I have a theory… my theory is that there is a seachange lurking inside everyone. Its like a short movie that plays inside their heads, over and over. Sometimes it has taken years to create the movie, other times the movie was started as a result of a more recent event like travel, seeing a documentary/travel show, seeing an image in a magazine or a web site or a blog. Some read a book or they have a long conversation with a friend about an old movie made in an “exotic” location. Whichever way the short “movie” was created in their minds it is now their dream, their personal mental adventure, their ultimate “escape” plan.

According to my theory most people ask a question about life on the island and as soon as I start telling them the story I can see their minds drifting. Their own movie kicks in (so to speak). Its not me they are thinking about…its themselves. How does my adventure compare with theirs, is that what they would’ve done, is that how they would’ve handled things. Their thoughts often spill out and they will say things like “I’ve always wanted to do that” or “my dream is a house in …..” or “I see myself doing that one day”. Other times they say nothing. They just tilt their heads and listen with a broad smile on their face…. and you can tell they are dreaming.

Not everyone dreams of a seachange on an island or another country of course. Some people simply want to move house or change a job, or pursue a career or achieve a goal. The term “seachange’ simply symbolises a burning desire, a passion, a dream (at least in my mind). The interesting thing is that from all the people I meet and talk to its those with a clear dream, passion and/or desire that seem happiest. They may not have accomplished it yet… but they know what it is and they are somehow working towards it.

Having that “short movie” in your mind may seem (to some) as a luxury, an indulgence or a guilty pleasure. But I see it differently. I see it as a driving force, a reason for being, a lifeplan.

I think everyone should purposely become the director of a short movie called “My Life”. Write your own script, scout your own locations and “choose” the role you want to play in it, as well as the roles for anyone else you want in the movie. Choose the soundrack of your life, the scenes you want in it, the surprises and the highlights. Choose your co-star/s and set out to cast your own movie rather than leave it to chance. In short…. be the director  and star of your own movie/life. If you don’t, you’ll probably end up being an “extra’ in someone else’s.


PS: promise to post a lot more that I did this past week. Lots of pictures and stories next week ;-)

Santorini gym

I’ve said before on this little blog that the reaction from people when I told them I am moving to Santorini was very interesting. There were the “you lucky b….rd” comments, the “I’ve always dreamed of doing that” comments, as well as the “what are you going to do on a small island ? ” comments. 

I had an email from a friend back in Melbourne… latest news etc etc…. then the questions:

(amongst other things)
“Don’t you miss the things you loved in Melbourne… the places you went to almost daily? Your coffee shop? The gym?”


The gym (MSAC) was indeed very good. Arguably one of the best anywhere. Facilities were fantastic…

fitness_centrepic: MSAC


The pic above doesn’t do it justice…. it really is a great facility and one of the only “ground level” gyms with a view, and NO… I don’t have that kind of facility here. But like most things one has to adapt. I don’t have an Olympic size pool to swim in or the latest cardio equipment.

What I have here is a “Santorini gym”…..


You see….below the house I have this tiny little port (Armenaki) to which I walk down in the mornings…350+ steps down. From there I swim across to the small island of St. Nicholas (top of screen). The water is deeper than a diving pool…. as in a looooooooooot deeper……. as in over 1000 metres. Its clearer than any pool in the world and I don’t have 200 other lap swimmers splashing chlorine all around me. The swim is 500m each way… but this pool changes every day and sometimes (depending on the breeze) a kilometre here feels like 10 in a swimming pool. Then I have to walk all the way up again…

Its simple, clean and the only membership required is living here. Wellness Santorini style !

While we’re on the “adapting” topic…. indulge me for a second longer. Let me show you my office too. No fancy furniture here, no switchboard, no driving for an hour in peak hour traffic to get to it. Just hop on the Vespa and a minute later… voila!


As you can see the desk and chair are definitely NOT ergonomic….nor particularly large. But it works for me. A nice cold frappe, a bottle of water
(or some Santorini wine in the evening)  and the mac gets a workout (for those of you into details the Ducati hat is only a souvenir from Italy….
I ride a Vespa – maybe I will ride a Ducati when I grow up and become a “real man”). 

The side view from my office is not too shabby…. but the front view is not bad either:


It’s only a tiny table at a coffee shop…. BUT, it’s at Ammoudi in Oia and… call me crazy, but I like it.


Btw… we’ve managed to get Aegean Design a second presence on Santorini. It’s sort of a shop within a shop…. but let me tell you that this place is special (read: very very very special – more on this soon). And if you think the view from my “office” isn’t bad…. take a look at the view from Allison’s new shop:

…told you it was special ;-)

PS: the protective circle at the bottom of the pic is where the infamous “Sea Diamond” sank a couple of years ago. How can any idiot who calls himself a captain can manage to sink a cruise-ship in the deepest port in the world is beyond me. But please don’t get me started…  

PPS: I do miss my coffee shop in Melbourne….. wave to Arthur, Gino and the gang back at Cucina !

Till soon ;-)




Oia Santorini – Change

Of all the things in life…. change is the only constant!

Of all the fears in life…. fear of change is the most common!

These are not quotes (well…maybe the first is), they are just personal beliefs. I don’t think that either are profound or particularly insightful., but I have seen enough evidence in my life to know that both these beliefs are valid. 

We are all creatures of habit and the longer we do something the harder it is to break away from it. We are all aware we do things out of habit… some are good and some are bad, yet we keep doing all of them… often for years, sometimes for a lifetime. Change is uncomfortable and therefore we avoid it…. often at all costs.

So we keep doing things, stay in places (jobs/homes/cities/countries), talk to same people, think the same way….yet, we somehow expect that things will one day change. A reasonably intelligent gentleman (as in Bert…. as in Albert… as in e=mc squared) told us that “insanity is doing the same things over and over and expecting different results”… he did have a knack for simplifying things to the point where just listening to that makes one feel like a total fool. We have all done it !

So… are we all insane? 

Lucky for us those clever munchkins, the head-mechanics, have a very valid theory. Its’ called “escalated commitment”. The more you commit to something, physically, emotionally/mentally, the harder it is to change it or at least break away from it (oversimplifying the theory here…forgive me). When you really think about that it explains so much of our lives. Our commitment to so many things has been allowed to “escalate”… often to ridiculous, even insane levels. We find ourselves so “deep” into things that we can’t break away. Sometimes it’s pride, money or emotion invested, reputation, or length of time that’s stopping us. Whatever the investment… it has escalated to the point where we become prisoners to it.  

Yesterday I got four different emails from people who said that they would love to live somewhere like Oia (you can fill in the place with any city/country/island you wish). Yet each of them mentioned that they had “commitments” they couldn’t walk away from… so “for now” they will just “dream” about doing it “one day”. It all sounded familiar to me…very familiar. You see, I used to say the same thing…for years. Until, I realised that there is such a thing as “positive escalated commitment”. By that I mean “aligning your life to your dream”. 

I figured that it can be good to escalate a commitment…. as long it is in line with what you want to do or experience or feel. Good things take time and you have to keep working towards them. If you make a start and you keep investing time/effort/emotion/passion, then soon you can achieve it. At least you are heading in the right direction. You are taking steps, albeit small at times, towards the dream…. whatever that may be !

When I started this blog I dedicated it to the “undecided”. I guess what I am saying with this post is that if you do have a dream, then make sure your “escalated commitment” is towards that. Turn it into a passion and invest a lot of you in achieving it  .:.


On a lighter note… the cacti on the front steps have actually flowered!



How is that for change…

Have a great weekend ;-)

Oia Sunrise & life decisions

“You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.”  

–  Beverly Sills


These words can burn in your brain like a red-hot syringe. For years they ran through my mind.

This morning I woke up early and had a coffee outside. This is what I saw…




Oia – Santorini.

Yep…. good decision!