Tag Archives: oia photos

Autumn sunset fantasia

This post was started yesterday and was going to look quite different. You see… as we always do after stormy weather, we went collecting driftwood. It’s amazing what we find on the western side of the island after storms… some of the driftwood is like work of art. As always we went early morning on Sunday. This post was going to be all about that…

Searching for driftwood…

Alessi shoots the shooter !

But then… this evening (Monday), as I was writing this post – using the driftwood pics from Sunday – I was told to “look outside…quick”.

I did…… & this is what I saw !

these are real colours…


bit more to the right to take the fort (blog column not wide enough)

only so much you can do with the little Pentax… but the close up looks dreamy,
don’t you think?

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PS: For the unidentified commenter “One of your readers”…. in answer to your question,  I would love to know why you would want to submit an essay but not want to win.

PPS: To all those who thought I was being harsh towards the procrastinators…you’re wrong. I’m guilty of it myself, so I can hardly chastise others. However…I still believe it is a debilitating condition and I suspect it robbed some people of  an opportunity to  be in the contest with a chance of winning. Big topic this one…perhaps a separate post !

PPS: More essays on Wednesday & the “Living with purpose” post still needs work ;-)

ALSO… if you haven’t seen them already, there are more “Respect” photos on the page… hope you can take a look and leave a comment for those who took time to try and make a difference in this world. If you happen to live in a large city (NYC, London) or anywhere for that matter… I would LOVE to see some “Respect” photos from you.

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Oia – paths less travelled

Like any busy tourist town or village,  Oia has it’s busy lanes, paths and steps…. and then there are those used mostly by locals. The following is a small glimpse of Oia through my eyes… taking paths less travelled and sights less seen.

It’s Oia backstreets in the autumn light. Hope you enjoy ;-)

 

 

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If only the steps could talk…

 

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You probably drive up to your front door… here it’s a little different

 

 

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Here our streets are… well, let’s just say  “a bit more poetic”  

 

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the path is often someone’s front porch and someone else’s roof… 

 

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but that makes for interesting angles… 

 

 

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the shooter shoots the shooter…

 

 

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an hour before sunset…the shadows are long
(right below the cruise ships is the Summer Lovers house, all boarded up for winter) 

 

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the paths are almost empty… the village is mine again

 

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the light is much softer… but the views remain the same – sublime !

 

I am sorry I haven’t posted much lately. There’s a lot going on (the business end of the year is starting) and there are many big plans for Aegean Designs… more on that soon. I am so looking forward to the blissful quiet of winter, the time to sit and think, read and write. The time to walk through the paths you just saw and many others which I will photograph for you. I hope you can keep me company through winter from your own corner of the world !

PS: Don’t forget to enter your “Santorini dreaming” essay for a chance to be here next year, to live your dream and walk these same paths in magical Oia. 

 

 

Call it Autumn… call it Fall

 

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. 

~Albert Camus


Call it Autumn… call it Fall.  
It’s my favorite season of them all.
And it’s here!

That most special of seasons has arrived on Santorini and in case anyone had somehow missed the occasion… nature decided to put on a little show to remind us.

 

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It was 6.30am and suddenly the mist starting gliding into the caldera like floating silk .

 

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Within seconds the fort was almost shrouded… 

 


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and the small island had all but disappeared in the rolling mist.

 

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Within 20 minutes almost the entire island was being hugged by a thick blanket of soft white silk.
 

Somewhere under the cloud is the island’s main town of Fira… but on this day it was the first autumn mist that was going to be the star of the show and what a majestic show it was. Autumn is here and the end of the season is near. The low hugging mist was like a veil being slowly pulled across the island… a sign that the extreme summer heat was over. The air was filled with moisture and I was thrilled that the island would soon be again quiet and peaceful.

Autumn is a fantastic time to be on Santorini… as is Spring. The light changes and the island colours change with it. Its as if the island breaths a sigh of relief and so do the people on it. For me… it’s a sigh of anticipation. The wonders of autumn, winter and spring are ahead. This magical landscape will once again weave it’s magic and no doubt produce sights and sounds that will amaze and astound me.

Quiet solitude and sublime images ahead. I hope you will join me and keep me company during winter ;-)

 


 

 

Isle of Saint Nicholas – Ammoudi… Oia, Santorini

It’s been a busy summer and I haven’t been able to spend anywhere near enough time with Alessi as I wanted to or should have. But this morning we decided to go to Ammoudi for a swim together, at our usual spot away from the tourists that flood the tiny rock beach.

 It’s a good thing that most tourists don’t stay long enough to learn all the secret spots on this island. Ammoudi… the little port below Oia becomes very busy in August, all the small tavernas working hard to make the most of the busiest month. The small beach opposite
St. Nicholas island is also a very popular spot and for good reason. The water is absolutely crystal clear and very deep… making it cool and refreshing in the middle of summer.

I took up my usual spot on the rocks….

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It doesn’t look like much… but the flat rock that’s constantly washed by the sea and a wet, folded sarong for a head rest, feet hanging in the water… pure bliss for several hours. You just have to take a step and you’re in the azure water…

Alessi has his own favourite spot… sitting on top of a buoy the fishermen use in winter. He loves sitting on top of it and look at the fish below the water, as well as watch the big cruise ships sail by Oia.

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We sat there for a couple of hours, enjoying the sun and the beautiful clear water. Our little island is a favourite in summer as well as winter…when there is nobody else here. That’s certainly not the case in August though… it’s a fight for space for most tourists, unless they are willing to venture out into the lava rock formations. The small island is a magnet for people throughout summer and it’s not surprising…

 

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It’s only a 20m swim across from the main island and the water is just too perfect for words. What a lot of people don’t realise is that around the small island there is 2-3 meters of rock… followed by a sheer vertical drop of more than 1,000m depth. Imagine what it would look like without the water…. would make Grand Canyon look like a creek.

Here is a view from the top of the cliff in Oia… looking down at the small island in late winter:

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To the right of the small island you can see a lagoon forming, around 20-30m deep… you can drop a coin and watch it all the way down on a calm day. To the left of the small island…lololol, you can drop whatever you like there folks, you are NEVER going to see it again.
It’s a loooooooooong way down. A scary thought as to what this scene would look like if the sea water wasn’t there.

Just another day at our local beach and small island…. another little adventure in this mystical island called Santorini !

Have a great weekend and I hope you get to spend some time with your kids too ;-)

 

 

 

Spirit of Oia – a Sunset to remember !

In Oia, on most evenings, something magical happens. People are happy…very very happy. Some come early, some come at the last minute… but all of them have a certain expression on their face. It’s like watching kids about to see a magic show. They come, they take their seats and they wait….

They come as couples mainly, but also as friends, as groups (small and large), or as families. They come from all over the world and its quite special to hear smiling faces speaking in all kinds of languages to each other. Its HAPPY hour in Oia, Santorini. Its “s u n s e t” time.

Since I promised you sunset magic I have gone out a couple of times to take photos. The sunset gods have not been kind, but magic still happens in Oia… even if the weather is not perfect.

As usual the sun-setters are in position early…waiting, chatting and taking photos.

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What a lot of them don’t realise is that the best way to get great photos in Oia is by moving around. It’s a moving picture show and unless you move around you’ll miss some magic shots… like this:

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On hazy days the light changes constantly… and the boats (as always) move around trying to get the best views for their passengers. Half the fun is trying to capture “the” shot…. if you’re there for the photos that is and not everyone is there for great photos. Most are there to share a great experience.

My theory on the fundamental need, we have as humans, to share an experience gives rise to many types of “why” questions. We humans are not just social animals. We are pack animals. We live in large cities together and we like to go to places where there are lots of others sharing the same experience with us. Not always of course…as you will see soon !

Sunset time in Oia is special for many reasons. It’s not just the view… as fantastic as it is. It’s the whole atmosphere around you. It’s the architecture, the topography, the people from all over the world around you and the “spirit” of the village. A multi-sensory torrent. Its a total immersion of sorts.

Did you know that humans have more muscles in their face, used for expression, than any other animal? Up to five main muscles and on occasion up to ten more. All used for expression. Useless information…I know, and I can only assume that not all of these are used to express pleasure… but let me tell you that the “pleasure muscles” work overtime at sunset…. I mean that in the cleanest possible way of course ;-)  

So visitors sit and wait…they chat, they drink, they dine or just cuddle – and they take looooots of photos. That’s because there is a lot to take photos of and the scene changes as the night progresses.

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The sunset viewing side of Oia gets filled with visitors during peak season. They sit on roof tops, steps, hotel balconies and of course the old Kastro (fort). They sit and wait for the show to start… anticipation growing.

 

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Other than the position of the sun the first sign that the show is about to start is the sailing ships below. Full of people…they cruise out for a closer glimpse then double back (depending on the weather) to allow their passengers to watch the sunset from inside the caldera.

 

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Watching these old ships down below in the small bay of Ammoudi gives you a feeling you’re watching a live pirate movie. It just adds to the sense of magic of the place and makes the whole experience almost surreal.

But of course… its not just the old sailing ships that come out at sunset. Almost any captain of a ship/yacht/cruise liner tries to time arrival into Santorini at sunset. They all want to give their passengers a look at one of most spectacular sights in the world…. a Santorini sunset.

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Obviously the timing of this particular captain of a privately owned (large, old-style yacht) was impeccable.  Just imagine the thrill of the guests on-board…. arriving in Santorini just as the sun was hugging the horizon. Probably not even aware that they themselves were adding to the magic of the show for all those high on the cliff.

 

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The haze didn’t allow one of the great sunsets for all those viewing on the night… but the atmosphere of the village never fails to capture the imagination of the visitors. They will talk about for years, show their photos and talk of watching the sunset at Oia. They will applaud and they will talk to the people around them. Some will kiss, cuddle or hold hands as they watch. Some will make plans to come back, others will not want to leave.

But there are also some that didn’t want to be with the crowd. They wanted to be alone….wanted to share only with each other.

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High romance…high on the cliffs of Oia.

Now THAT my friends, in my humble opinion, is the way to watch and remember an Oia sunset !

 

Sisterhood of Travelling Pants & Summer Lovers

Although neither of these movies will ever enter the Movie Classic Hall of Fame… you would be amazed how much interest there still is about where they were made.

Just so happens that the houses used for both films are only metres apart… and if I lined up the shot I figured we could get both in one pic:

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 Travelling pants in the foreground (blue door) and Summer Lovers in the background. Both silly films… but the scenery has mesmerised people worldwide ever since. I can’t blame them.

Just as an aside… the “Pants” house almost became my office of sorts… but the owner asked a bit too much than I was willing to pay for what is really just a small room with a bathroom. A friend has since rented it and currently lives there.

So to all of you movie buffs…there they are as promised.

I will be doing more on the Summer Lovers house soon…including some close-up pics of the inside and owners ;-)

Need to apologise for not posting as frequently as I normally do…but a lot is happening here and time has been against me. I did however manage to take Alessi and Rex for a sunset walk this evening and we took some good shots. Lots of people in Oia at the moment enjoying the great weather and fabulous sunsets. More on that tomorrow…

Whilst I was (as usual) watching the sunsetters, Alessi noticed that Rex had found a friend.

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I think she’s cute…

I hope you can drop by for a real Oia Santorini sunset treat tomorrow night ;-) 

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?”

Well….

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”…..

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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!

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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:

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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:

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…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 ;-)