Tag Archives: oia sunset

tales of summer….. part I

It’s been a long hot summer… and it’s been quite some time since I wrote in the pages of this here notebook. But as the verse says… everyone does need a little time away.

It was always going to be an interesting summer, with all that’s happening around the world… and especially Greece. Most people here were pessimistic at the start of the season and a lot of tourists were no doubt anxious with all that was happening in Egypt and elsewhere. Alas…Santorini is not Greece and despite all that was going on hundreds of thousands of visitors came to the island and had a wonderful time.

As you know I like to take the odd photograph or three… but this summer I probably took more than normal, partly because there was a lot going on, but also because I started to really enjoy my photography once again…. after a short period of almost no photographs at all.

As I started to prepare for this return post I found myself looking through the photo archive and realised it has been a wonderful summer…. with lots of visitors and guests, family and friends. It’s been a long summer, a hot summer… but a summer full of new experiences, chance meetings, happy reunions and the start of many new friendships with people from all over the world. That’s the beauty of living on an island that is visited by people the world over…

But enough of my drivel, let’s look at some photographs and let them speak for themselves….

as always there were sunsets… lots of sublime sunsets, which were made
even more enjoyable because of the people we watched them with…

there have been many nights when the sun was really showing off…
luckily I was there to shoot it!

having a glass of wine in the evening with this happening in front of you…
will always be a humbling experience

on a nightly basis the island puts it’s magic spell on visitors… many
of whom will never forget the sunset they saw in Oia

it would have to be one of the most fantastic shows on earth…
and it’s different every night

there are sunsets all over the world of course…
but Oia has party tricks that no other place can match…

in fact… even for a person that lives here it often feels too surreal for words

and sometimes…. well, sometimes the show continues well into the night
because soon after sunset we have a full moon and very special things
happen in Oia on the night of a full moon…

the caldera puts on her fancy frock… and the beauty is blinding

it was on such a night that we had a great function for our visiting friends
from Subaru Australia…. held at the sublime terrace of the Red Bicycle
in Oia. Following a fantastic dinner we had an auction for one
of Allison’s hand painted table cloths from Aegean Designs…
all proceeds went towards the care of Oia’s stray animals.
The winning bid… 2,300 euro
Huge thanks to all those present on the night!

of course… those in the know are very aware that the best show is often
NOT at sunset… but at sunrise. The only problem is that most
visitors sleep through them and are oblivious of the majesty they
miss out on…

that’s not to say that during the day the view is shabby…
we don’t do “shabby” in Oia…

because… as you know by now, Oia is Oia…
the most picturesque village in the world  ; )

* * * * * * *

parts II  & III later this week…
pointers will be posted here and Facebook!

lastly…

as I type this on the Mac,
I feel compelled  to express my deep sorrow…

“we are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then is habit…”
Socrates. 

Thank you Mr Jobs !

Oia Santorini – Scenes of a Greek island summer

August in Greece… the islands buzzing with excitement. Most of Europe is on holidays and it seems a vast majority chose Greece as their destination of choice. The islands are a cauldron of nationalities… almost every imaginable language is heard as you casually walk through narrow streets and lanes… day or night. Santorini… as an island… walks to it’s own beat when it comes to tourism. There is no crisis here… there are no weekdays or weekends. It’s one long summer of lovers and lovers of the island… the two not being mutually exclusive. There is good reason of course… this is not just any island. Of all the Greek islands… this is the mother pearl… the crown jewel of the mythical Aegean Sea. The one they all dream about…

People enjoy waterside dining that can often be a surreal experience. From this
very spot at Dimitri’s (Ammoudi) you can not only watch the sunset and all of the old sailing boats… but after dark you may also/ see some of the largest cruise ships in the world sail quietly passed your table. There are thousands of
waterside taverna’s in Greece… but Ammoudi is in another class.

this is of course the place where your very own cave dweller has been known to enjoy the odd grilled octopus and perhaps…just perhaps… an ouzo or three.

as if that (grilled octopus & ouzo/wine) is not enough… there is a certain sunset that a few people talk about… which can also be seen from your table. Is it any wonder people lose their minds here…

summer is enjoyed in many ways… but lingering on a balmy night at a waterside taverna with good friends… fresh seafood and chilled wine… is not hard to take!

Meantime the village itself is filled with sunset visitors… each wanting the perfect photo… the perfect sunset experience… the desire to somehow capture the magic of the village… to create memories for the future.

my good friend and neighbour waits patiently for the passing sunsetters to buy
some of her home-made produce… she’s a gorgeous lady and I hope you
stop and buy something if you’re visiting Oia (speaking of gorgeous… the three
Italian kids being held by their mother could’ve made the cover of Italian Vogue on any day…beautiful family) !

when sunset is over and the nightly exodus starts you don’t want to be walking against the crowd… it’s like the end of a concert and people are pouring out of the venue just as you’re trying to go in.

but for me… none of that matters because my sunsets are usually spent at home…where the view is a lot more entertaining and I have it all to myself. When this photo was taken I didn’t realise the poignant message of the heading on the magazine page… until much later. A random moment in time that somehow captures the essence of it all ; )

PS: as there are more frequent (short) posts on Facebook than the blog…. you might like to join me there from time to time as well. The name is same as the blog (OiaSantorini)… so make yourself known as a blog reader and I can add you !

OMG moments !!!

I have said many times that “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take…but the number of moments that take our breath away”. An OMG-moment is one of those moments. When a variety of things align in a way that produces the inner-WOW in our brain. When our eyes capture images that the brain finds hard to believe. My little village & this island in general, has a habit of giving me these OMG-moments. It kind of feels like it walks up behind you, when you least expect it and taps you on the shoulder saying “hey you… you think you’ve seen it all huh? well have a look at this….” !

And then… the very next morning I woke up, made a coffee… walked out to the veranda and saw this:

The ship entering the caldera is the Westerdam… a frequent visitor to our island and a beautiful ship to watch as it glides past (believe it or not there is a huge difference watching the various large cruisers as they sail past the house… not just in noise levels but also sheer presence on the water). The Westerdam is a “very” elegant lady and almost totally silent. On this particular morning the water was like glass… as this magnificent ship entered what must be the best natural port for large ships anywhere in the world (certainly the most spectacular views offered to passengers). The view sailing past Oia at sunrise…for those passengers smart enough to be awake for it… must be magical. I could clearly see flashes going off just I was taking photos of the ship… so at least a number of them were awake to witness this amazing visual feast.

It was an incredibly privileged experience to be a witness to these different…but equally mesmerising moments in time on the island that seems to make a habit of offering these OMG moments to me.

Hope you enjoyed the images as much as I enjoyed capturing them ~

PS: On both occasions I had to use the iPhone to capture the images…just imagine what they would look like with my normal cam… but alas, my trusted Pentax is broken (if you know of a Pentax executive out there… or a marketing exec from another quality camera brand… let me just say that this is a good cross-promotional opportunity for them ).  Nuff said ;-)

the magic of sunsets !

Sunsets are like snowflakes…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

the coolverse

Neil Diamond

” Shilo”

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?

***************

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.

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.

s1

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:

s2

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.

s3

 

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.

 

ships1

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.

 

ships2 
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.

s7

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.

 

s14

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.

s9

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:

travpantssumrlovrs

 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.

rex&friend

I think she’s cute…

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