Tag Archives: santorini photos

the mellow season…

Autumn is a funny season… instead of the frantic pace of the more vibrant spring… autumn is much more mellow. The pace is easier and nature seems to be in no hurry. Everything seems to move in a slower motion to early spring. Even the leaves take their time to slowly change their colours and then…fall patiently. There is no hurry in autumn. Even the weather seems in no hurry to suddenly change. One day it’s cloudy… the next day it’s sunny again. The special autumn sunshine has inspired many a wordsmith and many a verse has been written about the stillness of autumn.

“Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.”
–   Elizabeth Lawrence

On my small island autumn is a favourite season for many reasons… not the least of which is the “light”. There is no better time of the year to take photographs in my opinion. The light is soft…gentle. It makes the scenery seem serene… at ease.

“O suns and skies and clouds of June,
and flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October’s bright blue weather”

But autumn can also be moody… bright sunshine can give way to dark clouds.. rolling in like a thick blanket. The scenery it creates here is beyond words.
Even Rex had to sit in quiet contemplation !

The steps to Ammoudi are no longer filled with tourists… only the village dogs.

The sunset restaurants are still busy… but the pace is different. people linger all afternoon instead “running” to catch the sunset. There is no hurry in autumn.

This bride and her groom would have been trampled on if this was August… but it’s not. It’s October… and they can relax. Although if you notice the difference in clothing between the bride and the gent with the jacket you would know that this bride probably wishes it was August…

The very next morning the colours were very different again… but no less sublime. The dark skies a reminder that the season of change is upon us. A welcome change from the unrelenting heat of summer and the seemingly infinite number of tourist buses. Autumn takes care of all that… in a gentle and seemingly effortless way. The mellow season has it’s own way..with everything & every one!

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For those of you interested in seeing a sample range from Aegean Designs please search for “ad shop” on Facebook and send us a friend request… mentioning you are a blog reader. We will  give you access as soon as possible and would love your feedback. More on this in Thursday’s post. Wave from Oia ~~~~~

Oia Santorini: 1-year anniversary… reflections of a cave dweller

It was twelve months ago (just over actually) that I decided to start writing a public notebook about life in Oia. Somehow it seems longer… maybe because a great deal has been written or maybe it’s just been a long year. If I had known what I was getting myself into I probably wouldn’t have done it… but, “live with no excuses and love with no regrets” as they say…!

I think blogging should be called “Hidden… in full view” !

Don’t get me wrong… I have enjoyed every minute of it – well, in truth, maybe not “every” minute… but most of it. It’s a love-hate relationship really. I love the discipline it imposes on you… I use it as motivation to see and capture all the wondrous sights this mystical island has to offer. But on the other hand I dislike the “exposing” aspect… something I suspect a lot of bloggers who are usually fairly “private” people,  find difficult to get used to. I can certainly understand why some bloggers hide behind a pen-name. Now… again, don’t get me wrong. This little blog is not about to make me famous and there is no fear of being mobbed in the middle of Oia… unless its’ by donkeys or stray dogs in the dead of winter. That’s not what I’m talking about. By “exposing” I mean peeling layers off one’s self. Discussing things that have always been considered personal, private, out-of-bounds for people that know me… let alone total strangers.

The good news is that it does get easier the longer you do it… as in it gets easier to open up and talk freely about all kinds of things. I suppose the “mystics” and “new-age sensitives”will claim that openness is good for the soul and writing your thoughts is a good way to cleanse. But that’s the mystics… we all know they smoke bird droppings and talk to playing cards with pictures on them (they all inhale btw).

So here we are…a year later… and 139 posts later. Lots of words and lots of photos… which is what most people tune into this channel for. There are literally thousands of photographs I have taken in the past twelve months… only a small fraction of which have made it in this blog. Photography has been one of the most pleasurable aspects of blogging… and its something that I will continue to explore with great enthusiasm. Its a record in time… of the island, Oia, the cave house, the family and Greece… at least through my eyes & lens. The new blog design will highlight photos a lot more and also feature them in a more referenced way – I know its late in coming… but there are many things happening here which are taking priority at this point in time.

There are things one is supposed to do when reaching this milestone… but I don’t exactly know or don’t remember what they are, so I won’t bother. What I will do however is show some of my favourite photos from the past twelve months. There are too many to include in one post… so this week’s posts will be dedicated to the year that was. This is the first instalment  of memories from the past twelve months:

as a friend of mine said “this picture says it all” !

dreamtime…

nature’s show…

beauty  in simplicity…

unforgettable Christmas eve image…

magical Aegean sunsets…

and mystical Aegean islands…

morning mist…

and stormy weather…

ancient sacred sites (300 Spartans)

and images that capture the essence of a Greek island village
in winter (Naxos)

religious traditions…

and magical moments in time…

the staggering beauty of this mystical island…

and the sheer pleasure of being able to experience and share it…

It’s been a great adventure… one which continues. I hope the “dedication” of this blog touches those “undecided” people… those who want to explore and pursue their dreams but who, for whatever reason, haven’t been able to as yet. I hope our adventures serve as reminders to people that you don’t have to be anything special to live your dream… you simply have to want to do it. To take a chance… to realise that the worst thing that can happen is that you may… just may feel “alive” again, doing what you have dreamed about for years. You may actually have some fun breaking your comfortable routine… and doing what most people will only ever talk about.

I’m not preaching… I just happen to believe that sometimes the greatest gift is to encourage people to answer their own prayers……

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.

Santorini dreaming… romantic essays

Imagine you’re a kid at school. A special guest is introduced by your teacher… someone who is here to tell you about making your dreams come true. He stands out the front and smiles at everyone. He then reaches in his pocket and pulls out a 10 dollar note and holds it up… saying “who wants this?” 

What would you do?

There are several possibilities. You will sit still and watch, or you will put your hand up like a good student, you may even yell out “I want it”. But the man still holds the note in his hand…still smiling silently. You look around you and everyone seems to suffer from the same hesitation… not sure what to do, not sure what is expected, not wanting to be un-cool, not wanting to seem desperate, not wanting to seem “wanting”. You feel frozen, the pressure of the situation has you confused….”what will others think if I went out there?”  Then suddenly there is noise to your left…

A girl walks to the front of the class… reaches up and takes the 10 dollar note from the man’s hand. He looks at her with a big smile… asks what her name is, “Ann” she replies… holding the money in her hand.

“Can you make me a promise Ann?” he says looking in her eyes….”can you promise to come and see me the day you finish university?
You are exactly the kind of person I want working with me ! ”

This of course has happened many times in many schools… I have done it myself with my kids. Most kids just look… frozen, self-conscious, shy, hesitant. But there is Ann. She dares… and she wins.

As adults… how many chances have we let slip through our fingertips by being hesitant, shy, coy, or simply afraid to try?  

I don’t have a $10 note to hold up… but I have this to show you and it’s worth a whole lot more:

villa1

 

and this…

 

villa2

 

and finally this…

 

villa3

this is the villa where the winner will spend the first two days of his/her dream holiday. It has it’s very own
private pool and a view that will make you think you are living in another world… living in a dream ;-)

 

But that’s the paradise you will inhabit in the first two days. After that you will move to my village. The village of Oia… and you will stay
at another hotel which will also make you pinch yourself to believe you are really there. There will be photos of that hotel on Wednesday, but let me just show something very special from it. Take your time looking at this… because this my friends, is where you will have your romantic dinner on your first night there. Have you ever…ever, seen anything like this in your life?

1close-up

Seated by candle light 300m above sea level… overlooking the blue caldera and the cliffs of Oia.
If there is a better spot to have a romantic dinner… please tell me ;-)

 

All you have to do is tell us your Santorini dream in a 1000 words or less. It may be about a night or nights you have spent here already, or night/s you have always dreamed about spending here. Tell us what it means to you and tell us what you see in your mind’s eye.
Tell us your dream !

 

Submissions can be sent starting this Friday via email to::  oiadweller at yahoo dot com

So…. have you been thinking?

Will you keep on thinking or do something about it? 

 

 

Santorini – the zen of Fall

Spring may be the season for celebrating life… but fall/autumn is the season of romance and love. In Spring you want to run on hill tops and explore nature… but come fall/autumn you want to take slow, long walks and be reflective, tender, romantic. If spring is zooom… then fall is zen.

There is just something about fall (I don’t want to keep mentioning fall & autumn so we’ll stick with fall). I think it is the mystical season. Summer finishes and suddenly things change… beginning with the light. Suddenly there is a haze in the mornings, the light is softer and everything seems to look more real. The harsh summer light gives way to a softer glow that brings out the more natural colours of everything. In Santorini… Fall is even more special because although we don’t have the gorgeous trees that many of you have all over the world, we have this little pond… called the caldera.

If you are like me and believe that fall is the “zen” season… and you agree with me that there is something mystical about this island and especially about the caldera… then you would be deliriously happy to be on Santorini during this magical season. Whilst the weather is still fine we’ve had several glimpses of fall and all the mystical wonders it has to offer.

1

calm before the storm…

 

9

visual zen…

10

 balcony view of stormy weather,
romantics rejoice…

 

11

the heavens took pity on the ships…

 

fall sunset

fall sunset …

 

The zen of the Fall indeed !

What do you think?

 

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Only been a couple of cloudy days this fall, but already the colour of the light and the water, as well as the island, are changing. The blue is bluer than ever and the water…well the water just looks surreal. Don’t believe me? Pop by on Friday… you’ll see what I mean ;-)

 

      

Oia Santorini – being here !

Waking up at 6am…. some weights, a walk or a swim, quick juice and then off on the Vespa. Running around all day, dropping in and out of the studio, meeting with people, checking out properties, seeing people at the winery, a coffee or three, back to the studio… then a ride home in the evening.

Living in paradise doesn’t always mean you have the time to enjoy it. In fact…. if you’re not careful, the same thing that happens in any big city can just as easily happen in Oia and/or Santorini.

If you let it that is…. and I have been letting it lately. A lot !

But then something happens. Something that reminds you that you live in a very, very special place. Something that makes you realise the need to keep in mind why you are here in the first place.

Let me show you.

On the way into Oia village you can’t see the view on the volcano side… only the north side, which is spectacular in itself. But the “real view”, the one that makes your jaw drop to your knees, stays teasingly hidden until you are almost in the village proper. Then, in a fleeting moment…. it opens up. It’s the spot I call the “Oia Pass”. Suddenly the caldera view opens up for you on the left as you drive in… and your eyes can hardly believe what they are seeing. It’s a narrow pass and you can’t really stop there unless you are waiting for oncoming traffic to clear. But the most gorgeous village on earth gives you a teasing little glimpse. It’s like the most beautiful caldera in the world smiling and saying to you  “Pssssssssst….welcome to your dream ” as you’re driving through.

You turn… and your eyes see this:

4 On the left you look towards Imerovigli and the main port….

 

1

below is the magnificent cliff side with the beautifully carved out hotels…deep blue caldera opening up below them…

 

5 the volcano and Therassia island ahead…

 

3and a large cruise ship gliding majestically passed.

 

The photo that will do this scene justice hasn’t been taken yet… the photographer that can capture it hasn’t been born yet and the camera that can take in what your eyes can see hasn’t been made yet. But you will have to take my word for it dear friends… there is nothing like it anywhere on this planet.

So, in the mad rush to stay on top of things… to run around and do what needs to be done, I occasionally have to stop here and remind myself where I am, what it’s taken to be here and why I must never, ever take it (or my time here) for granted !

 

 

Santorini in August – a “wall of love”

Summer is in full swing and Santorini, as always in August, is buzzing. Planes unloading thousands of people (an inbound flight every 20 minutes), fast ferries running back and forth from Athens and other islands… and of course cruise ships. Santorini gets more cruise ships than just about any other place in Europe… including Venice.

For many it’s their first visit, but for others it’s a much awaited return to the island of their dreams. They all come to experience the magic, the mystique, the secret allure that this island has.

 caldera2

Some will sit quietly and enjoy a coffee…. with a “view”!

 

caldera3
This is one of my fave coffee shops in Fira. Coffee is good and although
the view looks like it’s a huge outdoor poster ad for cruise ships…
believe me folks, it’s real !

 

caldera4
Below there are all kinds of boats & ships…

 

caldera1

Each day bringing thousands of dreamers to the island of romance…
 

 

But not everyone sits and stares at the view for hours in Fira. Thousands make their way to Oia daily and in doing so they pass the “wall of love”… where lots of couples stop and leave a small dedication to each other.
 

wall of love

It’s a curious thing that happens. Somehow, every summer, love messages start to appear on this black volcanic cliff face. Couples look for white pebbles, or even bring their own and proceed to piece together love messages for all to see.

 

hearts

From the spray painted “I love you” written in Greek, to tiny little hearts with initials… the romantics stop and let the thousands of passers by know of their feelings for one another.

 

hearts2

Over the years it has become a wonderful tradition which gives the young lovers a forum to express their feelings to the rest of us. They almost always work on their masterpiece together… kiss upon completion & try to find someone, anyone… to take a photo of them standing in front of it. 

Love is grand isn’t it?

Long live the romantics of this world !

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Big thank you to the lovely Carla Coulson for her wonderful piece earlier this week… inspirational words from a woman passionate about her chosen art form. Thanks Carla… enjoy your holiday xx

I hope the “Find your passion” posts will inspire other people to share their passion with all of us as part of this theme. If you have found your passion, or know of someone, please let me know… would love to hear from you!

PS: August is Vedema (harvest) month on Santorini. If you know anything about the wonderful wines of Santorini, or would like to, then don’t miss the next post.

Wave from the cave to all of you ;-)