Tag Archives: santorini real estate

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 !

M

Oia – the best gets better !

Been a while… I know, but lots going on. It’s a new season and the whole island is getting ready for what is expected to be a busy season (cruises 20% up apparently). I dare say that Greece will benefit from Egypt’s and Tunisia’s unrest…as well as the general imrpovement in global economic conditions.
So April has started with a bang…. and the whole island is being painted, renovated, refreshed and generally preparing for the season ahead. I said to visitors recently that April reminds me of the joke about the Queen (supposedly she thinks the whole world smells of fresh paint). This is how Santorini smells in April….at least until Greek Easter, which is the “official” start of the tourist season.

The good news is that although I haven’t written much…. I have been taking lots of photos and I will be publishing these in the comming weeks. I think Oia is looking better than ever…. and visitors will again see why it is (I believe) the most beautiful village in the world. Other villages on the island like Firostefani and to some extent Pyrgos  have also made considerable efforts to look their best…. but there is really no comparison to Oia (biased I know… but would argue this with anyone, anywhere, at any time). In fact…. rather than argue or debate this point, I will just let the images speak for themselves :

this is the green on the hills that summer visitors dont get to see… Spring is a magical time to be on the island – btw… if you’re going to have a balcony
anywhere……

 

a glimpse of my neighborhood through the tiny alleys and paths that shape
the caldera side of Oia…

one of the major differences between Oia (certainly the old part of Oia where I live) and the rest of the villages on the caldera…. is that Oia still has the most
number of privately owned villas…. as opposed to the endless hotels of Imerovigli and to some extent Firostefani. This is one of the major factors
in the preservation of it’s character, colour and architectural integrity !

the views of course are sublime from all parts of the caldera…. it’s a physical wonder and (as I like to call her) a “spiritual seducer”

but Oia…. well…. Oia is OIA !


this is a photo from last year… but one of my all time favorites….
it always reminds me of what I used to, and still say to people….
“if you ever come across a more picturesque village anywhere in the world,
please… call me”

Till Thursday… ; )  M

ps: if you have anything specific about the island or island life you would like to read about….please drop me a line or leave a message…. feedback is a blogger’s candy  “-/

pps:  for daily updates please find us on facebook and make yourself known as a blog reader…. you can also take a peek at Allison’s updated blog:  www.AegeanDesigns.com
Facebook:  “oiasantorini”      or   “aegean designs”

 

 

 

One day…I will

It’s June… and Santorini (unlike a lot of other destinations this year) is starting to get busy. Not quite August-busy yet… but busy enough given the times we are all living through on a global basis. The cruise ships are starting to arrive in numbers (3-5 daily) and the hotels all over the island are filling up. This means people in the streets… and for us people in the shops too. Lots of people… which also means lots of interesting conversations with people from all over the world.

Funny thing happens here… people come, they experience what I call “nature’s perfect storm” of sensory overload and they start to wonder. They wonder about living here, about making the big lifestyle change, about adventures on a Greek island, about magical sunsets, balmy evening walks on beautiful beaches and midnight swimming in crystal clear waters. They wonder about being able to wake up in the morning, walk out their front door with a coffee and be greeted by what is (I believe) the most sublime view on this planet. They wonder about having dinner with friends at a waterside taverna… with crystal clear waters below them and the sound of relaxed people all around them… looking at small fishing boats seemingly floating in the air (the water below them being so clear its almost invisible). They wonder what it’s like to walk through the little narrow lanes and go for dinner or drinks at one of the almost countless bars and restaurants the island has to offer. They wonder what it will feel like to feel free of daily city rituals, to not have to drive in traffic or hear sirens before they even get out of bed. They wonder what it would feel like to go for their morning walk… along the cliff-tops of Santorini. To look out and see things so beautiful that the brains finds almost impossible to comprehend. They wonder…

They also ask a lot of questions. What’s it like… what made you do it… was it hard/difficult… how did you decide? How much does it cost… is it easy to find a house… is it easy to renovate… what’s it like in winter? Their brain obviously switching from left to right thinking. Practical… then romantic… then back to practical… and back to romantic. They run scenarios through their heads… they pose questions and they attempt to address all the issues their “logical” self is putting forward. Some get very excited… others get quite frantic, almost beside themselves with excitement at the prospect of living here. They can “see it”… “feel it”.

Holiday over… it’s always hard to board planes and boats, go through airports and long flights home. Long conversations take place and no doubt lots and lots of notes written. All kinds of planning, to-do lists… must-do lists and must-think about lists are drafted and discussed. Alternating between the “logical” self and the “romantic/instinctive” self… they go through all kinds of issues in an attempt to rationalise what is seemingly a “huge move”… the BIG lifestyle change.

Then they return to work, daily routines, morning sirens, traffic and what they have generally grown to accept as “real life” sets in. They still look at the photos, they watch the videos and they go online searching for houses and the “perfect abandoned cave in need of some renovation”. They talk, they plan and… inevitably, they drift from their dreams (not all people mind you… but the large majority). The language changes from “I/we’re GOING to live on Santorini” to “one day…I/we will “.

Obviously Santorini is a metaphor here… you can substitute “Santorini”  for any place in the world… any goal in your life… any dream you have ever had. The issue is not “Santorini”… it’s the “one day”. It is one of the most dreadful, debilitating concepts ever devised by the human brain.
When is “one day”?  Is it proceeded by something that creates it? Is it a special day on which you will wake up a different man/woman and decide to change your life? Is it an age milestone? Is it a moment in life when you will definitively KNOW that it is time for a change? Is it several words uttered by a doctor with a very serious look on his/her face?

How do you/will you know when ONE DAY has arrived?

I don’t know why… I have no idea where or why it started, but I have always had a problem with the “one day” concept. I am a VERY patient man… and I will wait and wait and wait, till something is just right… or at least I think that the odds are working in my favour. But the “ONE DAY” is almost always something I am working hard to bring about… never waiting for it to simply happen. I remember visiting my parents every year for over twenty years whilst still living in Australia. Every year I would bring a present for my mother… almost always something to do with the kitchen (she loved her gadgets and small appliances for the kitchen). One day I asked what a cabinet at their holiday home was… what was in it?  I opened the cabinet and was stunned. There… in neat rows, all stacked away were most if not all of the small appliances I had brought her over the years. Forget the OMG moments… this was a WTF moment.

“What are all these things doing in here”? “One day… when we need them, we’ll use them” was the answer.

ONE DAY??? When is that ONE DAY?

The following year I made the trip home again. Unfortunately it was because I had lost my mother. That “One Day” never came.

If there is one thing I have learned in life… it’s this: If ONE DAY is part of your plans… put a line across it and substitute it with an actual date. A real date. Otherwise… “one day” never comes _

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 ;-)

 

 

 

The colours of Oia

A lot of people have the idea that Santorini…. and especially Oia is full of white, sugar-coated houses. But not so. Whilst the white-washed houses are many, the village of Oia is alive with colour…glorious colour !

 

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As it often happens with European and especially Mediterranean villages… somehow it all looks totally co-ordinated, even though its not.
From the sea… looking up, Oia looks like a master has painted it on the cliff face.

 

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These images offer only a tiny glimpse… but believe me when I tell you that colour is everywhere. The endless Aegean sea below maybe the backdrop, but the colours of Oia leave memories that last a lifetime.  

 

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…

 

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Oia – Santorini.

Yep…. good decision!

 

 


Oia Santorini – Summer Lovers

It was a just a small budget movie released in 1982. At the time the Greek Islands were already popular with young tourists from all over the world, but this silly little movie became a fantastic international commercial for the Greek tourism authority. Its just light hearted escapism, but the soundtrack was great and the images captured the imagination of millions around the world. For many this was the first glimpse they had of the magic of Santorini & the Aegean lifestyle and I know that many millions of people made a vow to themselves that “one day” they will get to the island.

Twenty six years later the house used for the movie is still here in Oia…now a curiosity shop. For all of you that first saw the island in this film and have visited as a result or are still dreaming about visiting one day…the following pics are for you ;-)

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the house sits on the “other side” of Oia, facing the sunset view but not the caldera and volcano…

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the wall sign still proclaims it as the “Summer Lovers” house…

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although not facing the volcano it still commands a spectacular view…situated above the steps leading down to Ammoudi port…

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also faces the Kastro (old Venetian fort) where the “sunsetters” gather daily to watch the magical sunset show; the old abandoned
ruins you can see were once Captains houses that were abandoned after the 1954 earthquake…

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just above the house are Oia’s two windmills..

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and the side entrance to what I think is the best restaurant (kastro) from which to watch the sunset and enjoy good food….

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the photos were taken around 6pm…but the keen sunsetters were already in position, two and a half hours before sunset…

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for all of these people this will be an afternoon to remember… their cameras capturing sublime images, their dream of watching
the sunset from Oia-Santorini fulfilled!

Hope you enjoyed the short tour of the Summer Lovers neighbourhood ;-)