Tag Archives: santorini sunrise

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  ; )

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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 !

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

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 ;-)

Santorini – the morning still !

For a long time now I have wanted to put you in a position to see certain images through my eyes. To see what I see. To experience certain times of day the way I do. The following clip is not long… just over a minute. But its long enough to let you get a glimpse of the magic of what I call “the morning still”… looking out over the caldera at sunrise.

Call it yoga for the mind if you will ;-)

There is no soundtrack… no words necessary. Just the majesty of nature… and Rex.

The clip is dedicated to all my blogroll friends, as well as all of YOU… the readers.

Enjoy !

WARNING: “The images contained in the following clip can become highly addictive” !

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as the migration to the new site begins this blog will only be available on
it’s wordpress. com address… please copy and paste on your links/readers:

https://oiasantorini.wordpress.com

sorry about the inconvenience ;-(

it’s the DASH that matters…

Went for my early walk this morning. Far too early for anybody else to be around…so I had the pleasure of having the entire village and it’s glorious views all to myself.

It was a beautiful spring morning… warm, clear and almost perfectly still. The views were incredible… even for someone that lives here. To make it even more poignant there wasn’t a sign of another human anywhere to be seen. Just me and my stray dog Woolfie…and the whole miracle of nature that is the Santorini caldera. A rare privilege indeed… one that makes you reflective and appreciative. Along with many other things in life I was indeed very pleased to be right there at that very moment.

So many thoughts came to mind. In particular, I thought about a line that is old… but so very true ~ It’s  not your birth date or the date of your death that matters on your tombstone… its what you managed to fit into the “dash” between !

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There is an elegant lady in Spain with whom I travel a lot… she takes me to all kinds of places…
Venice, Provence, Portofino just to name a few. She has an eye for beauty, is a great photographer
and a very stylish tour guide.

You can join me and travel all over the world with her too…
simply by visiting her wonderful blog here:

http://toiledejouy.blogspot.com/

Thank you Berta ;-)

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 !

Beauty of nature

Sublime sunrise
Santorini, October 2009

It seems so hard to understand,
As I look across the land,
That all I view belongs to me…
I ought to take more time to see.
                                                     (anon) 

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I’ve always believed there are rewards for those of us that rise early…
 

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respect

Thank you to Lisa for sending in the first “respect” photo… written on the sands of North Avoca Beach, NSW Australia.

If you haven’t seen the post…you can read about my  “Respect” concept here !

You can visit Lisa here and read the inspirational story of Hillary and the Hills Angels !

 

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If you haven’t followed this blog for long and you are not aware of the “Santorini dreaming” short essays contest, then you may be missing out on a chance of a lifetime. The idea is simple… tell us in one thousand words or less what you would like to do, what you have always dreamed (or dreamt) of doing or what you have already done on Santorini. In short… tell us your dream holiday on Santorini or the dreamy holiday you have already spent here in the past. The winner gets to enjoy an incredible holiday here next year… made possible by the sponsors:  

andronis

 

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There are over a million people that visit Santorini every year… but NONE of them ever experiences what the winners of this contest will experience next year.

There were a number of posts leading up to the Santorini Dreaming contest. I have compiled all of them on the Santorini Dreaming page… please visit and read about this opportunity to fulfil your Santorini dream.

You can click on the “Santorini Dreaming” page on the main menu or you can  click here !