Tag Archives: santorini winter

Oia Santorini… winter images of a village in hibernation

Thousands of daily visitors, hundreds of tour buses, sunset watchers, cruise ships… it’s non-stop cabaret for Oia during the long hot Greek island summer.

But then… comes winter. The village exhales. Serenity replaces chaos. Total and complete quiet takes over and the village rests. It slides into a familiar hibernation from which it will awake in late February. It’s a time to think, to contemplate, to walk alone and to listen to the voices inside you.

It’s a beutiful time…. in the world’s most beautiful village. Enjoy ; )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9dLrD-xjoc

 

 

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Snow on Santorini & sublime sunsets…

Its always the case isn’t it?  Whenever you say something about the weather it turns against you. I’ve been telling anyone and everyone that this year we’ve had a Clayton’s winter (the winter you have…when you don’t have a winter)…. and the next day what happens??   IT SNOWS !

Yes indeed…. snow on Santorini, in March no less. Talk about things to put into the environmental WTF file…. I mean seriously. I have been in a T-shirt since last November – give or take a couple of “cool” days – and now that Spring is here…. it SNOWS !

Can you believe that?

The worse thing is that unlike the last snow storm in 2008…. this one had a bit too much wind for the snow to settle….but luckily it wasn’t cold enough for the slush to turn into ice on the roads (unlike the last time). It was just a nice morning of pretend (Greek-island style) snow blizzard. I know…Greek-island style snow blizzard it’s an oxymoron…. but thats what it was. A mini, pretend snow storm. Just enough to be exciting for some pictures… but a pain in the butt in terms of getting around by car…not to mention by foot. Sadly for me the camera memory card played up and only two images survived:

 

I know what you’re thinking…this guy is having us on, this is not snow, it’s just a bit of frost. But trust me…. it snowed for 3-4 hours, it just couldn’t settle because of the wind. Besides…. it is Santorini we’re talking about, not St Petersburg.

I’m sure if I ran around the island’s high peaks (Pyrgos etc)…. I would’ve found plenty of snow to photograph, but I was too busy painting the studio for that kind of manic storm chasing. Besides, I know by now that a snow storm on Santorini lasts 2-3 hours max…. after that the Sun makes an appearance and winks at us with that “just kidding ya” look. It’s a novelty act…. to be filed away in the ever expanding WTF file ( which…. even since I have lived in Greece, has been growing exponentially).

The odd weather did bring some unexpected pleasures though… the normally sublime scenery I enjoy by living on this island….became almost surreal at times. To call it beautiful is really like saying Sophia Loren was just your average wench. It really is sublime…. and on afternoons like today it just has you searching for superlatives…yet again. Let me show you what I mean:

a sleeping volcano… a sunburst….. a glowing desert storm on the horizon
& the Therassia milk-runner…. all in one shot !

Firostefani at sunset…


unmistakably Santorini…


the blue dome… saying goodnight to the Bluestar ferry…

Had to wait almost 45 minutes to get that last shot… but well worth it, don’t you think?

waving ~~~   ; )

 

 

 

Santorini winter…(the one you have when you don’t have a winter)

“Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail” they say…. and if that is the case then we are in for an interesting March…. but for now, we are still enjoying what has turned out to be a glorious winter on Santorini & Southern Greece in general. A winter like this really highlights the immense beauty of this island…. the special, softer sun light bathes the landscape and highlights the lush color thats resulted from the considerable rain we had late last year. The sugar-coated houses offer a photographer a completely different glow in winter and so does the caldera itself. The blue of the water is different… darker and more mysterious, as is the sleeping volcano itself. Winter sunlight reflects off the lava in a way that saturates the black shiny rocks and makes them look very dark purple. Then of course there is the blissful silence. You can walk for an hour in Oia… and other than the odd dog bark, you will hear “nothing”. Chances are you will not see anyone either of course…. which makes it even better to take your time and walk around with your camera, select your shots and not have to worry about thousands of tourists getting in your way.

unmistakable Oia…..

 


the simplicity of a roof top garden in Oia

 


a quiet moment with Alessi…

 


glorious light and sublime images…

 

I am sorry about the delay on this post….partly because I’m suffering from terrible flu at the moment…and partly because I had to post this more than a dozen times before wordpress decided to accept it without crashing….just what you need when your head is throbbing and your nose running. There are many more photos from our Sunday morning walk…hopefully will post them later this week. M

Aegean storm… melancholy & reflection

In the ying/yang that is life… you can’t truly appreciate something until you have seen and/or felt the opposite extreme. So it was when faced with the choice of making a trip to Athens… do I quickly fly in (25 min flight) or do I take the ferry in uncertain weather. For me it was a no-brainer. A boat ride on an old ferry in stormy weather was far too delicious a prospect to ever seriously consider any alternatives – especially yet another boring… albeit quick flight. So on a dark, stormy morning I boarded a slow-boat to Athens… purpose unpleasant, cause of problem unknown, travel time uncertain, weather unsettled & state of mind unclear. The trip had been made dozens of times, but not under these conditions… weather or mental.

The blinding bright light of the Aegean summer had given way to winter grey and the island which mesmerises millions of people every year, looked cold, inhospitable & decidedly empty. Yet… there was a zen-like beauty and calmness about it. It looked at peace, resting… enjoying the winter storm and lapping up the life-giving rainfall. It was then I realised that I was seeing something few people get to see… the rarely seen winter “yang” of the summer “ying” that everyone knows all too well about Santorini. These are the sights and sounds that visitors never see… believing instead that all Greek islands are bathed in brilliant light and warm sun rays all year round. The images that follow provide you with a glimpse of an Aegean storm and a day-long trip across this mythical sea.

the rain was falling heavily and the island villages were barely visible…

an almost empty ferry pulled away from Santorini’s port… sailing into a storm

the totally calm summer-blue caldera waters had changed to a dark, unsettled
sea that looked angry…

the little church on Skaros rock looked a lonely place in the middle of the storm

soon the island was left behind… the ferry heading for the open and much
rougher waters of the southern Aegean Sea

In summer… you couldn’t get a seat here if you tried. In winter… well, winter
is a different story. It makes you understand the cycles of life & time…

The starkness of a lonely deck and the angry sea below, make you pause and reflect…

you remember the brilliance of this scenery in summer, but also appreciate
it’s raw beauty on a stormy winter’s day…

you look and reflect… what was and what will be

this is NOT a black & white photo… the water
was simply reflecting the mood of the sky above!

but this IS Greece after all & the skies soon cleared, the Aegean putting on
it’s royal blue best once again…

the first of our island stops was in sight… a tiny jewel in the Aegean,
another summer paradise breathing a winter’s sigh of relief!

We will see more images from the small islands along the way on Wednesday’s post. I hope you enjoyed the boat ride through the Aegean storm and thank you for the many kind comments, emails & good wishes… all greatly appreciated ;-)

M

Oia – on a winter’s day

~ One kind word can warm three winter months. ~

Japanese proverb

When you look out your window and see this coming towards you…
you know it’s a day best spent indoors.

the storm didn’t last long but it was intense… plenty or rain and hail

the village streets were deserted and wet… not even
the village dogs were making an appearance

the village square…a hive of activity in summer
it is now eerily quiet and empty

restaurants like “Thalami” are stacked for winter

and “Skala” has been completely emptied… being
totally unprotected from the weather

this poor old fellow was curled up next to the food
provided by the local stray “caretakers” – more on that soon

and this… this is what luxury hotels look like in winter.
This is Andronis Villas currently undergoing some renovations…
to be ready for Christa and her husband Tom
when they arrive next June ;-)


early tomorrow morning…around 2.30am I will be on this boat on my way
to Athens for some “stuff” and maybe a visit further North.
I will be away for a few days but hoping to post a few things along the way.
Its all to do with doctors and that’s never pleasant.
So if you’re feeling kind and you believe the Japanese proverb above
you can leave some kind words to warm up the winter months ahead.
Wish me luck !