Posts tagged with 'Greece'

Heraklion

By Ross in Travel on Sat 21 June 2014. Tags: Greece

On the advice of Chris from Atlantis Books, I headed next to Crete. When I went to the travel agency to buy my ferry ticket I was presented with a choice: the slower ferry (reasonably priced) or the faster ferry (about twice as expensive). Ordinarily, this would not have been much of a choice, as I am trying to travel as cheaply as possible (while maintaining a modicum of comfort). In this case, there was an added complication: the cheaper ferry was scheduled to depart around 0300, while the more expensive ferry would leave at the more reasonable time of 1745.

I debated with myself for a few minutes (not aloud), and in the end decided to splurge for the more expensive ferry. This gave me a good night's sleep and most of another day in Santorini, which in the end I think was worth it.

The ferry took me to Heraklion, the largest city in Crete. Heraklion is not an especially attractive city (the guidebooks and websites all give the same advice: get out as quickly as possible).

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A short walk led to the older, Venetian harbor, where I managed to take a few nice photos as the sun was setting.

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Farewell to Santorini

By Ross in Travel on Sat 21 June 2014. Tags: Greece

For my last day in Santorini, I decided to walk around and take pictures. Since I had come to the island specifically to see its characterstic colors, nothing else really made sense. I also wanted to photograph Oia in the morning light, since the other two times I had visited were in the evening.

Here are some of the highlights.

A church on the eastern side of Oia.

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Some more blue domes.

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A different blue dome, and a bell tower overlooking the water.

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This is on all the postcards:

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Here are some views of Oia.

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And a closeup of the iconic windmill:

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Here is a bell tower which is not blue:

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Next to it is a staircase:

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It took many tries to turn the staircase into this "white on white" photo.

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On the advice of Lucy at Atlantis Books, I hiked down to the small port at Amoudi.

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In the background, you can see the 300 (or so) steps I hiked down to get to the port.

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At the bottom, I saw this boat crane as well as octopuses (octopi? octopodes?) drying in the sun.

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During my walk around, I took a spontaneous swim near this rock. It was nice to cool off before the hike back up to Oia.

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On my way up, I discovered the secret to the bright white walls of Santorini:

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I took the bus back to Fira in the afternoon, and spent some time walking around there. Here is a photo of the city and one of the old port below the city. You can take a "cable-car" (essentially a ski lift down to the port, but I did not do that.

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I like this picture of the towers and domes of the catholic cathedral of Fira:

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Here is a picture of the bell tower of the cathedral:

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Finally, here are two more photos involving the cathedral, one through an archway and another through a window grill.

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I left Fira in mid-afternoon to catch a ferry to Crete. On the way out, I picked up a pair of clip-on sunglasses, since I was finding the midday sun to be quite overwhelming. Dorky, but effective.


Sunset in Santorini

By Ross in Travel on Fri 20 June 2014. Tags: Greece

Every evening, people gather in Oia, Santorini to watch the sunset.

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The moment when the sun dips below the horizon is met with applause.

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Res ipsa loquitur.

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Red Beach

By Ross in Travel on Fri 20 June 2014. Tags: Greece

After leaving the Akrotiri excavation site, I headed toward the Red Beach, aptly named for its red sand and for the steep red cliffs which jut up directly behind the beach.

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This time, I actually went into the water. My pair of quick-dry nylon shorts doubles as a swimsuit (although it will win no fashion awards), and my pack towel, although useless for beach lounging, is sufficient for drying off. The water of the Aegean was cool and refreshing, as well as remarkably clear, and I had a lovely swim. The waves were not huge, but were more significant than I had antipated.

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On my way back to the bus stop, I ate the best gyro I have had to date, as well as stopped to take some pictures of the coastline.

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Akrotiri

By Ross in Travel on Fri 20 June 2014. Tags: Greece

After yesterday's minor mishap, I was determined to make it to Akrotiri. I walked all the way into Fira so I could catch the bus from the main bus station. On the way, I took this photo of Fira cathedral through an archway.

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Visitors to Akrotiri have an opportunity to visit an active archeological site. Akrotiri was a bronze-age Minoan settlement on the island of Santorini. From what I gather, the city was rebuilt several times after multiple earthquakes before being buried in volcanic ash from the Theran eruption.

Although more of the buildings have been preserved here than at Ancient Thera, I had to rely on reading the signs and overhearing the tour guides to make sense of the place.

These first pictures give an overall sense of the place. The new building was completed a few years ago, after which the site was reopened to the public. 

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This is the Pithoi Storeroom, named such because it was found full of pithoi (large storage jars).

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The sign indicated that weaving weights were found in front of the large window. They had fallen from an upper story, where weaving had taken place. It took me a while to actually find the weights, and it required manual focus to get a picture of them, but I was successful in the end.

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This is the main road of Akrotiri.

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Here is a toilet in one of the buildings.

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Here is a collapsed staircase leading to a collapsed upper floor.

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Here is a kitchen area. The second picture is a closeup of one of the pots.

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Akrotiri is also notable for its frescoes which were especially well preserved by the volcanic ash. Unfortunately they are no longer on site, as they have all been relocated to museums throughout Greece.