Santorini part II: The Caldera

Nap time is over. Time to get up, take a shower and browse the alleys like ninjas. Or wait, no, the parkour guys are doing that and my back is killing me in either case.

As told in the earlier Santorini part I post, the island is a remnant of a volcanic caldera. I hadn’t even thought about it until I had a decent look of the island on a map. In other words, this bad boy is sitting on the South Aegean Volcanic Arc spitting out magma every now and then. At least four massive caldera-forming eruptions are recorded in history.

Santorini island

Image courtesy of Google

The Caldera of Santorini

But what’s a caldera? It’s when Earth has such a bad stomach it pushes everything out, in this case magma leaving a hole deep down which has to be filled with something, in this case whatever happens to be on top of the now empty chamber: land. BOOM all of a sudden there’s not just one island but many as the Earth swallowed some land. And what happens when you swallow some 60 cubic kilometres of land in one bite? You make waves! The last and best known eruption of Santorini was the Minoan eruption, some time between 1600 and 1626 BC. As a result a tsunami waved through the Mediterranean and allegedly wiping out the Minoan culture on Crete. This is also possibly the source for the legend of Atlantis, the underwater city.

The rock formations seem interesting also with different colors and shades in levels. Well, that’s ash from the different eruptions, hence the obvious color changes in some places in the caldera. Also according to studies the thickness of the ash formations tells us that the Minoan eruption is one of the biggest eruptions recorded in history. According to some information during that eruption there was so much ash, rocks and other stuff thrown into the air that winter lasted for two years. That source came from a youtube video, and the definition of winter is different in Greece as it is in Finland. Anyway, more absolutely super interesting information about the volcano is found here http://www.photovolcanica.com/VolcanoInfo/Santorini/Santorini.html

Continuing on with life

So we’re looking at a hole in the sea caused by the Earth filled by water. Now that’s something, isn’t it? Apparently there’s a way down to the old port. Either you take a cable car which costs 5€ per way and takes just about under a minute or so, or you walk down there, OR you take a donkey ride. And boy, are there donkeys. The poor fellows are standing by, just like any taxis at a taxi stop, minding their own business and pooping spontaneously. The walk down definitely makes your legs shaky if you’re in a bad shape like me, so the cable car was our way up. There are bars and restaurants down there for the thirsty and hungry to excavate.

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The island is known for its sunsets. I bet that’s one of the selling points of the honeymoon organisers. Also that’s why all of the restaurants are boasting with “sunset view” – so we try to find a place without a sunset view that actually has to thrive with good food. Great success. Later on we tried the nightlife. Found a place. Found another one. “One Hendrick’s Gin and tonic, please” – “It’s not included in the happy hour.” “That’s alright, sir, I’ll have it anyway”. With a pack of bulky Brits who’ve watched way too much of Geordie Shore next to us, we enjoy the nightlife of Fira. For two drinks.

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Next up, early wake up call (again) and off for the famous hike from Fira to Oía. Hopefully it won’t be packed with tourists.

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