Santorini was wonderful, especially having gone to Crete the month before. During the ancient Minoan period (pre-2000-1400BC), Santorini was part of Crete's probable thalassocracy, though since Linear A has never been deciphered we can only piece parts of things together through the amazing archaeological remains (including stunning 'near' frescoes), pottery and scientific research based on seismic activity. I met a vulcanologist [no relation to Leonard Nimoy] on this trip, which was a pleasant surprise. Santorini (now called by the locals by its ancient name of Thera) was destroyed by a serious of earthquakes and massive volcano in the summer of 1626 BC -- amazing how closely they can date it. The result was that the island's core was ripped apart and the main island of Santorini was left with a series of other smaller, less inhabited islands in an almost circular formation around the central, water-filled caldera. The volcano is still active and most recently erupted in 1950. The captain of the sailing ship from which I took the photos below told me that two years ago there were strong signs there might be a new eruption after a series of small earthquakes, but it didn't happen. But it could any day...so all the more reason to spend time on what many people call the most beautiful island in the world.
So here's my first set of photos from the center of the volcano and the sunset by sea. We left from Ammudi port and sailed counterclockwise, went to Corfos Bay, Tripiti Cape, the center of the volcano itself, near Fire, the Rock of Skaros, Seal Cave, and Epta Pedes for a five hour sail. It was a relatively new company and I got very lucky. Most of the sailboats leave from Fira with as many as 50 people aboard. While this boat's morning trip was full, it was only me and a Chinese couple for the afternoon/evening one.Sant