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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Santorini, Greece - Oct 2011

The black volcanic island of Nea Kameni as seen from the cliffs of Firostefani. The craters on this island was a bit of a "let down". I guessed I should not have watched all those National Geographic channel documentaries on volcanoes. No bubbling lava and sulphuric smoke. Was hoping I can throw in a toad (can't find so I threw a rock instead) and wished for a princess in return. Nope. It did not worked...  

The sail boat that I took to come ashore the Nea Kameni volcanic island. The cove reminds me of Pirates of the Carribean. Ahoy there matey! On 2nd thought, the Somalia pirates now have dashed my "romantic" notions of being a pirate... How come real life not as fun as in the movies?

The main town of Fira on Santorini. It's where the big cruise liners dock at the bottom of the cliffs. You can either ride a donkey, walk up the 500 plus steps, or take the cable car to the top to reach this Fira town.  It's full of tourists as you can see. Can you spot the woman giving me the: "Hey! Why you take my picture!?"

I buat bodoh (Malay for play dumb)!

What to do? Must take one of those post card copy cat pics on the blue domes of Santorini mah. Very cliche and touristy of me!

Man! Look at the quaint and atas (Malay for high class) houses on top and by the edge of the cliffs! Is this living or what? Note the different colouring of the cliffs - each layer tells a different story on Santorini's geological past. I heard Angelina Jolie has a house in this Oia town of Santorini. See high see low never see her... I infatuated with Angelina's bee-stung lips - all natural and no botox, I think!

Another view of Oia town. This time with the wind mills. Besides China's Yan'an caves, I now know another place where people live in caves. The "houses" are actually caves dug out from the lava cliffs. Now if next time "people" dare to laugh at my mainland Chinese brethen for living in "caves", I can now shoot back that they don't know what they are missing - cave houses are cool in summer and warm in winter. Vacation still must remember my heritage also ;)

By the way, 1/4 of the tourists are mainland chinese when I was in Oia. How's that for a leading indicator of where the future money trail will come from? PRC has bought one of the ports in Athens. Red tide rising... (Some complain; I brush up on my Chinese) 

See the man chilling out below? This is what I would do when I return to Singapore. OK, cannot afford the same kind of setting and view; but I can also sun tan at the Queenstown swimming pool near my place. Got water (Olympic size you know!?), got sun, got deck chair, and all for SGD 1.00 - is Singapore great or what!? Must quickly be patriotic after my post above. Majullah Singapura! (I can bend like the willow or what?)

When the big mama turned a looked at me, I thought got chance to be invited to join her... So I sucked in my stomach and flashed my "I am available" smile back at her. But no cigars... I think see didn't see me. I should have wore a hat. My shining bald head was reflecting too much sun that she must have been blinded by the glare. That's how you recover from a "rejection". Anyway, it's her lost. Hmph!

Let the bells toll as I sail into the sun. I am sailing, I am sailing...

I have a silly question. How to tell whether a picutre is depicting a sunrise or sunset? Look at the 2 pics above - which is sunset and which is sunrise?

Eh... Both are sunset pics. Gotcha! (Investors may want to read my "Known and Unknow" post)

The red beach near Akrotiri is very interesting. The sand is red! Hey! We also have our Bukit Merah (Redhill) in Singapore; but has anyone seen it? At least now I can visualise what Bukit Merah must have looked like - if it ever existed. Are there sword fishes in Singapore waters long long time ago? Or is it just a story? So many questions I ask! Now you know why my teachers always shed tears of joy when I pass my exams and leave their classes. LOL!

I saved the best for the last to reward patient (male) readers who have stucked with me ;)

If you enlarge the pic, you may see something interesting. I swear I didn't know about it when I took this shot at the Karmari black beach. Yup, the sand here is made up of black volcanic sand (more like stones). 

If I knew, I would not have taken a zoom shot; I would have walked close close and took a wide angle shot instead! Talk about bird watching! I should have brought along my binoculars! LOL!


  1. Santorini is still amazingly beautiful and I expect so till the end of time... I last went at the end of summer of 2000 and I think I left part of my soul there.

  2. Yes Patty,

    I would love to go back on "business class" (as a reward if my portfolio doubles) and rent one of those cave houses. Imagine waking up to the sea and sun, have breakfast in bed, and in the evening, watch the sunset while lounging at the balcony with a lady love on my shoulders.

    And in the day, just sail around and exploring the different beaches.

    Hey! I had great fun at Santorini this time in "economy class" this time!!!

    That's the fun in life! Cannot afford fine dining now, but I still can enjoy a wonderful meal at the tavernas :)

    Life is good! Even if the glass is half-full :)

  3. Talking about classes... I think when I was there, I was on "budget" lol. My room was on the caldera but it was in the stair well facing neither the skies nor the sea but a few meters away from the donkey pens - imagine the smell!

    So between lighting extra mosquito incense to drive the little buggers and the smells away, I still got to enjoy myself everyday with frappes-meh-pagato and watch every single sunset I was there. :D

    I loved Greek street food. Extra larger souvlaki kotopoulo meh tzatjiki and loukoumades for dessert!

  4. Wow.. I must put Santorini as one of the places I must visit before I leave this world.

    Great scenic pictures. Wish I was there!

    Be well and prosper.

  5. 1) Thanks Panzer :)

    2) Patty,

    I love tzatjiki too! Drawback is the "awesome" breath that keeps the babes away :(

  6. wahhhhhh VERY NICE PHOTOS!!!

    looks like i should add santorini to my list of places to visit!

    btw, what camera you used? :)

  7. Hey Jun,

    I used the point and shoot idiot-proof Canon IXUS 850 IS. I liked it for the 28mm wide angle.

    I chucked away my old Nikon SLR camera and lenses (getting mouldy in Singapore now), and switched to travelling light.

    Moved from photography to "photo taking". No more carrying bulky and heavy lenses and camera stands!

    Yes! Santorini is defintely one of the most beautiful islands I've been - and I thought Koh Phi Phi in Thailand was my paradise...


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