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Fira, Santorini, Greece: Built on the Caldera’s Edge

On my last day on the island, I head to Fira, Santorini, the caldera’s-edge village where so many of Santorini’s iconic images are captured.

 

Firá, Santorini

The sky is so blue in Santorini!

 

The island of Santorini is what’s left after an absolutely massive volcanic explosion 3600 years ago (which incidentally probably led to the destruction of the thriving and highly-advanced Minoan civilization in Crete, 110 kilometers south).

 

The village of Fira, is built on the edge of the volcano’s caldera which is now filled in below by the impossibly-blue Sea of Crete.

 

An earthquake in 1956 destroyed much of Fira, so the architecture is not ancient, but it is distinctive.  The white-washed buildings with curved lines, the staircases that wind through cliff-side alleys and the electric-blue water below all create the scene that is picture-perfect and stunning.

 

Firá, Santorini

Firá, Santorini

 

Oddly, Fira is filled with Chinese tourists taking pre-and-post wedding photos.  It’s hard to find a viewpoint where a bride isn’t being photographed draped over a balcony. Later, I discover that a blockbuster Chinese film, Beijing Love Story was filmed in Santorini and released in China in February of 2014.  Perhaps this has added to Fira’s appeal as a wedding destination.  In any case, it’s an unusual phenomenon that I haven’t seen anywhere else in the world.

 

It’s impossible not to appreciate the beautiful vistas and charming streets of Fira.  I’m thankful I got to see it. But, truth be told, it was so crowded with tourists (and it’s only May!) that one afternoon was enough for me.  I much prefer the quieter and more hidden places that the world has to offer.

Photos of Fira, Santorini:

2 Comments

  1. Image 19 is awesome!!!

    • Thanks. My favorite too.

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