This shot was taken first thing in the morning just outside my hotel room. Many mornings we could come back to the hotel for breakfast and before going out again just before lunch, I would spend time sitting outside.
This morning we went to see the town of Emporio. We arrived in time to watch this fisherman unloading his catch. The cats were hoping for breakfast!
Emporio is the largest village of Santorini, situated at the centre of the south part of the island, about 12 kilometres from Fira (see map above). Emporio means trade which was appropriate for this town which used to be the centre of the commercial business in the past. As we wandered in and out of the narrow streets, we came across beautiful houses and yards.
We were all wondering why there were so many doors in close proximity for the house on the right.
One of the many streets we walked in.
Some nice early morning light.
The residences were all very close together. We rarely saw people so they must have all been at work.
What I really enjoy doing when I'm in these villages and the small towns is just wandering in the streets.
This is exactly how I would picture a scene from a small Greek village.
We finally came across a Grreek woman returning from the market.
The local beach scene.
After having a morning break at our hotel, we headed out to visit Messaria-located almost at the centre of Santorini. Part of the village is built on the caldera offering a great view of the volcano and the Aegean Sea. The definition of a caldera is: a large volcanic crater, especially one formed by a major eruption leading to the collapse of the mouth of the volcano. As you can see the village had some windmills that were no longer active.
Of course we came across another beautiful church with its blue dome.
The village dates back to the 17th century. In the 19th century, it was the industrial centre of the island.
We just wandered in the streets looking at the houses and gardens. It was quite a picturesque village. I'm always on the lookout for these types of laundry scenes. The bougainvillea was a bonus.
We came across these holes or small caves in the volcanic rock where we saw all of these birds taking advantage of the offered protection.
For our evening shots, we drove to the southern mountains in the centre of the island to see Exo Gonia and Pyrgos. Exo Gonia is a small, peaceful and traditional village built in the rear of Pyrgos. The old monastery was founded around 1705 and played a substantial role in ensuring the continuity of Greek education on the island. The church also contributed to the 1821 war of Independence. The monastery was dissolved in 1833, demolished 1893 and the present parish church pictured above was built on the site in 1941. With one exception, it is the only church with a tiled roof in contrast to the other churches on the island.
Locals and tourists enjoying the beautiful day. These villages have been spared the terraces, balconies, infinity pools and hotels that are pictured in the glossy magazines featuring Santorini. Over the years, some of the beautiful mansions have been restored to operate as luxury accommodations. The scenery is definitely more subdued, less picture perfect and not as advertised. I very much doubt that the tourist ships bring people here. It was very quiet walking in the streets.
Of course there were still some touristy shops and I saw this cat hiding under one of the tables
Another residence that was typical of the houses that we saw in the smaller villages.
Pyrgos is the best preserved medieval settlement on the island.
The old church that we hiked up to to get our sunset view. Pyrgos is at the highest point of Santorini with beautiful panoramic views which made the hike worthwhile.