Oia is built on a cliff that drops off a thousand feet into the Mediterranean Sea. Its colorful buildings with their unique architecture and plunging stairways combine with the beauty of the area to make the town truly unique.
Fira, the administrative center of Santorini, is a pleasant town and definitely worth wandering through. It is filled with shops selling everything from cheap souvenirs to fine jewelry, all of which are designed to separate tourists from their euros. But that’s OK, Santorini makes much of its living off tourists. What most impressed me about the town was its small but excellent Museum of Prehistoric Thira. I’ll blog about the museum next week.
What I am going to do now is make the short trip from Fira to Oia, which is arguably one of the most attractive towns in the Mediterranean, or anywhere. Oia, BTW, is pronounced EE-ah. As the daughter of a friend reminded me, it sounds like something Eeyore might say minus the donkey emphasis.
My recent blogs about my Peace Corps experience in Africa have been long on words and short on photos. That’s about to change as I make why way through the Mediterranean. Oia is best enjoyed by being there, but if you can’t be, the next best thing is through the eye of a camera.
Each of my next three blogs will provide a different perspective on the community. First, I am going to provide a general overview including buildings, animals, flowers and other miscellaneous items that caught our attention. (Peggy took several of the photos.) Next I will focus in on Oia’s unique churches. I’ll finish by looking at stairways and doors, which might seem strange… but don’t miss it. Enjoy.
Another view of the town that provides a perspective on how it clings to the cliff. The whitewashed buildings reflect heat from the intense summer sun.
The rounded roof of this home is typical. Once these homes provided housing for poor sailors. Now they provide housing for millionaires. Another note on these downward trending homes. One person’s patio becomes another person’s roof.
While the sailors lived in their homes on the cliff, sea captains built mansions on top.
I would have happily bought this colorful home.
Peggy captured this artistic shot from Oia looking down on the Mediterranean.
I mentioned the unique doors found in Oia. These are color coordinated.
Retired windmills are found on both Santorini and the island of Mykonos.
This sphinx in Oia provided an artistic touch and seemed right at home.
Peggy discovered this sculpture on the side of a building in Oia. Everyone should have a goal in life.
This restaurant sign promised a leisurely meal… or was that poor service?
Dogs ran free in Oia. We found this one climbing about on walls before he settled in for a nap. All of the animals seemed well fed and relaxed around the tourists…
Maybe too relaxed. (grin)
There was no relaxation for this mule. He and his buddies were carrying debris being generated by a construction site down the cliff. These guys literally ran us off the road.
I discovered this colorful plant and couldn’t resist taking its picture.
Even the souvenirs featuring Santorini were colorful.
One of the narrow walkways we followed through town. The lack of people was indicative of the fact we were traveling off-season. Instead of 3 or 4 cruise ships in port, there was only ours.
I’ll close this blog with a final shot of Oia. The blue domed building is one of the towns many beautiful churches, which I will feature in my next blog.