The Stairs, Doors and Gates of Santorini… Personality Plus!

Stairways of all shapes and sizes went snaking down off the cliff in Oia, Santorini. This one was rather grand.

Stairways of all shapes and sizes went snaking down off the cliff in Oia, Santorini. This one was rather grand.

When I was growing up in Diamond Springs, California, significant stairways were few and far between. Most of our homes were single floor western style ranch homes. Our climbing was more or less relegated to trees and lumber stacks, the latter much to the dismay of the grumpy watchman at Caldor Lumber Company who could never catch us. We learned a number of interesting words from him, however.

I’ve always been fascinated with stairs, particularly stairs that disappear around corners. They almost beg exploration, like a trail in the woods. Doors share a similar characteristic, especially interesting doors. I’m convinced that people who live behind interesting doors lead interesting lives. Unfortunately, doors tend to be very private affairs; they hide secrets.

Gates are different.  They don’t say ‘stay out’ in the same way a door does… even when they sport a no-trespassing sign. Gates in Diamond Springs tended to be low on design and high on barbed wire. We climbed over with impunity except for being chased by dogs or yelled at. Old Tony Pavy was an exception; he had a shotgun that he was quick to pull when he caught kids gigging frogs in his pond or plunking squirrels out of his trees, especially the time I hit one of his pigs by mistake with a ricocheting bullet. The man had zero sense of humor. “Get my gun Mama!” he roared to his wife as we disappeared over the hill.

They have to have stairways in the town of Oia, Santorini. Houses are built right down the cliff and there are no elevators. People must be in great shape from all of the hiking. And here’s the fun part, all of the stairs are different and I think quite attractive. Peggy and I kept our digital cameras busy. We also found our share of interesting doors and two very attractive gates to photograph.

Another set of stairs with unique personality works its way down toward the Mediterranean in Oia, Santorini.

Another set of stairs with unique personality works its way down toward the Mediterranean in Oia, Santorini.

This set of stairs on Santorini added a touch of color.

This set of stairs on Santorini added a touch of color.

Our traveling companions, the Dallens from Austin and Saages from San Francisco look down on  several sets of stairs. It reminded me of an Echer painting.

Our traveling companions, the Dallens from Austin and Saages from San Francisco look down on several sets of stairs. It reminded me of an M.C. Escher painting.

Mules working down on the cliff used these stairs for carrying construction debris up to the top. These were definitely one-way stairs: the one-way being whichever way the mules were traveling.

Mules working down on the cliff used these stairs for carrying construction debris up to the top. These were definitely one-way stairs: the one-way being whichever way the mules were traveling.

The ultimate stairway on Santorini... the one that takes you from the old port up a thousand feet to the town of Fira.

The ultimate stairway on Santorini… the one that takes you from the old port up a thousand feet to the town of Fira.

Blue was about as close as it got to being a common door color on Santorini.

Blue seemed to be the most common door color on Santorini.

This halfway hidden door in Oia on Santorini caught my imagination. I wanted to go up and knock.

This halfway hidden door with its plant in Oia,  Santorini caught my imagination. I wanted to go up and knock.

This house in Oia displayed an interesting choice of colors.

This house in Oia displayed an interesting choice of colors.

The most secretive of doors are old ones like this one in Oia.

The most secretive of doors are old like this one in Oia. It must have a thousand stories to tell.

This simple gate in Oia with its dramatic shadows was quite beautiful.

This simple gate in Oia with its dramatic shadows, white pillar and Mediterranean background was quite beautiful. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

The door/gate to nowhere? Peggy shot this photo in Fira, Santorini. There was nothing behind it except open space... and a set of stairs that went downward.

The door/gate to nowhere: Peggy shot this photo in Fira, Santorini. There was nothing behind it except open space… and a set of stairs that went downward to a restaurant.

 

NEXT BLOG: We travel back in time 4000 years to Santorini’s ancient civilization of Thira. Could there be an Atlantis connection?

 

 

 

16 comments on “The Stairs, Doors and Gates of Santorini… Personality Plus!

  1. I don’t think my last reply posted so I will try again. I absolutely must go here! The pictures are amazing but my favorite is the single gate overlooking the ocean in Oia. What is the population?

    • Hey, you get two comments for the price of one. (grin) I looked for the population for Oia when I was writing the blog and couldn’t find it. I would think the whole island myst not be more than around 15,000.

  2. Oh gracious.. beautiful does not even come close to how I love these doors.. The home in Oia (colorful one) is one i could live in no troubles at all.. I would have so much fun going around taking tons of photos here.. So lovely..Thank you my friend for sharing your wonderful vacation with us all here 🙂

    • There is something magical about doors and stairways Peggy… especially when they have the unique personalities we found on Santorini as well as other Mediterranean ports. And thanks…

  3. Curt, You captured Santorini beautifully! I was so taken by your shots of doors that seem to lead to the sky. That was one of my favorite things when we were there. And the donkeys – love those hard-working critters! All the best, Terri

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