it all starts here, at the base of the mountain.
at the top of the mountain, ancient thera begins
cemetery of ancient thera ／ 古代ティラの墓地:
i actually took this photo on the way up from perissa on day 3. this cemetery is on the last bend of the hike from perissa, just outside of the ancient thera ruins.
the early christian basilica ／ 初期のキリスト教の聖堂:
temenos of artemidoros ／ アルテミドロス（人物）のテメノス（神の領域）:
ptolemaic garrison post ／ トレミー駐屯地:
facing due south, central section of the city ／ 南向き・古代ティラ中心部:
(you can see the monastery of profitis ilias (prophet elias) in the upper right on the ridge of the mountain!)
southern section of the city ／ 古代ティラ南部:
sanctuary of egyptian gods ／ エジプトの神々の聖域:
apollo pythios sanctuary ／ アポロ・ピティオスの聖域:
the theater ／ 劇場:
(ugh i can’t believe this photo is blurry… ／ ピンボケごめんなさい。。)
private house ／ 民家:
house of tyche
basilike stoa ／ 王室の柱廊:
from the south, middle, north agora’s in the central section of the city
SANTORINI DAY 5 :
A N C I E N T T H E R A , A K R O T I R I , S U N S E T A T F I R A
after all the rain and thunder throughout the night, came the astounding sunrise! what a perfect beginning to my last full day in thira!
the blue sky, sunshine, white walls, grecian flag, all couldn’t be more picturesque than on this day.
. . . . .
– A N C I E N T T H E R A –
i’ve gathered the photos of ancient thera here! it was quite something to think these ruins were inhabited as early as the 8th century BC. most of what remains seems to have been rebuilt and expanded by later inhabitants until the 8th century AD. i’m not a historian so i won’t explain in detail, but i share photos of explanations and the ruins in the link above!
– H I K I N G U P T O T H E
M O N A S T E R Y O F P R O F I T I S I L I A S –
moving on after ancient thera, i started hiking towards the monastery of profitis ilias (prophet elias). this photo is looking back towards ancient thera. the winding road on the left goes down toward kamari. the roundabout leads to the entrance of ancient thera; you can see the snake-like path a third of the way down the mountain inside the ancient thera ruins. beyond the top of the mountain is where the central and southern sections of ancient thera would be, facing due south. to the right of the mountain would be perissa (where i came up from on day three).
the red circle in the below map is where i took the photos below. the numbered circles represent the direction the photo was taken in perspective from the red circle.
this is a view of perissa and perivolos along the shoreline. (*see 1. in map above)
this is a view facing fira, oia, and the caldera. (*see 2. in map above) フィラ、イア、とカルデラ。（*地図 2.）
that’s the airport! (*see 3. in map above)
yay!!! i made it to the top!!! to tell the truth, i lost the path multiple times, and it was more treacherous than i was prepared for (because i lost the path?)…
i couldn’t visit inside, possibly because it was around lunchtime, but here are some photos i got of the outside (and really, please ignore the fact that my big ol’ finger is in one of the most important photos…).
one last look around the monastery before descending towards megalochori, which is the nearest bus stop.
– H I K I N G T O
M E G A L O C H O R I –
this is faros, the western tip (in the south) of thira. i couldn’t make it here this time since it is apparently more convenient by car. (*see 4. in map above)
the nature, rocks, ruins along the way to megalochori! after a quick google search, that flag apparently represents the greek orthodox church.
– A K R O T I R I –
from megalochori, i visited akrotiri (i wanted to see the red and white beaches), but by this time i was absolutely exhausted. i nearly took the bus straight back to fira, when i turned around and saw that the akrotiri excavations archaeological site was right by the bus stop. something in my head told me to stay. unfortunately, i didn’t get any photos (except the one below, inside the excavation facility) or pamphlets, but here are some links: Santorini Archaeological Sites : Akrotiri Excavations
from Santorini.com A Life’s Work: The Excavation of Akrotiri in Santorini
by Tassoula Eptakili for Greece Is
it really is something to see! to me, this is even more significant than ancient thera, as this site dates back as early as the 4th MILLENIUM BC! the civilizations that lived here until the early late bronze age (around 17th century BC), had 2-3 story buildings, amazing paintings, and even a drainage system (i mean, toilets??). the town was abandoned after a series of severe earthquakes preceding a volcanic eruption in the late 17th century BC. covered in volcanic material, the town was preserved until they officially began excavations in 1967 and are currently continuing excavations.
the shelter that protects the excavations is quite interesting, also. protecting from the elements while keeping the ecosystem as stable and comfortable as possible, they made a bioclimatic building utilizing the four elements with minimal energy consumption. (please do visit this website if you are interested in bioclimatic structures!)
intrigued and motivated again, i took the bus to fira. this was the last (and most important??) bit of my trip! SUNSET!!!
– S U N S E T A T F I R A –
i took a walk to oia, in hopes of seeing the sunset here. however, with the exertions of the whole day (i walked more than 20km this day), i decided to watch the sunset from fira (which was just as spectacular), while having one last gorgeous dinner. i had some help from a greek native, making sure i ordered the right foods, and absolutely grateful for that! HERE GOES:
seven months after my trip, i still remember all the “feels” as if i were still there. having my breath taken away by the beauty of geological formations and the strong gusts of air sweeping in from the aegean sea; i was able to experience forces of nature i had never before, feeling at one with nature time and time again.
this fourth day, it was a mostly full day of rain. not to mention, a much needed day of rest and soaking it all in and preparing for my last full day. it was pretty cold (low 60’s in fahrenheit, around 15 in celsius) compared to the moderate temperatures throughout the trip.
it cleared up just in time for sunset (with the gray weather continuing, i had been deciding against taking a trip to oia… apparently it was a stunning sunset in oia that day!). although the sunset couldn’t be seen from this side of the island, i could tell that it must have been quite dramatic.
this day started off grayer than the day before! being that the forecast said it wouldn’t be great and i was still tired from the day before, i decided to stay in and catch up on reading and working on art.
i decided to take a trip down to perivolos and walk along the beach to perissa. on the map it’s very close to kamari, but with a mountain there (the one i mentioned on day 2 where i saw the clouds rolling over), it requires passage via bus from fira (or so i thought…).
well, the service on the bus to perivolos/perissa was quite unpleasant… the ticket fare collector on this bus was rude to some passengers and that had me cross… not to mention, they skipped the perivolos stop and dropped all of us off at perissa. which may have turned out for the better because it was extremely windy (like i mentioned on the tour day, the wind seems to blow from this side of the island over the mountain).
to avoid sand in my eyes and to blow off some steam, i decided to wander away from the perissa beach towards the mountain. the further i walked the more i was blown away by the size. it’s not necessarily super tall, but something about it has such presence.
i had asked the hotel owner, petros, if this mountain was climbable and he said “haha, i saw people coming down the mountain once. they’re insane!!” challenge accepted! well, only after i saw the mountain and this map! this map means, the mountain has an actual hiking trail! i mean, if i weren’t capable i could always turn back?
as i walked on into the hike, i saw a mother and son (early teens?) coming down and i asked if the hike was difficult. the woman pointed at her feet in leather thong sandals. “if i can do it in these, not at all.” well, there you have it.
the day i flew in, petros picked me up at the airport and during the drive, he told me that we were passing the mountain where you could see a lone light at the top, one of the oldest monasteries on thira. the monastery of profitis ilias (prophet elias), which i visited on another day, is at the highest point of the island. you can see it at the top of this mountain in the center of the photo.
the cool crisp air and the steep, unpaved gravel path added to the impact of this mountain. that VIEW, though!
at the top was the ancient thera ruins. it was closed when i arrived, but this also, i visit another day.
my first taste of the religious history here. it was kind of an appetizer to my next hike i’d make to ancient thera (usually, people would see this hiking up on the way to ancient thera, i kind of came through the backdoor from perissa).
here is the spring that i entered with the group of women ahead of me. thank goodness for them, because one of them used their smartphone flashlight so we could all catch some photos and find our way in. otherwise, it’s pitch dark in there.
to tell the truth, this is the most i’ve ever experienced nature. i’m a city girl, i love public transportation, the chaos of crowds, having everything at my fingertips. yet, this trip, this particular day, was an awakening—telling me how much nature is majestic and powerful, to appreciate its existence, and at the same time how small people are. we humans are a miracle, but nature is vast and is what allows us to be.
i usually don’t like to do tourist-y things when i travel—something about wanting to experience what the locals do everyday (see the supermarket, yoga at the beach/park, take the bus, do laundry, and talk to the locals about life and their history). in santorini, though, there’s so much history to learn about! not just culturally, but in its nature as well. and to hear more about the history, for once i decided to let go and be a tourist.
to start the day, the sunrise started cloudy, but partway, the sun showed through the clouds. the dramatic kind of shining through, right? (♡) to add to the dramatics were the monastery bells ringing in unison through kamari. i had never heard such a beautiful sound living in the suburbs of washington or tokyo.
the tour started off in kamari by bus. we first drive towards fira, the central tourist town with the beautiful maze of white walled hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops.
along the way, i looked back toward kamari, and froze. there was a thick churning fog, coming down the mountain, right over where my hotel was. it almost looked like an act of magic. (i discovered later, that the wind blows over from the sea in this direction).
1 S T S T O P :
the athinios port, to board the king thiras boat.
this photo is the bus heading halfway down the mountain towards the port to the right. look at these cliffs and the layered rock!
view of athinios port ／ アティニオス港
view of thira. the ferry is at oia, to the right is fira, and the port at the base of fira is the old port.
2 N D S T O P :
the national geological park of nea kameni—aka volcano!
i asked our tour guide, tanya (she was the best and the sweetest!) about this sign. in hawaii (on the big island), it is said that the fire goddess, pele, will bring misfortune to those who take rocks from her island. here (and on the big island, too), it is because taken rocks alter the geological environment, and is illegal. especially all those people piling rocks, even though it is very romantic and all, it obviously isn’t a naturally occurring phenomenon (let’s keep that to river beds that aren’t protected geological parks).
the final stop of the tour was for the oia sunset, which as you can see didn’t happen this day…
the dolphin monastery. this is where the bells were being rung earlier.
a final look at oia and its twinkling lights. ／ 日が沈み、少しずつ明かりが灯されたイア。
. . . . .
although i didn’t get to catch the renowned oia sunset, the intense dose of nature was absolutely inspiring. to learn how the caldera was formed throughout history and how it reached it’s current formation, how it will continue to transform—as it is a dormant volcano—one can only realize that we are not in control of mother earth.
i’ve been gathering, logging, summarizing all the little details and photos from my santorini trip in april, 2017. here i’ve linked to each page, all in one post so you can come back here to check out the details in order (or out)! it’s really a lot of information, so i’ve tried to keep it as organized as possible. i recommend reading in the order listed, but if you need specific information please skip the nitty gritty and enjoy as you wish =)
P.S. there are many similar names of cities that might get confusing. santorini is the entire collection of islands in the caldera, which was originally one island of santorini. over the years, after multiple eruptions and earthquakes, parts of the island had sunken to create separate islands. THIRA is the biggest crescent shaped island of santorini. FIRA, located on THIRA is the capital of santorini. ANCIENT THERA are ruins located on the mountain in between kamari and perissa.
i’ve been spending the past couple of months going through my stock of fabrics and materials, and boy do i have lots of them that have accumulated over the years since fashion school. i had been putting off tons of projects that i bought fabric for and never got through to realizing. some projects i have finished, some have become things of my mind’s past, and in their place new ideas have formed–one of them being this denim sleeve.
having been raised in seattle, i have a soft spot for starbucks and tully’s coffee, which are both found in tokyo. unlike in the states, most people use public transportation in this country. thus, our love for bags that are just big enough to cram all of our essentials in (representing people like moi). granted, there are many a cool, stylish girl that can seem to leave the house with a compact clutch holding just a smartphone (in a smart case that carries their train passes and credit cards all-in-one, or even better–apple pay), a tiny wallet, and lip tint. i mean, what about 3 packs of tissue, water bottle, makeup bag, notepad, pen, handkerchief, ipod, extra smartphone charger, etc….?? my point being: having to carry a personal tumbler or mug to my local caffeine joint, is way too much luggage than i already have to carry–especially for that unplanned stop-in to kill time.
although it’s not as green as having a personal tumbler at hand, i decided to make this fabric sleeve to replace the brown cardboard sleeves made of recycled material. yes, they are eco-friendly, however, not so much if they’re going straight back to waste after a couple hours of usage. there was a time where i would hold onto the sleeves for next time, but starbucks and tully’s have differently shaped cups, and i order anywhere between a short and grande, which would result in carrying around 4 sleeves at a time (at least starbucks uses the same size for tall & grande #marketresearch). they all started cluttering my bag again and became inspiration to make an all-inclusive sleeve for 3 different sizes at two different cafe chains.
the result, i patched together some of my favorite leftover denim scraps (these are another story on their own!) to sew up a denim sleeve that works for all three sizes at both stores (yay velcro!)! even more, i used quilting to function as insulation, working better than the cardboard.
it’s pretty cool to say, “no sleeve please!” and the barista goes, “umm… please be careful, it’s very hot” and BAM! i flash my swanky chic denim sleeve (brush that dirt off my shoulder, uh huh). before it all goes to my head, i understand that my next step is to create a portable, collapsable cup that i can carry around (or someone else can do the work for me? kickstarter?)… in the meantime, i’ll happily flash my washable sleeve that will be reusable for years. =)