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. =)
this is my newly designed personal logo.
“personal”, meaning, not for my shop or brand; it’s me.
there are many symbolisms included in this logo.
today, i want to write about “fire, water, wind, earth”.
the reason why i wanted to post about this, is because Earth is in pain. this year in japan, we barely had a rainy season, until august came around and we had 20+ days in a row of rain. we finally got some sun and heat the past couple of days. then, we all complain that “ugh, it’s supposed to be rainy season and it’s super hot”; “it’s supposed to be summer but it’s always raining”; “IT’S TOO HOT”. WE keep complaining? what’s Earth got to say about all that we do to it?
in the last few days, there has been news in japan that major retail companies will be bringing their prices down in order to get the people to purchase more. a commentator mentioned that there was someone from a fashion company complaining that flea market apps are preventing sales.
in the western world, “sustainability” is a word we hear very often. in japan, it’s still a very new concept and industries don’t seem to appreciate it. in the world fashion industry, seasons are going haywire with “resort” collections squeezed in between, the “see now buy now”, and the resistances against either.
with the over-production, consumption, and accumulation of STUFF, first-world people are over-using our Earth’s resources, at which rate will not last for future generations of all worlds.
even then, there seems to be a “must buy the new trend of this season to fit in” mindset embedded in the japanese people. hundreds of fashion brands here, mass-produce, mass-sell, mass-gets consumed, mass-leftover, mass-throw-away, and mass-add to the piles of trash we already have.
yet, there is some hope, because people ARE buying less and taking advantage of recycling or buying secondhand. so maybe, the people ARE considering “sustainability”. now the problem isn’t the people, but the companies who are still trying to encourage consumption. shouldn’t they be considering how to sustainably produce more than mass? have a goal to make less products rather than make more profit? if the production-consumption balance is off, maybe THEY need to change on their part, because encouraging consumption isn’t helpful for our future in the least.
now, back to the four elements. in order for all these companies worldwide to mass-produce, mass amounts of resources are being used.
[ E A R T H ] mass trees are being taken down, mass earth being covered by factories, houses, high-rises.
with all our first-world trendy foods, mass soil are producing off-season, foreign foods, exhausting our soil and not able to provide nutritious produce. 大量の木々が倒されていき、大量の土が工場、家、ビルの下に埋もれる。
[ W A T E R ] mass water is filled with trash to make “land”, polluted with chemicals, dyes, and oil for mass-production. our Earth’s water is connected, which means radiation water is included in this pollution right? not to mention fracking… 大量の水の中に大量のゴミが埋められたり、「もの」の大量生産のために化学製品、染料、原油に汚染される。地球の水は繋がっているから、原発の汚染水もそこに含まれますよね。
[ W I N D ] mass air is polluted with chemical emissions and exhaust fumes. 大量の空気が大量の化学物質、有害物質、排気ガスなどに汚染される。
[ F I R E ]
simply put, mass fire (heat) is being used to create the pollution mentioned above.
without our trees, we have landslides; fracking causing earthquakes; less green more global warming–then we have people relying on air-conditioning to cool down, bodies don’t know how to cool naturally, our health and immunities gone out of wack…
unhealthy soil, pesticides make pretty but unhealthy produce. while our bodies ingest the little nutrition they try to process the toxins, exhausting our livers, and again affecting our health and immunities.
meat and fish are fed this too…
our bodies are already frantically trying to detox all the toxins that we take in via environment and food, we then go and add stress and sleep deprivation for the sake of making money to keep the economy running. see where i’m going? our bodies cannot battle disease anymore. and again i say, hurting the Earth ain’t helping the future of human kind.
that is why i’m writing this.
instead of helping the companies of japan and the world, we need to change our “need” for “the next new thing”, and think of the Earth and our future generations.
what IS the true meaning of wealth?
i’m not saying i grew up this way. but i ask myself everyday, “do i really need this?”
with all masses of so-called “organic”, local, domestic, imported stuff and foods, one can’t fully comprehend what is really good for their bodies or the environment. what you CAN do is consider trying to “do my best for my body and the environment”. it’s become my motto that i keep in the corner of my mind at all times.
this past month has been quite a hassle! i had some sort of stomach flu combined with a cold, that led to sinusitis… after 3 weeks in bed, i’ve slowly tried to come back to my daily routine. rolling around in bed so long had me restless and got me into an organization frenzy! which brings me to today’s topic: handwritten spice jar labels.
during my visit to santorini, i had bought some wonderful herb and spice mixes, which i had been wanting to find the perfect spice jars for. after much brainstorming and contemplation (of whether to buy a label printer or which jars to buy), i decided to go analog and handwrite labels to put on these jars from the 100 yen shop (seria probably has the bestest trendiest selection!).
i had A4 size printable adhesive label sheets (the kind that isn’t pre-cut) leftover from a past wedding project. these are great for handwriting or printing any size stickers up to A4, and you have the freedom to create any shape (as long as you’re willing to cut them yourself!). not to mention, the grid lines show through a little bit, helping out with measuring out multiple labels.