Our first excursion of the holiday is to the gorgeous capital of the island – Fira. A jumble of white houses tumbling down the cliff face to the azure sea.
Firá derives its name from an alternative pronunciation of “Thíra”, the ancient name of the island itself. The city of white-washed houses is built on the edge of the 400 metres (1,312 feet) high caldera on the western edge of the semi-circular island.
It is here that we start to see some of the iconic architecture of this tiny, barren island. Gleaming white buildings with flashes of blue and cream.
Ornate churches with blue domes, colourful tiles and piles of pumice and volcanic rocks are reminders of the island’s tempestuous past.
To escape the glaring heat in the narrow streets we duck into a back street church to reflect on some of the serene, timeless iconography.
We’re treated to the almost angelic sound of a chorus of nuns practising their hymns. Hidden from our prying eyes by an ornate screen their disembodied voices rose to the heavens.
Religion in Greece, is dominated by Greek Orthodox Church and it still forms a staple in most people’s daily lives.
The prevalence of churches is such that you can’t help but stumble across a variety of places of worship. Whether huge cathedrals or tiny, road side chapels.
All containing a glorious wealth of history and relics. After enjoying a little peace we are heading back out into the sun baked, hectic streets of Fira.