Colours of Greece

Mooching around the back streets of Santorini’s capital city Fira we encounter endless splashes of colour, from tea towels to pottery.

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The turquoise of this door frame contrasts deliciously with the salmon pink of the begonias. Meanwhile Neil adopts his usual role as human photo prop and delicate ceramic bells jingle beguilingly from a shady doorway.

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Here’s the simple yet imposing facade of Fira Cathedral. Inside a ferocious little woman ruthlessly patrols, throwing out tourists who breach the no shorts, no photos, no noise rules.

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Back on the street modern art jostles with the usual tourist souvenirs and we’re treated to some stunning views.

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Here’s the vertiginous view down to the harbour. it’s a fair old trek down but thankfully you can always grab the cable car back up.

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Doors to nowhere offer dizzying views over the serene Caldera and windows with a dash of colour beg to be snapped.

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Simple colours and lines form the uniquely Greek architecture while pom pom slippers and drift wood art work tempts the wallet.

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Next up we attempt the cliff top walk between Fira and Oia. Prepare for some of the most envy inducing views ever!!

Cliff top views

One of the best ways to appreciate the stunning views over the caldera and to experience some of the exquisite (and expensive) cave house hotels is to walk the clifftop between Fira and Oia.

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It will apparently take you three hours to cover the 9 km distance from Fira to Oia. However, we didn’t make it all the way! It was a HOT day and I was grumpy . . .

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However we did get mid way to the pretty little village of Imerovigli. Here’s some of the lovely sights along the way.

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From blinding white walls and staircases to brightly coloured potted plants and gorgeous little doors, I was in my element.

You also get stunning views down to the sea – although I am not entirely sure that this boat is water proof!

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More of the iconic blue domes can be found on route, while an artist’s residence offers an alternative to the traditional white.

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Lovely juicy colours make my mouth water!!

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As we head along the narrow cliff top path it winds pasts churches, windmills, through tiny settlements and past truely stunning boutique hotels too.

P1050043Traditonal caves houses, built into the cliff face, provide ideal places for discerning travellers to rest and relax.

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But you have to have very deep pockets to stay in most of them! So naturally we just posed outside some of them and pretended to be part of the glitterati!

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I love the colour combinations that are found in Greece. The snow white walls contrast gloriously with the traditional blue paintwork and the beautiful pink of the Bougainvillea.

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Here you can see the terraces of cave houses and swimming pools  that cling to the cliff face and Neil takes a break while I snap myself into a photo frenzy.

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More pictures of our little stroll to come!! . .

Fabulous Fira

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.
P1040906Firá 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Religion in Greece, is dominated by Greek Orthodox Church and it still forms a staple in most people’s daily lives.

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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.

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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.