Greece is the word

by Annie Kamio
Stripes Guam

I’m not a person who buys something on the spur of the moment after I first see it. No, I’m the type of person who visualizes something in my head first. Whether it exists or not doesn’t matter to me. I can see it clearly. Size, shape, color, texture and cost. I fall in love with it, and set out to find it.

And when I do see it - in real life, not in my mind - that’s when I buy on the spur of the moment. But sometimes, I never see it in real life.

No wonder my friends were surprised in May 2015 when I said I would leave for Greece in two weeks. How come so quickly? Why Greece? They asked. It was simple: For years I had envisioned a land where white buildings dotted cliffs that carved their way into the sea’s blueness. I could feel and smell the ocean breeze. Bathe in the sun and dive into the blue. It was my paradise, but I just didn’t know where it was.

Then one day while surfing the net for a place to travel, I saw my piece of paradise. At the spur of the moment, I made a reservation. I was filled with excitement. In two weeks, the visions in my mind would become reality. It didn’t matter that I had to fly 16 hours to reach my destiny - the tiny Greek island of Santorini. But it did matter that I found a great deal.

The trip was everything I imagined and more. The hospitality and fine cooking of the Greeks was an added bonus as I marveled at the beauty of the island that is known by the locals as “Thira.”

The white buildings erected along the cliffs are made of stone, and they are popular with tourists, especially the hotels. These picturesque buildings overlooking the waves crashing to shore are examples of the traditional architecture popular on Santorini. The view from the windows is as if you are looking out from the inside of a cave.

Although the white of the buildings stands out on its own, it is the contrast from the richness of the ocean blue that really makes the island a scenic paradise.

I must admit that I didn’t stay in one of these white wonders. Instead, I settled for a small inn located in the center of town so I could take in as many sites as I could during my five-day stay.

One of the sites that I had on my list to see was in Oia, located in northern part of the island. There sits a church with a blue roof among the cliffs and other structures, both man-made and natural. It’s a photo op and is considered by many as one of the greatest sceneries in the world.

Another place I had to visit was the beach. There are several on the Island. I went to one that featured black sand and beautiful views. I must admit that I never made it in the water. I just enjoyed the day taking in the view and sipping on cold drinks. It was a great day. 

You will notice throughout the entire island that most structures have blue or white in them, including restaurants, many of which have interiors decked out in the same colors.

When it comes to dining in Santorini, there are many taverns that are popular with the locals and tourists alike. Warm, home-style food for meat eaters or vegetarians is served up with cold drinks. It’s a wonderful atmosphere and a great way to meet the locals.

The views and people on this small Greek island make for a wonderful vacation. I’ll never forget my time on Santorini, and I must admit that my trip far exceeded what I had envisioned in my mind.

Lost continent of Atlantis

A prosperous continent that boasted a flourishing civilization was pushed into the sea by angry gods. The “Lost Continent of Atlantis” is one of the oldest myths of mankind.

Today, it is believed that Santorini is an historic fact behind the myth. Geologists have proved that the archipelago formed of Santorini and four neighboring islands were once one big island, and volcanologists have determined that the archipelago was engulfed by a volcanic eruption around 1613 B.C.

The event, called “Minoan Eruption,” was one of the largest eruptions on earth in the past 10,000 years, ejecting approximately 14.5 cubic miles of material, leaving a layer of pumice and ash up to 260 feet thick for 12 to 18 miles in all directions and having widespread effects across the eastern Mediterranean regions, according to recent research of the University of Rhode Island and the Hellenic Center for Marine Research.

This large-scale eruption, along with earthquakes and a tsunami may have devastated Minoan settlements on Santorini who were enjoying an advanced civilization, which is considered to have influenced the making of the myth of Atlantis.

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