Greece: Ia, Santorini

White houses on white streets of white cities. Blue dome churches on the background of blue sky. Blue Sea, in which the view is dissolved. There is no time, there is no hurry, and the eye, resting, slides in amazing, as if a carefully selected artist details. Whether the graphics of white-blue steps or a black cat, lazily happier on a white parapet, — Everything here has some special, charming tint. An amazing island capable of filling out not only the viewfoots of our cameras, but also the soul.

White… White and white and blue. Blue-blue. You immediately guessed that these are the colors of the Greek flag? Warm, but not yet hot. But truly hot — Only on Nea-Kamen Island, which is located in the center of a small archipelago of the five islands of the Aegean Sea, called Santorini, and is simply a sleeping volcano.

The name in honor of the local church of Saint Irina was given by Arabic geographer Edis in the XII century and enshrined by the Venetians who captured these Sushi fragments in XIII. It is still used worldwide in one exception: the Greeks themselves are the main island, the biggest out of five, refer to Thira — Tira. And carefully follow this! Despite the fact that the island is a popular destination for Greece, you can hardly find the airport or port of Santorini. There is no such geographical name on Greek maps: they are looking for Thira in the guidebooks!

According to Greek mythology Santorin — This is a lump of land, presented by Argonauts by the sea god Triton. Calliste («Parest») — Such a name gave this piece of sushi Argonauts. In reality, on the site of the archipelago once there was one big island, sleeping volcano, which sailors called strondgili («round»), but at the end of the XV century BC. NS. He suddenly woke up. The monstrous eruption of buried under the locale of local residents (according to many researchers, such as Jacques-Iva Costo, it was the disappearing of the disappeared city of Atlantov). The central part of the island collapsed in emptiness, which appeared after the eruption, forming the so-called caldera — Round crater with steep walls sent to the center of the circle. Tsunami height of 100 m, caused by this cataclysm, collapsed to the nearby (110 km) Crete. It possessed so significant devastating force that the famous mined civilization was just boldly from the face of the earth. Subsequent volcanic activity formed the current appearance of the archipelago. On the map, the main island of Tira is similar to a semicircle, a sickle without a handle; From the West to it, it is adjacent to the island less, Tiaracia, and in the center of the circle — Two Sleeping Volcanoes: Nea-Kameni and Palea-Kamen.

If you arrive at the shooter by ferry, which regularly go from Crete or from Athens, or sail onto the excursion boat and turn around, it will seem that we have a huge impregnable sheer rocks of red and black, covered on top of white dust. So look from the water the towns and villages, stretching at the very top of steep cliffs reaching 300-meter heights.

Other, eastern side of the island — These are low hills and long coasts with black (sometimes red) large volcanic sand. Vegetation for most of the surface scarce due to dry climate. Nevertheless, Tira is famous for the quality of the vineyards (we will attract the tasting of local wines) and amazingly delicious little tomatoes.

Why on the island, most of the buildings are painted in white, and the domes of churches — in blue-blue shades? On this score, there is also a legend. When Turkish invaders owned the island (and Barbarossa himself took the island in 1537!), they did not allow local residents to use Greek symbolism and celebrate national holidays. But those, and without having resigned, just began to paint the structure in the colors of the native flag: white and blue! On the island of 350 churches — enough space for brush malaria patriot. Why Legend? Actually white and blue — This is a modern style of Cycladic architecture, which emerged in the early 80s of the XX century.

Currently Santorini — place of pilgrimage travelers from around the world. In the summer months, more than a dozen cruise ships are coming daily thousands and thousands of tourists for not very large island. Streets are filled with multilingual vacationers, restaurants are booked back in the morning, discos are shut down only a few morning hours, and during sunset all walkways and stairs of the town of ia occupied with a tight mass of lovers to shoot with soapovers leaving the horizon.

The cities of Iia and Fira are considered to be pearls of the Mediterranean, but, to be more accurate, it is Mecca for creative people, primarily photographers, designers and artists. Painting them gives a kind of location on the edge of the volcanic crater — Calders. The place for the construction was once chosen non-randomly: first, a beautiful view, secondly — It is easier to defend against marine pirates. That is why whole quarters of houses are descended towards the sea, repeating the bends of the surface. Roofs of the lower houses are often the balconies of the upper, and sometimes — Just part of the street.

Greece Ia, Santorini

The uniqueness of the local architecture is also due to the fact that the main element is arched, vaulted ceilings. Smooth rounded lines soothe, please the eye, unlike traditional «chilled» Urban Forms. Many at home, villas and even hotels were built, or rather, digged right in the rock. But despite the strange appearance and internal «cave» Premises, there are all the necessary amenities and is ensured by a high level of comfort.

And the main thing — There are no cars (not on the island, but in the cities themselves). Therefore, the streets constantly there are pretty donks — One of Santorini characters, — Responsible for all: store supply, baggage transportation, garbage disposal. I have to give way to them and look under your feet!

In these towns, you never guess what is waiting for the next bend of the paved sidewalk or the rise of the steep staircase: the dome of the next church, the bell tower, the courtyard with red geranium, the mythical mask on the wall, rushing from the sea of ​​shutters, the door to nowhere or lazy red cat, located on Perilah.

And I — Town meditation, relaxation and most beautiful in the world of sunset. Not one postcard and not one album are dedicated to cats. And what can be funnier donkey, screaming ears from flies? Or dogs thoughtfully winning steamboats? Here, for a minute you do not forget that you are in a place recognized by the most beautiful city of Greece.

By the way, the first modern «architects» There were captains — Ship owners, because of the city something like the ship: steep forests, narrow passages, low doors. One of the protected UNESCO structures is called: the Sea Captain House. There is one more secret, why many people go here or on a honeymoon: in ancient legend, if lovers write their names on red rocks in the vicinity of this settlement, they will always love each other and never break out.

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