Monday, October 29, 2012

Greece: Ancient Akrotiri & Perissa Beach

We decided that we wanted to spend our last day on Santorini riding around in style, so we rented a four wheeler for the day.  We actually wanted to rent a moped, but neither of us have a current motorcycle license and neither of us were smart enough to just lie about it, so we ended up with this festive four wheeler.

Badass, for sure.

Our first stop was ancient Akrotiri, an archeological site of a Minoan (3000-1100 BC) civilization on Santorini.  The town was simultaneously decimated and preserved in approximately 1450 BC when a volcano erupted, burying the town (I believe the same volcano gave Santorini its crescent shape and drastic bluffs).  Although Akrotiri is widely known as Santorini's Pompeii, no bodies have been found in the ash, leading historians to believe that the residents had ample warning of the volcano's eruption.  

Ancient Akrotiri remained undiscovered until 1860, when quarry workers found buildings while removing ash for construction of the Suez Canal.  Excavations of the town, however, did not begin until much later in 1967.  After the protective roof over the site collapsed in 2005, the site was shut down to the public until April 2012.  We considered ourselves lucky to be able to experience this historic part of Santorini.

Although many artifacts have been removed from the site (including vividly painted frescos), you can still see some of the pots and tools that people left behind as they fled the island.

Once we got our fill of history, we hopped on the four wheeler to visit the non-caldera side of the island.  Instead of bluffs and cliffs, this side of the island is full of beaches.

Beaches, and this giant rock.

We ate lunch at a restaurant that provided free beach chairs, so that we could enjoy the beach in style.  The only drawback to the beaches were the numerous people coming by every two minutes asking if we wanted to rent sunglasses (weird.), buy knockoff handbags, or have a massage.  It was annoying, especially when the same people kept coming back time and time again.  The view made up for it, though.

The sand only extended into the ocean a few feet before turning into jagged, slippery rock.  I had a hard time standing, but Brian just embraced it and jumped right in.

Perissa Beach is full of black sand, a product of volcanic ash.  Not only is the black sand beautiful, but it doesn't stick to your skin like most fine sand does.

I thought it was odd that the sand was so smooth for no apparent reason, so I had to take a picture.

Because the view from our hotel was seriously amazing, we wanted to spend our last night in Santorini appreciating said view.  We dropped off the four wheeler, grabbed some gyros, and got back to our hotel just in time to take in the setting sun.

We also used this opportunity to drink the complimentary wine from our hotel.

And sent this picture to our families from Brian's ipad.

I wanted to compare the sunset from the balcony at our hotel in Fira to Oia's famous sunset we experienced the night before.

This sliver of the moon was just perfect!
p.s. this rock is actually the volcano that buried Akrotiri, reshaped the entire island, and is still active today!

Who has the better sunset:  Oia or Fira?  I can't decide!

1 comment:

  1. That four wheeler is the best :) But I'm biased - because that is my fiance and I's biggest hobby is four wheeling. Plus, orange is one of my favorite colors.

    THAT VIEW is amazing. How beautiful! :)


data:newerPageTitle data:olderPageTitle