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Every afternoon big groups of summer visitors are being gathered at the westernmost part of Oia in Santorini to enjoy the sunset. They come from all over the island in order to be in time and take a place in some terrace or some mantel, from where they will have a panoramic view of the phenomenon. These gatherings happen every day for ages without any interruption, but in July and August they turn into entire people gatherings.
Outburst of applause
At the moment when the last part of the sun sinks in the Aegean people burst into applauses and exclamations in every single language can be heard. The cameras are literally on fire and trap in their sensors the last orange sunbeams. The very same day, pictures of the Greek light are being scattered over the internet and advertise Greece across the whole planet.
After the sunset, couples are embracing and silently staring at the russet horizon for a few moments. Countless heads lean on shoulders beside them and get emptied from all their cares and problems for a moment. After a few days, the same people may be fighting and arguing, but at this moment they're bluntly touching each other and give their coexistence one more chance.
The horizon's russet colour doesn't last long and it gradually turns to grey. That's when the weather's setting changes and the cool sea breeze starts being felt. The sun's adorers start shivering and they slowly get their way back.
They walk in paths at the edge of the coal black volcanic rock, seeing Oia's cave homes underneath them, literally hanging on the cliff. It's the time when the lights are on and the sea at the volcano's caldera seems unworldly and menacing.
Μπαλκόνι στον ουρανό
Oia of Santorini is an enormous beauty generator, which attracts magical images in great numbers, during the whole day. There are many impressive places across the world, but none is prettier than that.
It combines the calmness of the endless blue sea and the sky with the scary and unworldly black of the volcanic lava, which was violently catapulted from the bowels of the earth. It is a balcony in the sky overlooking the abyss.
TEXT-PHOTOS: GEORGE ZAFEIROPOULOS