The dry land and the volcanic soil of Santorini give a great taste to all the agricultural products of the island. On this dark and dry land, one wouldn't expect anything to grow, but some special crops are fruitful. The earthquake was catastrophic for Santorini, but it was the salvation of the vineyards, tomatoes and the split pea cultivations.
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.
Ioulida, the capital of Kea Island, looks like an eagle’s nest on the top of the mountain. The densely built houses with shingle roofs compose a rare architectural ensemble that looks like a painting. Amongst the houses, a labyrinth of paved side-streets lead to the beautiful square of the Town Hall. No matter where you stand in Ioulida, the sea can always be seen at a distance -like looking out of an airplane window.
A village dangling off the volcano's crater. All houses are traditional and built abiding strict guidelines. Electric cables run underground, and there is absolutely nothing to obstruct the amazing view. A couple of decades ago, the islands’ inhabitants were poor and used to dig burrows in the rocks in order to have shelter. Nowadays, the situation has been completely reversed.
After each big wave, the passengers on the boat shouted: "Well done captain, may the Seven Children bless you". The captain, a young man, smiled awkwardly while holding the boat's wheel firmly in his capable hands. The turbulence didn't last for more than ten minutes and calmness returned when the boat entered the arc of the volcano’s caldera.
"I don't fear the sea at all and the possibility of me drowning never crosses my mind. Whenever I can't see the sea, even from afar, I feel afraid and think I'm dying. I was once taken to Panagia Sumela church inMacedoniaa and I hardly managed not to go crazy in the mountains. I suppose that Holy Mary saved me".
"I dig with a pickaxe and make a cave in which I keep my wines. Among other elements, Santorini's soil contains pumice stone. The pickaxe I use is slightly different than the standard ones; it was specially made by a Roma blacksmith. The island's caves remained intact after the catastrophic earthquake of 1956; they're safe and cool. The day before yesterday the temperature in my concrete garage was 29 degrees Celsius while in the cave it was only 19".
"My father produced 80-100 tons of wine per year until 1974 and it was all sold to the French. We used to call it "mourouka" and they called it Bordeaux. We used to carry the wine on 100-200 animals loaded with four goat sacks each. We took them to Fira coast, where we poured the wine into barrels. Afterwards, we used to wash the sacks with sea water in order to protect the leather".
“I play music many hours a day. I start in the morning with the violin and then I go on with the piano. During the summer I stop for a while to swim and then I play the violin again”. Antonis Prekas from Emporio of Santorini is the son of the famous lute player Kyriakos and the grandson of the great violinist Antonis.
“My school is not here, it’s in another village called Kato Meria. It’s 3-seated and has 19 children. We have three teachers, Mrs. Effie, Mrs. Zapheiroula and Mrs. Dionysia, the headmistress. My village has no other children except for me and my sister, whom I can’t stand because she’s really young and keeps screaming”.
“Every morning Mr. Stavros used to come to our shop around the time when we were cutting the delight on the pans. He used to take the remains from the edges and put them into buns he'd bought from the bakery in order to sell them to the factory workers. Mr. Stavros kept the rolls hot inside a little transparent, glass chest and a drawer filled with burning coal”.