When that event occurred here, the Mediterranean flooded in, creating the crescent-shaped Santorini that we know today. But the sea drowned the volcano. Then, in 1570 AD, another massive eruption brought the volcano above the sea surface. While further eruptions are always expected, it is not known whether an event of biblical proportions could occur again.
The first stop on our cruise was the volcano. With good walking shoes on, we trudged up the volcanic rocky path to the furthest point, which took some time. At intervals, the young multi-lingual 'escort' ('guides' have to be registered with the government) spoke of eruptions here over the years. One little crater was caused by an eruption in 1926. Another in 1939. In fact, two craters are now inactive, while one remains active. Imagine, a few small craters within one massive one (the Caldera). The escort's commentary was welcome too, an opportunity to rest. At one point, the escort dug a hole, allowing steam to emerge. She asked us to put our hand in there. It was amazingly hot, and, therefore, a bit unnerving. Regarding the legendary lost city of Atlantis, the escort believed it was located near the island's town of Akrotiri, based on the writings of Plato.
All around us was quite a spectacle. I think the escort said that differences in colour of the volcano's landscape reflect time passed between eruptions. Rocks, huge boulders, created by volcanoes are fascinatingly black, looking like they've been dipped in crude oil or something similar, and now dry. The rocky deposits laid down in various parts of Santorini are also intriguing. Yesterday morning, we had visited the town of Oia, and noticed, along the way, that the rocky landscape was intermittently red, white, and black, mirroring this island's volcanic history.
Afterwards, we went for a quick swim in the hot springs, which weren't too hot, near Asporini. I loved the swim, but Jean wasn't such a fan. Back on deck, we dried off and had dinner, consisting of Greek salad, pork served in orange sauce, tzatziki, and rice. It was washed down with local Santorini white wine. The boat sailed to beyond the town of Oia, perched high above us on the cliff top, and resembling, as so many Santorini towns do, snow atop a mountain. We had sailed to a spot where we could watch the sunset over the sea, and you could see, high above, the many people in Oia gathered together by the cliff edge to do the same.
After the sun sank into the Mediterranean, we sailed back to the Old Port of Fira. We had descended the steep cliff face earlier by cable car, but now chose an ascent by donkey. It was quite an experience, and you can read about it in another blog post.