As you enter the Cycladic island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea , you experience the constant arousal of all of your senses in an effortless way facing at first the cosmic mystery of its rugged landscape after the volcanic eruption in the 16th century.
The sight of the whitewashed , cubiform houses , surrounded by the moistened Caldera with depth of up to 400m below the sea level fills you with wonder and admiration for this huge natural geological /volcanological museum.
Walking through the cobbled streets the smell of the prickly pears match with thesalty rose bougainvillea and you indulge in the process of the ancient greek ritual of methexis partaking in the scent of the aegean scenery.
The sense of taste, this memory that always follows us till the very end of our lives, as the sign of pleasure and gratification is vivid and present as another landmark of this culinary paradise. Treat your taste buds to some traditional products like cherry tomatoes, white eggs plants, fava, caper and “hloro tyri”, a special kind of fresh goat cheese found on the island, or why not try some of the exceptional wines produced from grapes grown in the volcanic soil of the island! Assyrtiko, Athyri, Aidani, Mantilaria and Mavrotragano are just some of the distinctive varieties that you can taste at the island’s famous wineries (some of them operate as a museum as well) or at restaurants.
The sense of touch in this volcanic land in the Eastern Mediterranean could be heavenly experienced into diving and becoming one with the deep blue waters and lying on the beaches with white , red or black sand or volcanic pebbles ,spectacular touch of the variety of rock formations in a unique scenery.
Deep breath for the ultimate time of the sunrise and the sunset , anywhere in the island that you gaze the sun the sense of hearing is mysteriously evoked y through the words of the greek poet Odysseas Elytis , who comes to whisper at your heart the words of his poem Ode to Santorini:
You emerged from a thunderpeal’s entrails
Shuddering amid repentant clouds
Bitter stone, proved, proud
You sought the sun for the first-martyred witness
To confront perilous splendor together
To head out to sea with a cross-bearing echo
You lifted up your stone breast
Speckled with the southwind’s inspiration,
For pain to inscribe its very heart there
For hope to inscribe its very heart there
With fire with lava with smoke
With words that convert the infinite
You gave birth to the voice of day
You set up the bells on high
In the green and rose stretches of aether
Bells run by the exalted mind
Glorifying the birds in mid-August light
Beside waveroar, beside anguish of seafoam
Through the eucharism of sleep
When night roamed the deserts of stars
Searching for the testimony of dawn,
You felt the joy of birth
You leapt first into the world
Born to the purple, sea-risen
You sent to the far horizons
The blessings that grew in the sea’s night-vigils
To caress the hair of dawn’s fifth hour.
Queen of Aegean pulses and wings
With the words to convert the infinite
With fire with lava with smoke
You found the great lines of your destiny
Now before you justice opens out
Black mountains float in the glow
Desires prepare their craters
In the heart’s tormented land,
And from hope’s struggle a new
earth prepares itself
To step there with eagles and banners
One morning filled with iridescence
The race that vivifies dreams
The race that sings in the sun’s embrace.
O kore of exceeding anima
Open the splendid gates of man
That the landscape be fragrant with health
That feeling with open wings aflutter
Sprout with a housand colours
And freedom blow from everywhere
Amid the wind’s preachings flash out
The new and perpetual beauty
When the sun of the third hour rises
All glaucous to play the pipe organ of Creation.
Secrets on Heaven:
- Sunset in the lighthouse of Akrotiri.
- Dive in the wavy waters of Kolumbo
- Strolling in the lively inland village of Emporio with the charming medieval alleys.
- Enjoy a cup of greek traditional coffee in the village of Pyrgos in the cafe Kantouni.
- Choose a precious book from one the worlds best bookshops “ Atlantis” in Oia .
Written and Curated by Christina Sdoukou