Sunday, 21 June 2015

Returning Home

As with most vacations that involve flight, there is always the anti climax and frustration that comes with waiting for the flight home. However, Santorini has been fantastic. I finally confessed my hidden agenda (Thera) once it was clear everyone else was having fun. Otherwise apart from the odd tweet, Eve Online was out of my mind. Finding a decent WIFI connection on this island is a task in itself and there is just too much to do. This mostly involved the consumption of food and getting sunburned if the complaints of my body are to be believed.

We went on the obligatory tours – Akrotiri is amazing. The Pompeii of the Aegean but much older. 3500 years old to be imprecise. Many questions remain about the site. Only 3 percent has been uncovered. The Linear A language has yet to be deciphered so the name of the site is not even known. But what is clear is this was no minor civilization. The architecture is significant.

We also went to the epicenter of the original explosion. The local claim is that it was of the magnitude of 40 nuclear bombs whatever that means. Lets just say it was big. The caldera is ample evidence of that and dust from Thera has been found as far away as Greenland, Iceland (naturally) and California. The epicenter is still active and there are a couple of domes where the magma has breached the surface. There is a third one out of site under the sea. It is the one the locals worry about because it is where all the recent earthquakes have emanated from. There are hot springs and the landscape looks more like Mars than Earth. The abiding impression I have is the staggering beauty that resulted from such complete and utter destruction.

Finally, you can't got to Santorini and not see the sunset at Oia. It is magnificent but also reveals the human condition. The world plus dog goes there to see it. We spoke more mandarin than Greek while there. But what is also apparent is that there is an awful lot of people who don't know that the sun travels from east to west during the course of the day. People would choose a site to watch the sunset based on where the sun currently was – not where it was going to be. Surprising, funny when watching people desperately scurrying to re-position themselves at the last minute, but fundamentally a bit sad that we have become so detached from our environment. The early inhabitants of Thera would certainly have been all too aware of their environment. In the ruins of Akrotiri, no bodies or gold was found. This was because they were knew what was coming and made an orderly evacuation.

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