The Caldera
Sunup from our room at the Hotel Astra, and beyond our terrace the huge volcanic caldera of Santorini (Thera to the Greeks).  The land you see in the upper left was once contiguous with this island; the material in between was removed by a gigantic explosion which may have brought an end to the Minoan civilization on Crete and given rise to the story of Atlantis.  The land in the upper right of the picture is the town of Oia, a pleasant drive or a fairly arduous walk from our room here in Imerovigli; The island to the left is Thirasia, which still boasts a thriving indigenous population.  Further to the left you would see a scorched cinder cone, remnant of the volcano.  It is customary to travel there by boat and hike to the still-active steam vents.  Behind us, the southern part of our island (past the main tourist paradise) is home to agriculture (capers are an identifying feature of Theran cooking) and an amazing archaeological site from a couple millennia B.C. at Akrotiri.



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