Friday, September 28, 2012

Rediscovering the Road

It was early morning, around 6:30, when I rode the car alone to the foothills of ancient Thera. On top of the mountain, there was a Spartan kingdom, approximately dated at 1000 BC. The history lessons of childhood reminds me of Sparta as the place where one is killed on birth if considered a weakling. The sporting and military nation adopting diametrically opposite viewpoint of life to the Greek society of Athens.

I locked the car, where walking trails began. With few stars still dimming in the sky, I started my journey. The hill is only 300 meters in height. With little gasping here and there, I made it to the top at around 7:30 AM. The sun was shining. I waited at the entrance of the ancient Thera, which opens at 8 am. The city of Perissa is below me. On the other side of the hill, the city of Kamari. I am at the high point of the Greek island - Santorini - believed to be the last remaining part of the legendary Atlantis. My overgrown cynical mind keeps it to legend. But, when the city of ancient Thera opens, it is not cynicism anymore. It is like walking in the history.

The first signs of habitation in ancient Thera was recorded at 1700 BC. It was destroyed in a devastating volcanic eruption. It was occupied again by the Spartan hero, Therus, upon whom it was named as Thera. It decayed with time until ancient Romans captured this place and built a city with roman baths, theater, municipality. It was destroyed by Arab invaders, looted by European colonists and now again it is back to life sporting a history that spans centuries and signs of all civilizations. I was walking, in the pavements of Thera, alone. I did not know if I passed the Spartan test or not. What I remained assured was that, the road does not consist of a single life.

Santorini, in its modern age, is incredibly beautiful, perhaps because of the cruelty of the nature. It is semi-circular in shape with a volcanic island in the center. Between the volcanic island and the island of Santorini, there is deep blue sea. One almost feels that the island grew out of the Volcanic eruption in a circular fashion. This is true. The signs are carried by the colors of stones, beaches in Santorini. The beaches at different places are colored deep black, hot red and white. There are stones which weigh like a paper. Stones formed out of volcanic ash.

Considering the current economic situation of Europe, and in particularly for Greece, this small Greek island is surprisingly cool. People are friendly, happy and supremely lazy. A feel of everything is ok lets your mind relax, that the best healer cannot provide. Time runs fast only in busy tourist spots, where people come, buy, watch sunset and leave for dinner. After that, the soothing Greek music is played on and on by wannabe singers. Surely, they care neither for money, nor for fame. Otherwise, how can you explain a music for all but three listeners nearly at midnight.

In my memory, so it is - Santorini. It comes repeatedly and then, slips away. Like the elusive little token of time and like the great time of eons.

Timeless beauty - Santorini that is.

1 comment:

  1. santorini the beauti queen of Greece & Greece is a pitcher of antiquity where can feel something..