Monday 18 November 2013

The central hub of Santorini- FIRA

Fira, is the main town of Santorini, a.k.a. Thira, that is on top of the cliff of the caldera. From its white architecture against dark rocks,  looking very much like yummy 'icing on top of chocolate cakes'. As appealing as it looks, Fira is must go with it's unique beauty different from Oia (as how I mentioned in my previous post, here and here). 
That's just me in Fira. September 2013. (Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark II)
June 2013. Fira, the icing on top of chocolate cakes. (Canon EOS M 18-55mm)

I love the ambience of Santorini, that you just wish to relax all day, being stress-free. The people there are too, very laid back. Wandering through steps of small little streets, looking at many Santorini's unique produce or arts, just hold your heart back, but they can be extremely overpriced. For a thrifty traveller like myself, I would not land myself in expensive arts pieces and jewelleries. If you're there for honeymoon, if it's a gift from your love one, I'd say why not?

Overlooking Caldera from Fira. September 2013. (Taken with Canon EOS M)
Spotted, Oia on the very end of the island. September 2013. (Taken with Canon EOS M)

One of the largest 'main street' on Fira, where you can see the caldera, churches and some shops. September 2013 (Taken with Canon EOS M)

Fira is the most populated village of Santorini, which serves as the main hub for transport, where all the local buses will get to, and if you need a transfer, to and from the airport. You will pay the ticket on the bus, to the bus conductor, prices from €1.60 one way, even if it's just one stop. 

Motorcycles are one of the local favourite on top of ATV.

Wondering around the town, munching on your favourite gyros pita, some chilled drinks, and want to see something more? Head to the cable car station to bring you down to the port. It's where most tour boat stops, and even has duty free shops. Not entirely sure if it's really tax-free or just another tourist trap. 

 Down at the old port where you can see some part of Fira from bottom. September 2013. (Taken with Canon EOS M)

These traditional boats are one of those you would use if you join their tour. Or rent one as your private tour! September 2013. (Taken with Canon EOS M)

The other mode of transport which has been around before all the wheels, that is donkey ride:

Hello eeyore. September 2013. (Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark II)

Well, donkey ride is not a taxi that will bring you anywhere you want. Just like bus, they have a fixed destination to go to. As a curious traveller myself, I'd say why not try out donkey ride since I have never had one! 

These cute vulnerable donkeys are stationed at the top of the step to go down to the old port, or a ride up from the old port. They have their owners or 'shepherds' trained them about the direction which is pretty straight forward.

 My selfie with the donkey. September 2013. (Taken with Canon EOS M)

The ride might just looks like the usual horse riding, but from my experience having them climbing up the stairs, is quite like shocking to start with. A bit like roller-coaster ride (well I can be quite exaggerating) when they would suddenly run, or go to the edge as if you're likely to fall of the cliff! That's a bit of fun but worth trying for €5 one way. Beware, donkey poops and pees are s-m-e-l-l-y!! Haha!

Sunset in Santorini, and I'll let readers to decide whether sunset is much prettier in Oia, or Fira. We've seen the one in Oia, so we decided to try the one in Fira. As mentioned in my post about sunset in Oia, it can kill any romantic feeling you're looking for from the massive crowd and you will hear loads of shutters from camera just went off continuously. 

Warm sun shinning on happy face. September 2013. (Canon EOS M)

When the sun is settling down it's horizon, warm rays quickly changes what you see with your naked eyes on white architecture of Santorini. White is very reflective hence the golden colours of sun, showing a different side of Fira. 

September 2013. (Taken with Canon EOS M)

The reflection of sun natures during sunset is simply breathtaking. Sunset view from Fira, will see the sun sinks below the caldera, that, according to some locals, it the true beauty of sunset in Fira. 

September 2013 (Taken with Canon EOS M)
September 2013 (Taken with Canon EOS M)
 September 2013 (Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark II)
 September 2013 (Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark II)
 September 2013 (Taken with Canon EOS 5D Mark II)

It is definitely much quieter in Fira when crowd gathers in Oia. You will feel much at peace than in Oia when you're standing among the crowds in Fira. When the sun sinks, it just looked like the sun had been eaten by the 'mouth' of caldera, where the sun takes its time to recharge and bring another day of sunshine the next day. It's definitely worth to see both sunset with your own eyes as they are truly beautiful. 

The much lesser crowds in Fira. September 2013. (Taken with Canon EOS M)

Let the sun takes some rest but Fira is certainly still very alive! Shops has not shut, and restaurants got busy. You will see a different side of Fira at night. 

On the side note, the street as shown in the picture above is my favourite in Fira, where you can find food, and it's very relaxing to just stroll around. Try out Gyros Pita at Lucky Souvlaki's, they are delicious!

I don't mind going to Santorini for a third time! Love!

Till then!


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