Nea Kameni, Santorini, Greece

The Volcanic Core of Santorini

Celestial Lights
Cruise "Celestyal Crystal" anchored off Nea Kameni.
solitary walk
Visitor climbs the Nea Kameni gravel trail.
good weather on the channel
Cruise anchored between Nea Kameni and Santorini and the foothills of Thira, the capital of Santorini.
Curved Entry
Ferry from another island enters Santorini's flooded caldera.
unorthodox diving
Bather jumps from a traditional kaki boat into the sea from the Santorini caldera.
through a lava channel
Traditional kaki boat travels the channel between Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni.
Lava vs Houses
Lava houses on the threshold of Oia, contrasts with the blackness of Nea Kameni's lava.
Visitor Photographs Greek Flag-Nea Kameni-Santorini-Greece
Nea Kameni's visitor photographs a Greek flag waving above the lava.
Nea Kameni's visitor photographs the houses on top of Santorini's caldera.
Visitors run up the trail-Nea Kameni-Santorini-Greece
Young friends run up Nea Kameni's gravel path.
About three millennia had passed since the Minoan eruption that tore apart the largest volcano island in the Aegean. The cliff-top inhabitants watched land emerge from the center of the flooded caldera. Nea Kameni, the smoking heart of Santorini, was born.

We woke up shortly after dawn. We went out onto the balcony of the box where we were still curious as to where the “Celestyal Crystal” had taken us that night.

As much as it took us to understand, above the inevitable Hellenic-blue Aegean we could only see part of a rough and ancient lava slope, black at the base, yellowish-brown in certain top patches.

Celestyal Crystal Cruise, Santorini, Greece

Cruise “Celestyal Crystal” anchored off Nea Kameni.

The view was out of step with the dock or harbor surrounded by white houses where we were used to mooring. Intrigued, we crossed to the opposite side of the boat.

From the upper deck, in the distance, we finally catch a glimpse of this whitewashed houses. It shared the top of an imposing cliff, in a communal balance that, more than precarious, seemed crazy to us.

Even a little sleepy, we ended up finding out what would certainly be obvious to early risers: the “Celestyal Crystal” had anchored in the middle of Thira's boiler. Barring last-minute movements, the exploration of Santorini that followed would radiate from its almost geometric and inhospitable environment to the inhabited shores. And yet, it would be from that same lava core that we would start it.

Nea Kameni's Transhipment from Vision to Reality

Half an hour later, with breakfast dispatched, we were ready for the new mission. Thira's geomorphological eccentricity – this is the Greek name for Santorini – was not long in making itself felt. We were forced to take a short transshipment of the “Celestyal Crystal” to Skala, the old port of Thira, located at the base of the island's capital.

There, we boarded a kaiki – traditional boat from Santorini – designated for the expedition. Moments later, we set sail in the opposite direction from the one that had taken us there, towards the fulcrum of the great caldera.

Get around the "Celestyal Crystal”. We sailed, for a long time, without noticing where the lava collection behind would allow us to disembark. Until, at a certain point, the proximity reveals to us a cut in the lava and a makeshift anchorage, equipped with a stairway that led to an ascending path, surrounded by small trees that were newly planted to remove some of its litho-lugbrity from the place.

We passed the deck of the kaiki to that trail and, accordingly, to the volcanic domain of Nea Kameni.

Lava and Casario, Santorini, Greece

Lava houses on the threshold of Oia, contrasts with the blackness of Nea Kameni's lava.

The expedition's guides provide explanations and warnings, some dedicated to the conservation of the island, others to the safety of visitors.

A Neo-Legacy of Thira's Thousand Year Volcanism

We are faced with the unique eccentricity of the scenery, both the surrounding blackness, formed by countless black fragments, and the cliffs that remained of the gigantic and millenary crater of the Thira volcano, the colossus that collapsed over the Aegean Sea during the most cataclysmic of its eruptions, the Minoan, estimated between 1642 and 1540 BC.

This eruption devastated not only the village of Akrotiri situated on top of the ancient crater, but also several other Minoan villages, including those in Crete (150km to the south) from which the homonymous civilization had developed and expanded.

Successive archeological and historical studies proved that, as far as surprise and victims were concerned, Akrotiri had little to do with the city of Pompeii, devastated by Vesuvius.

The lack of bodies in the buried ruins of Akrotiri proved that its inhabitants had time to observe the development of volcanic activity in Thira. And that they were able to take refuge in one of the neighboring Minoan islands, eventually on the mother island Crete.

Ascent to Nea Kameni's Sulfurous Summit

Back in Thera's present day, the guide who led us through Nea Kameni interrupts his speech to scan the horizon to the east. Note that several others kakis from Skala sailed towards us. Certain that they were carrying a torrent of people, he closes the dissertation and inaugurates the Nea Kameni walk above.

Hiking, Nea Kameni, Santorini, Greece

Visitor climbs the Nea Kameni gravel trail.

We followed the main trail of the island, on a surface of slippery gravel and something dusty. In a first stretch, just and only among the dark volcanic rubble. After a meander or two, already flanked by a shallow meadow that sprouted from the lava in an unexpected golden splendor.

The higher we climbed, the more alive and exuberant this meadow revealed itself, which in the meantime gave way to a convenient condominium with a colony of wild daisies, so bright yellow that it stood out from the gold.

It wasn't just the plants that saved us from the dictatorship of the inhospitable in which we found ourselves on arrival. Step after step, the slope placed us above the lava crests, on a plane that gave us back the blue of the Aegean, the overhanging cliffs of Thera and the villages that crowned them: Oia, to the north. The nearest capital Thira to the east. And to the south, Akrotiri.

Here and there, the meadow gave way to new huge heaps of lava that made us insignificant. A quick detour reveals a Greek flag flying at the top of one of these rock piles and, below, Nea Kameni's harbor-harbour, now teeming with kakis moored side by side.

Greek flag, Nea Kameni, Santorini, Greece.

Nea Kameni's visitor photographs a Greek flag waving above the lava.

The Island's Golden Smoky Crater

We return to the spinal ramp. A few dozen steps later, we come to the highest point of the island and, nearby, with its volcanic core, a somewhat misshapen crater, largely lined by the golden meadow we had passed on our ascent, stained by steaming yellowish sulfur and pestilent to match.

In a purely visual field, the active Nea Kameni seemed to be restricted to that multicolor cave nestled close to the island's zenith.

And yet, to reach its current size and altitude of 127 meters, Neo Kameni suffered a long and intense volcanism.

The Scary Emergency of 1570

The inhabitants of Kasteli Skaros – another village on top of the toughest cliffs in Thira – first became aware of their existence in 1570, during one of the many post-Minoic eruptions of the main volcano Thira.

To his dismay, a land mass began to emerge northeast of the island of Palea Kameni and a short distance from the then capital. In that preamble, they called her Mikri (little) Kameni. The newcomer would only be “mikri” for some time. Another 150 years passed.

In 1707 Thira had a new eruption, far more overwhelming than the previous one. As recorded, the inhabitants saw two distinct islands appear, one white, the other black. In a few months, the volcanic process brought the two together. It turned Mikri Kameni into an already quite bulky newcomer: Nea Kameni.

Between 1866 and 1870, there were several new eruptions, some even larger than the previous ones, to the image of the Minoan, with its columns of smoke and ash visible in Crete and which caused the submersion of fifty houses and two chapels, one Orthodox, one Catholic.

The novelty was that the original 1866 eruption generated an active sub-volcano over Nea Kameni, around the sulfurous and pestilent crater in which we finished our ascent to the top of the island. The authorities named him Georgios, in honor of the then Greek king George I.

In that same eruption of 1866, the islanders of Afroesa and Reka appeared. They too joined, shortly afterwards, the increasingly unifying Nea Kameni.

The volcanism of 1866 generated four-year aftershocks, some of them powerful. As Thira's sunken caldera bed released more and more magma, Nea Kameni's area tripled. Certain surrounding areas emerged or submerged.

A New Approach to Thira's Always-on Volcanism

By that time, in Greece, curiosity about volcanic phenomena had increased. The Greek state sent a committee to observe the changes in Santorini. It included a photographer who took the first photographic images of an eruption.

This interest and the publicity it aroused attracted the attention of volcanologist Ferdinand Foucault who, like many other scientists or mere well-heeled curious people, could not resist visiting and studying Santorini.

Among the last was Jules Verne. The French author was so impressed by the volcanic commotion of Santorini that he included it in his work of fiction “The Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”, in which he describes how Captain Nemo and his crew made the submarine Nautilus emerge in the warm water around Thira.

And they were stunned to watch the eruption of the new Georgios de Nea Kameni volcano, today, consensually considered the volcanic heart of Santorini.

We had been listening to it, photographing it and smelling it for almost fifteen minutes. It was time to return to the island's pedestrian arteries.

From where we had positioned ourselves, we could see dozens of other visitors circling back and forth above the overhanging golden carpet, some grouped together in a convenient viewpoint that allowed them to look west of the caldera.

The Unveiling of Elder Sister Palea Kameni

When we get to that point, we see the reason for your concentration. A whole new world of Thira opened before the eyes of all outsiders.

Kaki, Nea Kameni, Santorini, Greece

Traditional kaki boat travels the channel between Palea Kameni and Nea Kameni.

The older sister Palea Kameni crept up a few meters from the shore of Nea, separated by a narrow channel that we enjoyed traversed by a curious assortment of boats: small sailboats, large catamarans and the inevitable kakis.

Coming from the distant Aegean Sea, which we wouldn't see if Santorini's original caldera were complete, one of the ferries that connect the Greek islands approached. It was sailing at such speed that its engines left a long, curved, white mark on the navy blue to the southwest.

Ferry, Santorini, Greece

Ferry from another island enters Santorini's flooded caldera.

Just before this vessel docks at the new ferry port, at the foot of Pyrgos, we started the return to the harbor and the khaki when we had come to Nea.

Navigating from Praxe to Nea Kameni's Hot Waters

The helmsman directs him around the island against the clock. Before entering the channel between Nea and Palea, it turns into a rocky inlet similar to the anchorage on the opposite side.

The crew tells passengers where the attraction they longed for is. One by one, they leapt from the deck into the greenish water there and swooped toward an inlet formed by the lava.

Jumping bather, Nea Kameni, Santorini, Greece

Bather jumps from a traditional kaki boat into the sea from the Santorini caldera.

We followed their strokes and their example. When we got there, the complaints didn't take long. For reasons known only to local geothermals, the hot water so famous there was little more than tepid. The barely warm temperature disappointed the international entourage who had heard so much about those eccentric spas.

No matter how great the deception, Santorini's popularity would never grant an amphibious continuation of the claims.

All of a sudden, two others kakis appeared at the entrance to the cove. Knowing the competition for every corner of Nea and the procedures, the crew braced the swimmers to demand their rescue.

We got back on board. While the khaki we continued to circle the island on the path to Skala port, we dried ourselves in the scorching Mediterranean sun.

All through that back end, Neo Kameni had proven himself only and only the rough, dark mound of lava that had startled us upon awakening.

Several of the volcanologists who study it guarantee that there will soon be a new devastation. It remains to be seen of what intensity and how much it will affect the increasingly fashionable, overpopulated and overly visited Santorini.



Iraklio, CreteGreece

From Minos to Minus

We arrived in Iraklio and, as far as big cities are concerned, Greece stops there. As for history and mythology, the capital of Crete branches without end. Minos, son of Europa, had both his palace and the labyrinth in which the minotaur closed. The Arabs, the Byzantines, the Venetians and the Ottomans passed through Iraklio. The Greeks who inhabit it fail to appreciate it.
Mykonos, Greece

The Greek Island Where the World Celebrates Summer

During the 1960th century Mykonos was once just a poor island, but by XNUMX Cycladic winds of change transformed it. First, at the main gay shelter in the Mediterranean. Then, at the crowded, cosmopolitan and bohemian vanity fair that we find when we visit.
Thira Santorini, Greece

Fira: Between the Heights and the Depths of Atlantis

Around 1500 BC a devastating eruption sank much of the volcano-island Fira into the Aegean Sea and led to the collapse of the Minoan civilization, referred to over and over again as Atlantis. Whatever the past, 3500 years later, Thira, the city of the same name, is as real as it is mythical.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park Indonesia

The Volcanic Sea of ​​Java

The gigantic Tengger caldera rises 2000m in the heart of a sandy expanse of east Java. From it project the highest mountain of this Indonesian island, the Semeru, and several other volcanoes. From the fertility and clemency of this sublime as well as Dantesque setting, one of the few Hindu communities that resisted the Muslim predominance around, thrives.
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok. The Bali Sea Deserves such a Sonda

Long overshadowed by the neighboring island's fame, Lombok's exotic settings remain unrevealed, under the sacred protection of guardian Gunung Rinjani, Indonesia's second-largest volcano.
Camiguin, Philippines

An Island of Fire Surrended to Water

With more than twenty cones above 100 meters, the abrupt and lush, Camiguin has the highest concentration of volcanoes of any other of the 7641 islands in the Philippines or on the planet. But, in recent times, not even the fact that one of these volcanoes is active has disturbed the peace of its rural, fishing and, to the delight of outsiders, heavily bathed life.
Pico Island, Azores

Pico Island: the Azores Volcano with the Atlantic at its Feet

By a mere volcanic whim, the youngest Azorean patch projects itself into the rock and lava apogee of Portuguese territory. The island of Pico is home to its highest and sharpest mountain. But not only. It is a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of the Azoreans who tamed this stunning island and surrounding ocean.

Lake Cocibolca, Nicaragua

sea, sweet sea

Indigenous Nicaraguans treated the largest lake in Central America as Cocibolca. On the volcanic island of Ometepe, we realized why the term the Spaniards converted to Mar Dulce made perfect sense.

La Palma, Canary IslandsSpain (España)

The Most Mediatic of the Cataclysms to Happen

The BBC reported that the collapse of a volcanic slope on the island of La Palma could generate a mega-tsunami. Whenever the area's volcanic activity increases, the media take the opportunity to scare the world.
Big Island, Hawaii

Searching for Rivers of Lava

There are five volcanoes that make the big island of Hawaii grow day by day. Kilauea, the most active on Earth, is constantly releasing lava. Despite this, we live a kind of epic to envision it.
Tanna, Vanuatu

From where Vanuatu Conquered the Western World

The TV show “Meet the Native” took Tanna's tribal representatives to visit Britain and the USA Visiting their island, we realized why nothing excited them more than returning home.
Rhinoceros, PN Kaziranga, Assam, India
PN Kaziranga, India

The Indian Monoceros Stronghold

Situated in the state of Assam, south of the great Brahmaputra river, PN Kaziranga occupies a vast area of ​​alluvial swamp. Two-thirds of the rhinocerus unicornis around the world, there are around 100 tigers, 1200 elephants and many other animals. Pressured by human proximity and the inevitable poaching, this precious park has not been able to protect itself from the hyperbolic floods of the monsoons and from some controversies.
Prayer flags in Ghyaru, Nepal
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 4th – Upper Banana to Ngawal, Nepal

From Nightmare to Dazzle

Unbeknownst to us, we are faced with an ascent that leads us to despair. We pulled our strength as far as possible and reached Ghyaru where we felt closer than ever to the Annapurnas. The rest of the way to Ngawal felt like a kind of extension of the reward.
Bay Watch cabin, Miami beach, beach, Florida, United States,
Architecture & Design
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coastlines concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the far southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessed by six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is manifestly meager for the number of souls who desire it.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
self-flagellation, passion of christ, philippines
Ceremonies and Festivities
Marinduque, Philippines

The Philippine Passion of Christ

No nation around is Catholic but many Filipinos are not intimidated. In Holy Week, they surrender to the belief inherited from the Spanish colonists. Self-flagellation becomes a bloody test of faith
Totem, Sitka, Alaska Travel Once Russia
sitka, Alaska

Sitka: Journey through a once Russian Alaska

In 1867, Tsar Alexander II had to sell Russian Alaska to the United States. In the small town of Sitka, we find the Russian legacy but also the Tlingit natives who fought them.
World Food

Gastronomy Without Borders or Prejudice

Each people, their recipes and delicacies. In certain cases, the same ones that delight entire nations repel many others. For those who travel the world, the most important ingredient is a very open mind.
Jingkieng Wahsurah, Nongblai Village Roots Bridge, Meghalaya, India
Meghalaya, India

The Bridges of the Peoples that Create Roots

The unpredictability of rivers in the wettest region on Earth never deterred the Khasi and the Jaintia. Faced with the abundance of trees elastic fig tree in their valleys, these ethnic groups got used to molding their branches and strains. From their time-lost tradition, they have bequeathed hundreds of dazzling root bridges to future generations.
Swimming, Western Australia, Aussie Style, Sun rising in the eyes
Busselton, Australia

2000 meters in Aussie Style

In 1853, Busselton was equipped with one of the longest pontoons in the world. World. When the structure collapsed, the residents decided to turn the problem around. Since 1996 they have been doing it every year. Swimming.
Horses under a snow, Iceland Never Ending Snow Island Fire
Husavik a Myvatn, Iceland

Endless Snow on the Island of Fire

When, in mid-May, Iceland already enjoys some sun warmth but the cold and snow persist, the inhabitants give in to an intriguing summer anxiety.
Nelson to Wharariki, Abel Tasman NP, New Zealand

The Maori coastline on which Europeans landed

Abel Janszoon Tasman explored more of the newly mapped and mythical "Terra australis" when a mistake soured the contact with natives of an unknown island. The episode inaugurated the colonial history of the New Zealand. Today, both the divine coast on which the episode took place and the surrounding seas evoke the Dutch navigator.
Portfolio, Got2Globe, Best Images, Photography, Images, Cleopatra, Dioscorides, Delos, Greece
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

The Earthly and the Celestial

Santa Marta, Tayrona, Simón Bolivar, Ecohabs of Tayrona National Park
Santa Marta and PN Tayrona, Colombia

The Paradise from which Simon Bolivar departed

At the gates of PN Tayrona, Santa Marta is the oldest continuously inhabited Hispanic city in Colombia. In it, Simón Bolívar began to become the only figure on the continent almost as revered as Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary.
Jumping forward, Pentecost Naghol, Bungee Jumping, Vanuatu
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu

Pentecost Naghol: Bungee Jumping for Real Men

In 1995, the people of Pentecostes threatened to sue extreme sports companies for stealing the Naghol ritual. In terms of audacity, the elastic imitation falls far short of the original.
ala juumajarvi lake, oulanka national park, finland
Winter White
Kuusamo ao PN Oulanka, Finland

Under the Arctic's Icy Spell

We are at 66º North and at the gates of Lapland. In these parts, the white landscape belongs to everyone and to no one like the snow-covered trees, the atrocious cold and the endless night.
Cove, Big Sur, California, United States
Big Sur, USA

The Coast of All Refuges

Over 150km, the Californian coast is subjected to a vastness of mountains, ocean and fog. In this epic setting, hundreds of tormented souls follow in the footsteps of Jack Kerouac and Henri Miller.
Howler Monkey, PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica
PN Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Tortuguero: From the Flooded Jungle to the Caribbean Sea

After two days of impasse due to torrential rain, we set out to discover the Tortuguero National Park. Channel after channel, we marvel at the natural richness and exuberance of this Costa Rican fluvial marine ecosystem.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Ribeiro Frio, Madeira, Vereda dos Balcões,
Natural Parks
Ribeiro Frio Forest Park, Madeira

Ribeiro Frio Acima, on the Path of Balcões

This region of the high interior of Madeira has been in charge of repopulating the island's rainbow trout for a long time. Among the various trails and levadas that converge in its nurseries, the Parque Florestal Ribeiro Frio hides grandiose panoramas over Pico Arieiro, Pico Ruivo and the Ribeira da Metade valley that extends to the north coast.
San Juan, Old Town, Puerto Rico, Reggaeton, Flag on Gate
UNESCO World Heritage
San Juan, Puerto Rico (Part 2)

To the Rhythm of Reggaeton

Restless and inventive Puerto Ricans have made San Juan the reggaeton capital of the world. At the preferred beat of the nation, they filled their “Walled City” with other arts, color and life.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Dominican Republic, Bahia de Las Águilas Beach, Pedernales. Jaragua National Park, Beach
Lagoa Oviedo a Bahia de las Águilas, Dominican Republic

In Search of the Immaculate Dominican Beach

Against all odds, one of the most unspoiled Dominican coastlines is also one of the most remote. Discovering the province of Pedernales, we are dazzled by the semi-desert Jaragua National Park and the Caribbean purity of Bahia de las Águilas.
Hikers on the Ice Lake Trail, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 7th - Braga - Ice Lake, Nepal

Annapurna Circuit – The Painful Acclimatization of the Ice Lake

On the way up to the Ghyaru village, we had a first and unexpected show of how ecstatic the Annapurna Circuit can be tasted. Nine kilometers later, in Braga, due to the need to acclimatize, we climbed from 3.470m from Braga to 4.600m from Lake Kicho Tal. We only felt some expected tiredness and the increase in the wonder of the Annapurna Mountains.
End of the World Train, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
On Rails
Ushuaia, Argentina

Last Station: End of the World

Until 1947, the Tren del Fin del Mundo made countless trips for the inmates of the Ushuaia prison to cut firewood. Today, passengers are different, but no other train goes further south.
Pachinko Salon, Video Addiction, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Pachinko: The Video Addiction That Depresses Japan

It started as a toy, but the Japanese appetite for profit quickly turned pachinko into a national obsession. Today, there are 30 million Japanese surrendered to these alienating gaming machines.
Saksun, Faroe Islands, Streymoy, warning
Daily life
Saksun, StreymoyFaroe Islands

The Faroese Village That Doesn't Want to be Disneyland

Saksun is one of several stunning small villages in the Faroe Islands that more and more outsiders visit. It is distinguished by the aversion to tourists of its main rural owner, author of repeated antipathies and attacks against the invaders of his land.
Cliffs above the Valley of Desolation, near Graaf Reinet, South Africa
Graaf-Reinet, South Africa

A Boer Spear in South Africa

In early colonial times, Dutch explorers and settlers were terrified of the Karoo, a region of great heat, great cold, great floods and severe droughts. Until the Dutch East India Company founded Graaf-Reinet there. Since then, the fourth oldest city in the rainbow nation it thrived at a fascinating crossroads in its history.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.