September - October 2003
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September 2003


Allan at Kensington Palace


Albert Memorial

Albert Memorial. Move your mouse over the image for a close up.


Canada Memorial

The Canada Memorial, Green Park.


St. James Park

In St. James Park with the London Eye in the background.


Buck House

Allan in front of Buckingham Palace. Move the mouse over the image for a shot of Ian.



In back of Buckingham Palace.


Buckingham Palace Garden

Here we both are in the Queen's back garden after doing the tour of Buckingham Palace. Move your mouse over the image for a different shot.



A street in Knightsbridge with Harvey Nichols in the background.


September-October 2003

Santorini - the most beautiful place on earth. Its surreal landscape, is a relic of what was probably the biggest eruption in recorded history.

The Greek island of Santorini, or Thira, is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic explosion destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. A giant central, rectangular lagoon is surrounded by 300 m (980 ft) high, steep cliffs on three sides. The main island slopes downward to the Aegean Sea. On the fourth side, the lagoon is separated from the sea by another much smaller island called Therasia. The caldera is deep enough for all but the largest ships to anchor anywhere in the protected bay. The principal port is called Athinias. The capital, the village of Thira, or Fira, (above) clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon.

The island is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history: the Minoan eruption (sometimes called the Thera eruption), which occurred some 3600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits hundreds of feet deep and may have led indirectly to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km (68 mi) to the south, through a gigantic tsunami. Another popular theory holds that the Thera eruption is the source of the legend of Atlantis.



First day and our first photo in Santorini. Move your mouse over the image for a close up of the town of Thira in the background.


Old port

The view down to the old port


Yellow Church

A big yellow church, one of the few not painted blue and white. Move your mouse over the image for a different shot of the church.



The entrance to the Villa Asteras Apartments, our home for 10 days in Thira. Move the mouse over the image for a different shot.


early morning

The early morning view from our balcony. The small island to the right in the first image (center of the second image) is actually the volcano which last erupted in 1956. Move your mouse over the image for a shot from a different angle.


morning sun

Some morning sun on our balcony. Can't believe we woke up to this view every morning. The island on the left is the volcano.



Breakfast of champions: Greek yogurt and Nutella.


Allan getting some afternoon sun on our balcony. Move your mouse over the image for a shot of Ian.



Allan on our balcony


Ian Mitchell

Ian on our balcony


As the sun moved throughout the day, the change in the colours and the way the light played on the buildings was quite dramatic. The photo above shows the morning light. Move your cursor over the image for the shot of the same view in the late day sun.


Allan and Ian

Allan in the late day sun on our balcony. Move your cursor over the image for a shot of Ian.



Our room at the Villa Asteras. It felt a bit like a cave carved into the side of the caldera. The main walkway of the town was above our room. In the mornings we could hear the tourists leaving or arriving, carrying their rollerboard suitcases over the cobblestones.



One of the several puddy tats who befriended us during our stay.



Every night we were treated to the spectacular sight of the sunset over the Aegean Sea from our balcony.


Ian Mitchell Allan Penning

Enjoying the show. Every night we sat on our balcony to watch the sunset with a couple of Heinekens or a bottle of Lava Rose.



Allan on our excursion to the volcano.



A small restaurant in Thira


Looking north

Looking north from Thira towards Oia


Ian and Allan

Here we are, about to embark on our long walk to Oia



Another shot looking north toward Oia



A dramatic shot through an archway into a courtyard with the volcano in the background. Views like this are everywhere in Santorini.



Allan, enroute to Oia


Ian Mitchell

Ian, on the way to Oia


Allan Penning

Taking a little detour on our way to Oia which is visible in the top of the frame



Further down the path on a narrow peninsula jutting out from the island we came across this little remote church.


Ian and Allan

Ian in the courtyard of the little church. Move your mouse over the image for a shot of Allan.



On the way to Oia, just before we stumbled upon a bee farm on the top of a remote hill. We both got swarmed, but only Ian got stung.



Ian and Allan in front of the blue-domed churches of Oia - a must have photo-op for any tourist in Santorini.



The blue-domed churches of Oia


Blue dome

One of the blue-domed churches


Blue dome

Same church, different shot. Thira is visible in the distance.


Ian Mitchell

Ian on the roof of a church in Oia. The perch is not really as precarious as it looks.



Another dramatic shot of a church over-looking the Aegean Sea.


Allan Penning

Allan in Oia



The village of Oia


Allan Penning

Another shot of Allan in Oia



The village of Oia at the north end of Santorini



Everywhere you look in Santorini, there is another postcard-like vista before you.



Bougainvillea in Oia. Move your mouse over the image for another shot.


Allan Penning

Allan exploring the alleyways of Oia



Looking south from Oia


Ian Mitchell

Ian at Perissa Beach. How civilized that they serve wine on the beach, which made up for the pebbly black (volcanic) sand beaches.



A late day shot of the main town of Thira. Move your mouse over the image for a close up shot.


Town of Thira

Same shots taken earlier in the day. Move your mouse over the image for a close up shot.


Ian Mitchell

Ian at the much-photographed church in Firastefani.


Allan Penning

Allan in Firastefani


Sunset bar

Last night in Santorini. Here we are with our bartender in our favourite bar, Sunset bar in Thira.



Why is it that "all good things must come to an end"?

All packed ready to fly back to London. Don't know that we've ever hated to leave a place as much as we did this time.


October 2003

Back in the UK we visited with Allan's Auntie Nualan Penning in Twickenham


Allan Penning

Allan in Nualan's living room. The portraits on the wall are of Uncle John and Nualan.


Allan Penning

Allan sporting his Greek tan at Nualan's


Ian Nualan Allan

Ian and Allan with Nualan


Off to Heathrow

Leaving Nualan's for Heathrow and the flight back home to Toronto.


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