Have you ever seen something that moved you to tears?
A sight so beyond belief that it awakened some emotion in you...something inside that you had no idea existed?
I'm not demonstrative about feelings....I can't remember the last time I had a good cry. What's more, I'm the friend that's side eyeing you for crying over a break-up or a sad scene in a movie. People that allow water to escape their eyes for anything less than death need to be publicly shamed....ok, I'm being harsh but not really - its just how I feel.
That is...until I met the Grecian sunset.
I have always been a huge fan of solar activity. Occasionally, I am scheduled to appear in court in San Antonio or Austin. For those appearances, I wake up early in the morning and road trip it to court. The sky is amazing in the morning. While I'm driving, I'm anticipating the hour when I can see the sun waking up from its nightly slumber and salute the world from the east. Plus, I adore billowy white clouds that look like balls of cotton randomly scattered against a bright blue canvas. If you follow GEV on instagram, you'll see that I have lots of random shots of clouds at different times of the day or just the sky in general. I'm slightly obsessed.
I am especially fond of those early springtime drives across the great State of Texas, when the Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes are in full bloom, lining the sides of the highway...paving my way to the courthouse in the most beautiful way possible. Couple that with a legendary Texan sunrise and you've got yourself a good morning, that's for sure.
The same is true for the sunset. The days are getting shorter so the sun is usually setting on my drive home from work. I'll tell you...the pinks, red and oranges make me wanna stop my car in the middle of traffic and just stare.
But forreal tho...the Texas sunset pales in comparison to what I saw in Santorini. I swear I may have let one single solitary droplet escape from my right eye. Let's keep that between us tho, ok?
Santorini is renowned for its sunsets and viewing is something of a ritual on the island. Every evening, hundreds of tourists clamor for a spot in Oia, the northern most tip of Santorini and also the best sunset viewing location on the island. Oia is one of the only places on the island with the famous blue-domed churches you see in pictures and artist's renditions. Its also got one of the best views of the caldera...which seems to come aglow with fiery red as the sun sets. The downside to all this magnificence and fame...the throngs of crowds flocking to watch the sunset are both overwhelming and annoying. But you brave it...b/c it can't be missed.
So you have to plan your day perfectly to make sure that you are there early enough to beat the crowd and get a good spot - where no one is blocking your view...then you sit and wait and people watch until the golden hour. People watching was especially fun that day. Elizabeth and I, and a random British woman that was sitting next to me, watched as people attempted to stand on the patio of the restaurant in front of us - a reservation only establishment - only to be immediately shoo'd by the owner. Lots of people were pretty crafty about it...rushing past him as he attended to his customers to sneak to the rooftop. But he was relentless. I'm guessing that's something he has to deal with every day. Honestly...he needs a sign or something.
I have to admit tho...its not just the sunset that makes the experience. It's the totality of the circumstances, if you will. Here you are, sitting at the highest point of the caldera, overlooking all the bright white buildings with a few blue domed churches seemingly strategically placed, the reflection of the golden sunlight on the impeccably still, impossibly blue waters of the Aegean Sea - almost like a mirror. Not to mention the thrill of knowing there's an active volcano right across the way...I think all these things combined contribute to the experience.
Prepare to be amazed...the time has finally come for me to reveal the pics (lol). As you can see...it was already exquisite when we arrived and people were seated and hanging from any surface they could find.
We waited a little more than an hour for it to begin. It was so worth it...the sun really showed out that day.
Everyone was feverishly clicking cameras, desperately trying to capture the sight - it was during that time that I stepped from behind the camera and gazed out into the sea to give my brain a chance to paint this image on my mind's canvas...and store it in my memory. I took that moment to thank God for protecting me as I traveled clear across the world and experienced his creation first hand. I am convinced that it is nothing but his grace and mercy that allowed such a journey.
We sat there until the sun disappeared into the sea. Like I said...I've seen sunsets in lots of places but none like this.
The only thing that ruined it was an annoying Asian tourist that would not let me live. She kept bumping me with her backpack b/c she was trying to squeeze between me and the lady to my left. She even asked me if I would move so she could take a pic....um...no lady....move around.
But even she couldn't ruin this moment for me. I'm really grateful to have seen it with my own green eyes. So peaceful, serene...magnificent.
Did you feel like you were there with me? I hope so...but you gotta go see this for yourself, trust me.
Until next time, fellow venuists! You know how it goes...all together now...
** There's no where to go but everywhere...so get going! ~GEV