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Visiting Oia on Santorini

The cruise ship, Rhapsody of the Seas, anchored off the coast of Santorini Island, so we were tendered ashore. We dashed over to the left where the funicular was in view and got in line for a ticket. It wasn't a long wait as the line moved quickly. The funicular is cool, of course. We arrived in Fira, a town on the top of the big rock that is Santorini, shopped a little (I needed a cap) and asked a local where the bus to Oia was. Oia is the town one sees in so many advertisements and videos - lovely white stucco houses and churches with blue domes the color of the Mediterranean. The bus was cheap and the ride was fun. I think it may have been about 7-8 miles.

We walked all around Oia, took lots of pics overlooking the Med, and raved about the beautiful town, what a lovely day it was, and that we'd like to come back and spend a few days in Oia. We were there for a few hours, and by asking locals found a hole in the wall eatery where we had scrumptious gyros while sitting on a stone wall overlooking the town. Just a good memory.

Posted by
1878 posts

Sounds like a lovely day.

We will be in Oia for three nights next May and the hole in the wall eatery where you found scrumptious gyros sounds great. Do you by any chance remember the name?

Beth

Posted by
1964 posts

CZ,
Yes, Oia is an absolutely lovely place. Every time I see a photo of Oia (or the bells/domes) in the many travel catalogs that land in my mailbox or in magazine photos, I smile deep down in my heart remembering the beauty.

We too would like to go back someday and spend time in one of the small hotels overlooking the Caldera. Like you, we were there for just a short time as an excursion off a ship (ours was a 200-something person ship), but better a short visit than no visit at all.
We also walked down the little pathways toward some of the houses on the cliffs (without approaching so closely as to be invasive) and the views were even more incredible.
Thank you for rekindling the lovely memories, and I'm so glad you loved it, too :)

Posted by
18 posts

I just read that the Nestle (Lidl) Company has airbrushed the crosses off the domes of St. Anastasis Church in Oia in an attempt to be "religiously neutral," according to a company spokesperson. People are responding negatively, threatening to stop buying the product.

Posted by
2962 posts

Foolish and greedy corporate mentality.

Posted by
106 posts

Please, I encourage everyone to give a chance to the Greek islands and try to stay at least 2-3 days at some of the best. Santorini, for instance, is a great island where you could spend 2-3 days and have the most relaxing and romantic time. You cannot get the whole Greek Island experience by staying at a place for only for some hours. Next time you might consider creating your own Greek Island Hopping tour. Paros, Naxos, Ios, Mykonos, Folegandros, Amorgos, Anafi, Serifos, Sifnos and Milos can be easily combined.

Posted by
1117 posts

I just read that the Nestle (Lidl) Company has airbrushed the crosses
off the domes of St. Anastasis Church in Oia in an attempt to be
"religiously neutral,"

That is outrageous. If they don't want Christian symbols in their advertisements, there are enough "religiously neutral" motives to choose from.

Why do they pick a church to begin with? Have they at least donated a few Euros for the upkeep of that church they are misusing for their advertisements, probably without even asking?

Wonder if they would have done the same thing with a Buddhist building or a Hindu temple.

Posted by
2962 posts

Why do they pick a church to begin with? It's not because they're photos of a church. It's because the blue domes are iconic and are so very strongly associated with Greece. Any business in Greece using photos of them will automatically create a connection to the best of what Greece has to offer, which by association suggests a positive relationship with the brand in question. By removing the crosses the images have a more universal appeal and will attract customers from everywhere, despite their religion.

Wonder if they would have done the same thing with a Buddhist building or a Hindu temple. Yes, of course. You can count on it if it makes money for the company doing the advertising.

Posted by
1117 posts

It's because the blue domes are iconic and are so very strongly
associated with Greece.

I know. But those blue domes do happen to be churches. Photoshopping the cross away doesn't in the least make them less so.

And there are enough religiously neutral alternatives that are equally iconic. Take the blue taverna chairs or what have you.

Wonder if they would have done the same thing with a Buddhist building
or a Hindu temple. Yes, of course.

To be honest, I doubt that. Usually, this kind of alleged political correctness is applied only to our own culture. Anything more exotic must be interesting, and its religion must of course be honored. (Sorry for the sarcasm, but I've seen that kind of attitude more than once.)

Posted by
2962 posts

It's quite simple, actually. In the world of advertising conscience, respect for tradition, logic and common sense rarely take precedence. Anything is "fair game" to be altered to the advantage of the advertiser if it means more sales. Photoshop techniques are used constantly to enhance whichever image the advertiser feels will best promote whatever it is they have to offer. Where money is involved nothing is "sacred".

Posted by
1117 posts

That is certainly true.

Nonetheless, it's just plain ridiculous to take a picture of a church and try to make that "religiously neutral". It's going to remain a Christian church no matter how much photoshop you apply to it.

Posted by
2962 posts

That seldom stops an advertiser from doing whatever it takes to make money.

Posted by
1117 posts

I know, and I agree, but then let's all be honest about it: It's about making money. Not about being "religiously neutral".

That company couldn't care less if anyone's religious or non-religious feelings are hurt. This "religiously neutral" stuff in itself is just another advertising ploy.

Quite obviously so, or they would have inquired beforehand about the feelings of the people whose religious building they were misusing.

Posted by
2962 posts

The only "feelings" advertisers are interested in are the good ones they receive from the increases to their balance sheets. And if religious neutrality gets them there then that's the path they will take, regardless of how they get there. Welcome to the 21st Century.