After close to 48 hours being up I was finding it hard to string sentences together and still be socialable at the official Stampin’ Up! welcome function. I think we are much better off flying in the day before and getting a decent sleep in a real bed beforehand. In the end we flaked at 8:30pm and hit the sack.

Thirteen hours later we were feeling refreshed … and late! A quick change, a coffee and muffin on the way to the only real formal-type Stampin’ Up! function – the general session – which is a general overview of what’s going on in the Stampin’ Up! world and a teaser of new products and catalog. Judging from the reaction there’s good stuff coming.

This is about all we can share for now.

The rest of the day was really cruisey. Really cruisey.

Today was our first excursion off the ship to Santorini. An iconic Greek Island location, famous for its cliff top city of Oia with its white washed walls and blue domes.

Getting there from a cruise ship means a tender (small boat) between the ship and the port and then either a cable car to get to the top, or by walking or donkey ride up the 500+ smooth slippery stairs shared with donkeys.

The cable car cost 6 euro each. A much better option.

I’m not going to go into all the history etc of Santorini but the two main industries of Santorini are tourism and wine.

The first is really obvious and apparently the population fluctuates between 25,000 in the winter to over 4,000,000 in the summer. And the whole place is geared around tourists with a nice assortment of shops selling nice products. From what we saw we didn’t see a lot of cheap crappy touristy stuff.

The other industry is wine with a couple of wines famous to the region. Apparently the island has around 4,000 hectares of vineyards but they were nothing like what we’re used to. There wasn’t a trellis in sight but low bush like vines seemingly scattered randomly around. I had a chat to the guys at the winery and they assured me there was a system. But buggered if I could see it. The reason for low style of vines is a combination of the very volcanic soil type, the heat and the wind.

We tested a couple of the wines and they were certainly very nice.

Overal the white washed towns on the hilltops were stunning especially Oia with its marble paths and magnificent views overlooking the ocean. But away from the gleaming hilltop towns I wouldn’t say the island as a whole was stunning and even a bit over-hyped.

A few other photos….

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