One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things - Henry Miller

Thursday, July 1, 2010


3:30 pm 30th June

Ship’s position is 40.48N, 18.15E which means we are presently cruising off the heel of the Italian boot on our way to an overnight stay in Venice tomorrow after a 1:30pm arrival...Will be a very pleasing to sail in at midday instead of dawn when you have to peer through the gloom to see what lies ahead.

Yesterday’s port of call, Santorini, was very spectacular and a different volcano experience again from the two on our last voyage. The island is the rim of a huge caldera with absolutely stunning views from the cliffs that rise 300m above the sea. A volcanic eruption in 1600BC, which possibly gave rise to the myth of Atlantis, completely blew the top out of the island and left a huge crater that collapsed on the north-west side and formed a huge natural C shaped harbour. Centuries later pirates came and dug hideaways into the soft pumice stone which settled on top the cliffs and gave rise to the towns that now cling to the very tops of these steep cliffs and spill precariously over the edges like guano on rocks.
We began the tour sipping wine in a vineyard at the top of the cliff after a very dramatic bus ride up the impossibly steep cliffs on a single lane road with only two passing points...this was an absolutely breathtaking journey not to mention the beauty of the spot and the joy of an Italian breakfast of goat’s cheese, fresh bread, tomatoes, olives and wine sipped in the early morning sunshine.
A brief bus tour had us at Ioa ,(pronounced eea), a village at the tip of the island shown on “Get Away” as the place to see the best sunset in the world. Although we were there mid morning I walked out to the end through the narrow streets and was not disappointed by my effort. I been about to give up the walk when a shop keeper (tiny shops line the whole thoroughfare) said , “Don’t give up. Keep going. You won’t be disappointed.” And I wasn’t it was amazing. You had a bird’s eye views of the tiny houses cling to each other and to the cliff as they spill over the edges of ridge that forms the rim of the caldera. The “streets” are just walkways with little steps branching off and winding their way down and around the cliff to the doorways of each little house or shop - hard to tell which was which.
Later in Fira, we enjoyed coffee in one of the many coffee shops the line the cliff tops before Hobo 1 joined the very lengthy queue that had formed for the 6 little cable cars that carried 6 people each back down to the boats. There were 12 000 tourists that visited the island that day from 7 cruise ships and it was either wait for the cable car or ride a donkey (with no reins just holding the pummel on the saddle) or walk the 529 steps with about 10 steps between each step. So Hobo 1 considered it no contest and volunteered to work our way round the queue while I dashed up a little alley way to visit the cathedral of St John the Baptist. I returned with still half an hour’s waiting to be done. We were all aboard by 4:20pm in spite of 3:30 having been our scheduled departure time. The captain had the anchor up and as the last foot touched the deck we were away.
Hobo 1 was delighted with the shopping opportunities offered by the island – jewellery, clothing, leather goods, wine and souvenirs...He could hardly restrain himself ... eventually gave in to temptation and lashed out and bought himself TWO packets of pistachios – sugar coated and rolled in sesame seeds. I am pleased to report that he is sharing them today and they are very tasty – a well chosen purchase.

Being a sea day and feeling a little better i made it a washing day and was pleased to get a washing machine immediately I entered the laundry. There’re only two machines per floor and getting a machine without queuing is like winning the lottery. We also had our next emergency evacuation drill... So not a very exciting day today. But we did begin by watching a movie before we got out of bed this morning- quite decadent for these two hobos!!!
9:00 pm. We have just enjoyed our Dawn Princess orchestra entertaining us with a night of Dixieland jazz. They are superb. Love them every time we see them. Last night we were entertained by the dancers and singers of the Production Show, Vintage Vegas - another excellent show ...all feathers and sequins with great singing and dancing. It is still twilight when the shows finish and we are able to stroll around the deck before coming up to post our blog.
The days just keep getting better!!!


  1. hey grandma and grandad we are all missing you, just had to do our calves today well weaner sized calves, they were really big. from kyle and chyanne

  2. HI Grandma & Grandad,
    I hope you are having a fantastic time on your trip, I have enjoyed reading all about all of your fantastic adventures so far.
    Lots of love Shan ♥