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Santorini has the great experience of whitewashed, cubiform houses that cling to cliffs above an underwater caldera (crater). They overlook the sea, small islands to the west and beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles. Santorini was named by the Latin Empire in the thirteenth century, and is a reference to Saint Irene, from the name of the old cathedral in the village of Perissa - the name Santorini is a contraction of the name Santa Irini. from NCL Daily Report

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This was the highlight of the cruise for the family as the Island of Santorini was the decisive feature that led us to decide on this vacation over others we had originally had in mind. My wife and daughter are big fans of the Mamma Mia movies and theater plays so they have always been intrigued with the culture and island.

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I was very careful when playing our excursions this day because of the anticipation of the family so my intention was to go all out and I did this by booking a private tour of the island. However, since we had a long day here, we arrived about three hours before our tour time. As many things during this vacation, we did not thibk things well and made some decisions that led to wasted time (and money). Instead of heading up to the town of Fira on the cable car, we took a ferry to the other side of the island to see the cliffs of the infamous white and blue structures. We did not think that we would be back there with our private tour and were left to climb the hill just to make our way back to Fira by bus to get there in time for our tour! However, I did provide some great photo opportunities that we did not need to get during our private tour.

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We got to the town of Fira which sits above the port we arrived at through tender and were able to appreciate the Caldera which is the circle of islands that represent the top of a volcano of which these islands were mostly made of. It was truly incredible as it provided for a number of breathtaking views throughout the tour as we were able to see it from various angles. As expected, the tour took us right back to the infamous town for some great pictures of iconic images and landscapes. My family was happy that we have these pictures for our memories and a new box off the bucket list.

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We also had the opportunity to take the southern road near the coastal area instead of the cliffs to see the local communities and how the island operates among themselves. This led us to a small winery from a local family that only produces what their small lot provides and it use a special technique to harvest the grapes as the island is subject to cold weather and high winds which make it a challenges place to grow them. This is what leads the taste to be much stronger than your typical wine but is the preferred of the region given their pride of their harvest. It was humbling to see how the family has passed down their techniques and passion over three generations to remain in Santorini despite the challenges from Greece as a whole as everyone is very disappointed at the almost 70% effective tax rate they mention they are subject to.

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We then took the last leg of our tour to the island’s highest point for more photo opportunities. It was intimidating to see how they drive up the cliffside roads that are made for one car. It was too often that I would see a 200 foot drop from my side of the car on the way there. We decided to not take any selfies or family photos due to the high winds up there but the views were spectacular as the Caldera was once again front and center.

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As finished the private tour, we decided to eat overlooking the Cruiseship for a spectacular view of the sun setting on a wonderful day and place. The food was great and my wife says that the beer was cold as it should be. While the island is known for the best sunsets in the world around the different points of interest there, we opted to stay close to the ship as we needed to tender back in addition to a cable car ride down to the port. It was a quick ride down but provided some good pictures as well since we missed them on the way up when we arrived.

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My European trip continues to mesmerize me and open my thoughts to the potential of the world that surrounds us. The capabilities we now have with the internet and the future of how blockchain can change the world has me thinking of how global we can truly become. While there continues to be some thoughts against this continued globalization, the technology is well advanced to continue its proliferation. We are seeing the benefits of borderless ecosystems here on Steem and I cannot wait until we see all its potential develop over the next couple of years.

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