Saturday, 06 April 2019 Crete
Being of Greek ancestry, I was really looking forward to The Islands. Cyprus was superb so what would Crete be like? Not disappointing at all but the weather had turned wet and cold.
Our bus took us on a scenic drive and our guide Dimitra was amazing. She is an archaeologist with a PhD and her favourite topic is Greek Mythology. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories she related.
The archaeological site of Knossos is the largest Bronze Age site on Crete and is believed to be Europe’s oldest city. There was human settlement there as early as The Neolithic Period, 7000 years BC.
The Palace of Knossos was the ceremonial and political centre of The Minoan Civilization.
Arthur Evans, an English archaeologist unearthed the palace in modern times. Clay and stone incised spools and whorls were dug up and indicate that cloth making took place in the very early years.
Interesting animal and human figurines were also found. The nude females had exaggerated breasts and buttocks which is believed to be associated with the worship of the Neolithic Mother Goddess. Most figurines were to do with religion.
The first Cretan palaces were built after 2000 BC in the early Middle Minoan period. The palace of Knossos was the largest. Pithoi or large storage jars of up to five feet tall were used for all kinds of storage in those days.
The palace had bathrooms, toilets and a drainage system.
Greek Mythology tells that King Minos lived in a palace at Knossos. In this tale he had Daedalus build a large maze in which to contain his son who was the scary Minotaur – half bull, half man.
Minos’s daughter, Ariadne fell in love with Theseus and helped him navigate the labyrinth by giving him a ball of thread to mark his way and find his way back. He killed the Minotaur with the sword of Aegeus and led the other Athenians back out of the labyrinth.
The church of Panagia Kera was also very interesting and intriguing how the artists of the times brought in things that were affecting them at that time into their interpretation of the biblical stories.
During our free time in Krista we sat at a lake-side restaurant and had some genuine Greek food for lunch – well we shared a Moussaka and Earl ordered a Margarita Pizza and I had a couple of slices of that. Even in Greece they serve everything with fries! I found that disappointing.