"I am in love with places I've never been to..."
|(The hard core explorers)|
Day 04: Sunday, 17 April 2016
The ship arrived at the port of Heraklion on Crete Island, 99 nautical miles from Patmos Island, very early in the morning.
After breakfast, by 7:30 we were ready to disembark to go for the excursion on the Island of Crete.
Crete Island, Greece
Crete, Greece's largest island, is known for its varied terrain, which ranges from fine-sand beaches at Elafonisi to the White Mountains. Mt. Ida, the tallest of the range, is home to the Ideon Cave, which was the birthplace of Zeus according to Greek mythology. The capital Heraklion is home to the Palace of Knossos, a maze like hilltop ruin, and renowned Heraklion Archaeological Museum, housing Minoan artifacts.
Crete forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece, while retaining its own local cultural traits, such as its own poetry and music. It was once the centre of the Minoan civilization, which is currently regarded as the earliest recorded civilization in Europe.
|(Disembark at Heraklion, Crete)|
|(The entrance to the Palace of Knossos)|
|(Museum Shop displaying Minoan artifacts)|
|(The sweet oranges are in season)|
Minoan Palace of Knossos
The archaeological site of Knossos is sited 5 km southeast of the city of Heraklion.
There is evidence that this location was inhabited during the neolithic times. On the ruins of the neolithic settlement was built the first Minoan palace where the dynasty of Minos ruled. This was destroyed in 1700 B.C and a new palace built in its place.
The palace was multi-storeyed and had an intricate plan. Due to this fact the Palace is connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the labyrinth with the legendary Minotaur.
|(Our tour guide for the exploration)|
|(The first sight of the ruins)|
|(A well restored pillars and columns)|
|(The largest bronze age archaeological site)|
|(The two of us at the Palace of the Minotaur)|
|(A bath area with well-preserved wall frescoes)|
|(Underground rooms with bright colored pillars)|
|(The remains of the Palace of Minos)|
|(Well ventilated underground chambers)|
|(Tiles and mosaic decorating the walls)|
|(The secret labyrinths of the palace)|
|(A symbolic horns of the legendary Minotaur)|
|(Evidence of Neolithic settlement)|
|(Well-preserved rooms with pillars)|
|(The Minotaur, a Greek mythology)|
|(A painting on the wall)|
|(A painting of three beautiful ladies)|
|(A painting of an ancient warrior)|
|(Students visiting the ruins for research)|
We had ample time to visit the town of Heraklion and had the opportunity to watch the Crete Half Marathon organised by the Athletic Health Club. Later we visited and bought some souvenirs from the shops around town. Heraklion is a busy town as it is an important shipping port and ferry dock. Travellers can take ferries and boats from Heraklion to destinations including Santorini, Ios Island, Paros, Mykonos, and Rhodes. There are also several daily ferries to Piraeus, the port of Athens in mainland Greece.
|(A statue of a famous person)|
|(The fountains in Lion Square)|
|(A band playing patriotic music)|
|(The drummers giving encouragement to the runners)|
|(The Start/Finish line)|
|(The marathon for the young and old)|
|(Some of the early participants)|
|(Watching the marathon from the road-side bistros)|
|(One of the many souvenir shops)|
|(The yummy desert after lunch)|
While we were having lunch, the ship sailed for Santorini, Greece, a distance of 67 nautical miles away from Crete.