Knossos and Iraklion (Crete) Greece Day 165

We started our day off bright and early. Who knew we wouldn’t need to set our alarms when the garbage trucks come right outside our bedroom window at 5:30 am, and then at 7:30! They are diligent about their garbage removal. I guess they have to be in this heat. So, we went and caught the 9:30 bus to Heraklion to go to Knossos. We were sweating bullets just walking DOWN the hill to the bus stop. The weather network says it’s only 33 degrees, but I swear it feels like 40.  Not that we’re complaining…. I know we’ll be missing it when we’re back in Vancouver in the dreary winter months…
A beautiful flower we saw on our walk down the hill.
Knossos. It’s old. Very old. Like, probably the oldest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Why is it then that I was left feeling sort of, well, underwhelmed by it? Deb felt the same way. Maybe it’s because we’ve both been to Pompeii, which is pretty well one of the coolest archaeology sites ever. And we were just at Delos near Mykonos, where it’s very easy to imagine the way people lived there because the site is still so intact. Maybe it’s because I’ve just been to Turkey, where I saw Ephesus and Hieropolis. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, I did. It just wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be. I appreciate the history and the ancientness (I know that’s not really a word, but it works) of it, but it was hard for me to visualise what this place was like in its heyday, which makes sense considering the site is almost 4000 years old. That’s not just old, it’s CRAZY old. Now that I’ve been here I’m going to have to read up on the Minoans, because from what I know, and what I saw at the museum later that day, they really were a fascinating bunch. I’m not going to write much about Knossos, since there is so much info. out there, so just google it and you’ll have plenty to read! 
These are large pits called kouloures that may have been used as a dumping ground for garbage, or to store grain.
The area was a lot more treed than I thought it would be. Cedar, pine… so pretty, and a great source of my beloved shade…
After Knossos we took the bus back to Heraklion and got off at city centre to go to the Old Market. How old if the Old Market, you ask? Not as old as Knossos, but old enough at 145 years old. It’s one long street that sells everything from produce to fresh meat and scattered with cafes and bakeries. We had a nice little lunch of mini filo pastries, then had a mini baklava and orange cake dessert. So yummy and so not not healthy. Deb says the orange cake IS healthy because of the orange. Um, yeah.
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This is another one of those European markets that isn’t afraid to show you exactly what animal it is that you are purchasing! You want a rabbit? Here’s one that still has it’s lucky paws and cute little fluffy bunny tail as well! You want a chicken? Yup, there’s no mistaking that this is indeed a chicken.
Maybe my favourite place on earth. Cheese glorious cheese.
Fresh olives not yet cured.
Pom!
Just a hop, skip and a jump away is the Archaeology Museum. This is the “Temporary Exhibit” that has been up since 2007 while they do renovations. Doesn’t that seem like a really long time to have the permanent collection closed to the public? This temporary exhibit was good, but it fit into one small room and only took us about 35 minutes to get through, if that. Seeing the objects that were found on the site definitely gave me more perspective on Knossos and the people who lived there. First things first… these people liked their libations! The majority of the vessels on display were for that purpose, so I think it’s safe to say they liked a good time. Once again, I’m amazed at the creativity and ingenuity of the people who lived in this world so long ago, with such limited technology. HOW did they made these beautiful libation jugs out of stone and marble so thin and delicate without breaking it? And how long did it take to make just one of these vessels? As a crafts person myself, I’m just in awe of scope of talent and craftsmanship that went into making the simplest everyday object.
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Libation jug.
Just look at the detail carved into the stone. So beautiful.
Fresco from Knossos.
The jewellery is incredible, and so well preserved! Some of it looks like it could have been made today!
I loved these guys!
Yes, I still have donkey on the brain…
Image on a burial tomb lid.
It seems that people would use these clay limbs to solicit a cure if they had an ailment. I’m not exactly sure HOW that worked for them, but in 1700 BC, I guess anything was worth a try if you weren’t feeling well.
Cat of the day! Her name is Olive.
We went to this place for dinner tonight in the village we’re staying in. Deb ordered the right thing-fish. Sea Bream to be precise.
And I ordered possibly the most wrong thing I could have ordered. I’ve been eating so much Greek salad that I thought a Caesar salad might be a nice change. I was dead wrong… To start with, this had chicken on it. Didn’t mention that on the menu. Second, the dressing was like a honey mustard from a bottle. So thick and sweet and so….. wrong on a Caesar salad! And the worst part? Corn niblets! Who the hell wants corn in their Caesar salad? I’ve learned my lesson…never again.

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