Category Archives: Greece

Greece, Mykonos

It has been 30 years since I was last in Mykonos so I was interested to see how much it had changed. Obviously it’s busier but the charm of the place still remains. Wandering around the back streets is a must especially behind the harbour side. There is even a Louis Vuitton! Quietest time of day to walk around seems to be the afternoon but it starts buzzing from 7pm and most shops are open until 10pm and in summer midnight and beyond. The harbor side is exactly what you expect of an island in the Cyclades and everything feels “fresh” in May and the weather is perfect – not too hot at around 25 degrees but lots of sun.

I’m still a fan.

Stayed at a great hotel – My Aktis which had wonderful views over the top of Super Paradise Beach.

And an excellent meal at Kastros in Mykonos Tow

Crete, Knossos and Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Excited to visit Knossos which is between 3000 and 4000 years old. It was discovered by a Brit archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans in 1900 (using his own money) and he dug all this up (no doubt with some help from his friends) in four years. In those days they didn’t just preserve they also restored using modern materials – this would not be done these days. As a result some areas look much better than they were when found but equally some are a bit fanciful in respect of how he designed them and what he thought they were for. With the exception of the word Knossos which has definitely existed since the start all other names and references (even “Minoan”) reflect words that Arthur Evans chose to use. It takes about 90 minutes to walk around and strongly recommend you hire a guide for an in-depth understanding of what you are seeing.

Exteriors

Interiors including the throne Room and the Queen’s chambers (dolphins of course!). She also had the first ever flushing toilet system

Then on to the Archeological Museum where we kept the same guide. This is where you see more of the originals and it gives more context to what you’ve seen at Knossos. The museum was refurbed and reopened two years ago so is modern, well lit and easy to understand. The Minoans were very into bulls so I took some pics of different bull antiquities especially for my Taurean birthday pal Barbara – she said she was grateful for the bullocks!

I was very impressed with their ability to make trinkets that are so realistic. They were so creative in a time when you have to wonder how they knew how to make these kinds of jewellery and pots and sculptures. They are lovely.

Then we saw an original fresco of the bull jumping sport that existed then – a male leaps over the bull in a somersault from its head to its tail. What the??? And also a squished skeleton because they put the in jars before rigor mortis set in!

Finally some original frescoes including “La Parisienne” so named by Arthur Evans because she looked like the French ladies of his time. Of course she is not French!

Greece, Crete, Spinalonga

Went down to the waterside of our local village Plaka and took the ferry over to Spinalonga – all of ten minutes.

We then walked around the island which was first a Venetian fortress and more recently used as a leper colony until 1915. The colony was paid for by the Greek government and people appear to have been well looked after but they were isolated from their families and friends although it seems people did marry and have children on the island during those dark times. It is a very photogenic place from just about every angle.

Lots of opportunities for a bit of posing too:). And great to be spending time with my mate Emma

Greece, Crete – a change of pace – the sea, fresh octopus, a cemetery with a view and clear sparkling water.

First two days in Crete have been very laid back after all the places I was visiting in Lisbon. I am staying in Elounda on the East of the island in a hotel with lovely views including Spinalonga – the former leper colony which I will be visiting in the next day or so.

The domed building (which I thought might be where hobbits stay on vacation from NZ) are actually places that used to house water for the villages that came from underground streams. Now they are interesting curiosities. On the right below is Spinalonga and you can see how clear the water is. Also interesting to see the concept of pegging your freshly caught dinner on the washing line!

The little village of Plaka – which only seems to exist because there are boats that take you to Spinalonga is a short walk away. I like the little shrines along the way and especially the cemetery with a view.

I am enjoying my hotel – Domes of Elounda too – as it is set on different levels above the sea so there is a great view wherever you look and an adults only pool. How civilised.

Even better, my mate Emma joins me later today for further adventures in the Greek islands.