April 24, 2016
Crete is the largest Greek island and has a population of 600,000 people. However the olive trees (45 million) and the sheep (1 million) far out number the human population. Crete is mountainous and we could see a bit of snow on Mount Ida.
Everywhere we go has the best olive oil and the oldest ruins. Today was no exception. Crete has the oldest ruins and artifacts that we have seen so far. I didn't try the olive oil so I can't comment on it. I'm sure it's good.
We drove to Knossos which is an ancient palace built as a labyrinth 4000 years ago. The palace was built to keep the Minotaur (half man, half bull) hidden. There is a complicated intertwining of reality and Greek mythology, that I didn't quite grasp but I do know the the Minoans were an ancient civilization. Formed by King Minos, the son of Zeus and Europa. It is pretty amazing to see the architecture and engineering and how advanced they were. The palace had running water with clay pipes. There were frescoes on the walls and floors, mosaics and large clay pots. The small thrones seem to indicate female rulers - a matriarchal society. The next civilization, the Mycenaeans, changed that.
After touring the ruins we went to Heraklion to see the relics in the Archeological museum. The artifacts are incredible - so much detail and they are 4000 years old. We saw exquisite jewelry, games, frescoes, mosaics, jars, double axes, bulls and sarcophagus.
We had some free time after the museum to look around. It was pretty busy in the shopping area because next weekend is the orthodox Easter. It seems odd to see Easter bunny decorations out.
We had to be back on the ship quite early so we enjoyed this sunshine and watched sail away. We were blessed with another sunny day. Later in the evening though the wind picked up and the water is no longer as calm as it has been.
On a sad note, we received the news that my grandma passed away early this morning. She was an amazing, strong woman with a beautiful spirit. I have so many fond memories of her and the times we spent together over the past 45 years. She was our matriarch and all of us will miss her. I know she will be watching over us.