Our trip from Rhodes to Crete is not uneventful, but in a good way. The crew cooked up a BBQ with entertainment on what could be termed the Lido deck, aka, outside in the fresh sea air. I opted for this instead of a regular dinner in the dining room. (Who would choose a stuffy, staid dining room to BBQ steak and chicken outside in the fresh air with entertainment thrown in to boot.) With a full belly I retire to my cabin. When I wake up to get ready for the tour of Crete I see we have already docked at the port.
We dock at the port city of Iroklio, also called Heraklion, to tour an ancient site and around the city itself. Crete has a longer history than most of the islands because it was the center of the Minoan civilization, which predates the Greek civilization. We know some history of the Minoans but, unfortunately, we cannot read any of the writings this culture left behind. We can read the hieroglyphics of Egypt because of the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. For those not familiar with the Rosetta Stone, it was a stone discovered in 1799 in Egypt. This stone had a decree inscribed on it in hieroglyphics, Demontic (an ancient Egyptian script) and Greek. Because of this we were now able to decipher the hieroglyphic and Demontic writings. Unfortunately, we have not discovered any such stone to decipher the Minoan language. Although the Minoans have vanished, they left behind the massive palace known as Knossos.
Crete itself was governed by several different countries over its history: the Romans, Venetians and the Turks to name a few. In World War II, Crete had the dubious distinction of being the first major land objective of size to be captured almost entirely by airborne forces. The German Fallschirmjägers (paratroopers) invaded the island in May of 1941. They succeeded in capturing the island, which was a first. However, this was accomplished with a large number of casualties which made Hitler vow that he would never again use his precious paratroopers in any such operation. (This is why the island of Malta, which was next on the list, was never invaded.) A memorial was erected in 1941 by Germany to commemorate the paratroopers who perished taking the island. It is located in a rural area 3 kilometers outside Chania. Only the pedestal of the monument remains today and has been engulfed by the expansion of Chania. German rule ended in 1945.
The cruise from Rhodes to Crete was made more enjoyable with on outdoor BBQ.
Chicken and steak cooked over charcoal never tasted so good.
Entertainment was provided by The Plug and Play Duo. Their forte was ABBA tunes.
These two youngsters just had to dance to the music.
With a belly full of steak and chicken, it was off to sleep. The morning begins early and will provide new adventures.
But where you have a tourist attraction you have vendors. This one takes advantage of the myth of the Minotaur. It is said that it was the palace of Knossos that gave rise to the story of the Minotaur, the half man half bull monster.
Heraklion is a bustling, cosmopolitan city. Our tour was headed to the historic center of town.
Copyright © 2018 John J Campo