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                                                 Day 03  - June 28 - Iraklio, Crete

                                                Journey of Imagination
                                                Hotel Sofia provided a nice pool side background with their breakfast buffet.  Temperature and bright and blue skies was just the antecedent
                                                for a few pool laps - reward was endless strong black coffee with meat and cheese assortment.  A crowning touch is the fresh Greek yogurt -
                                                not your boring Stateside type.  It's full and thick escorted with fresh honey or on this day, plenty of Cretan peaches.
                                                Now begins the journey of someone's imagination of the past.  Located just a few kilometers southeast of Iraklio is the most well known
                                                of the ancient Cretan ruins - The Palace of Knosos.   Known for it's endless columns with bright colored decorative paintings and collages.
                                                Think HGTV on steroids.  Or was it really this colorful?
                                                Seems the British archaeologist that "discovered" it received the location from a German who was at end of his life.  So, with location in hand
                                                and a Oxford vision, Sir Arthur Evans began his task of unearthing the palace of King Minos and potential artifacts of the legendary minotaur.
                                                Evans devoted 30 years of his life to the project starting in the early 1900s.  Several frescoes, gold artifacts, earthenware jars, bathtubs,
                                                and thrones were discovered.  Initial work included documentation of the main outline of the large complex.  This is where the imagination
                                                began to fill the gaps - and there were many gaps.  A few pieces of color and frescoes resulted in large wall size paintings be added to the 
                                                site.  Personal opinion led to modern day concrete being used to recreate walls and roofs.  No one really knows how close to the truth
                                                his assessment was; however, Knosos history now includes the vision of Evans.
                                                Onward to the northwest city of Chania - Checking into the Hotel Arkadi.  Not an easy task - think a GPS locator would display "overload".
                                                Most of the costal cities and towns are fragmented allies and some semblance of roads.  Addresses and road signs are a novelty.
                                                Our clue was the hotel picture had a park and fountain in the foreground - that information is better than local attempt at directions.
                                                By process of elimination while driving in the city center, we located and checked into the hotel  Underground parking was included - 
                                                resembled a large concrete home basement for the 8 spray painted number spaces (real space was 6 and double parking included
                                                the extra 2).  The real fun was the 45 degree ramp into the basement, er, underground parking.  Worked fine and made sure the car
                                                was pointed toward the concrete ski ramp.
                                                The inner city, or old town, was once a Venetian port.  Myriads for small shops and restaurants lined the harbor.  Some very nice 
                                                Greek sandals were picked up while instransit to the restaurant.  The back wall of the small shop was the original thick wall that lined
                                                the inner city.  Debate is continuing as to the owner's statement that he actually crafted the shoes.  
                                                Dinner was quintessential Greek food at it's best  - setting was outdoor, along the harbor, with setting sun.  A "mixed grill for 2" was ordered
                                                and four favorite Cretan dishes were served.  Baked stuffed totato, stuffed oversized pepper, mousaka, and a zucchini with dill entire 
                                                completed the epicurean delights.   Large Mythos beer added to the taste exuberance.   Complimentary jug of riki (Cretan ouzo) and
                                                mini honey dripped beniets finished the meal.  That finished the full day.


                                                                    Iraklion:  Hotel Soffia     Iraklion:  Hotel Soffia    Iraklion Roofs    Cretan Flora

                                                            Knosos Palace Scenes    Knosos Palace Scenes    Knosos Palace Scenes   Knosos Palace Scenes

                                                          Knosos Palace Scenes    Knosos Palace Scenes    Knosos Palace Scenes

                                                                                    Knosos Palace Scenes    Knosos Palace Scenes    Knosos Palace Scenes    Knosos Palace Scenes

                                                                           Knosos Palace Scenes    Knosos Palace Scenes    Knosos Palace Scenes

                                                                            Knosos Palace Scenes    Knosos Palace Scenes    Knosos Palace Scenes

                                                                             Iraklion Harbor   Iraklion Harbor    Iraklion Harbor

                                                                        Iraklion Harbor    Iraklion Harbor    Iraklion Harbor    Xania Scenes

                                                                                          Xania Scenes   Xania Scenes    Xania Scenes


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