Blogs from Heraklion, Crete, Greece, Europe

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Europe » Greece » Crete » Heraklion » Arkadi January 4th 2024

From Vanessa at MarketWatch: Research supports the idea that exposure to diverse cultures and people promotes personal growth and learning, which in turn, contributes to keeping your mind sharp and young. The possibility of stagnation and immobility (both mind and body) motivates me to embark on group trips, despite my introvert-influenced reluctance of meeting new people. An 80-year-old url=https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2017/04/over-nearly-80-years-harvard-study-has-been-showing-how-to-live-a-healthy-and-happy-life/Harvard study confirmed that community, relationships and how happy we are in them influences our health as we grow older. As we age, many of us lose people (through death or otherwise) when, arguably, url=https://karger.com/ger/article-abstract/66/3/286/148324/The-Increasing-Importance-of-Fri... read more
Katy's final tally
My Bucharest adventure

Europe » Greece » Crete » Heraklion » Arkadi October 12th 2023

As a solo traveler, you might ask what I do to fill the "down" time during my trips. Other than the occasional nap, my down time is quite limited. My television viewing is certainly curtailed, since I can only handle so much of BBC and CNN. "Kelly's Thoughts on Things" has some suggestions. While many individuals view traveling as an opportunity to enjoy quality time with loved ones, it can also serve as a personal odyssey for self-reflection and rejuvenation, offering respite from the frenetic pace of life. Traveling alone can be a liberating experience, but it can also be challenging at times. If you have upcoming travel plans and find yourself concerned about how to keep yourself entertained while traveling alone, fret not! Here are her ideas: Read a boo ... read more
Party time in Plaka
New rules of travel

Europe » Greece » Crete » Heraklion » Anissaras August 16th 2023

You may or may not follow the Frugal Expat. Neither do I, but once in a while, something strikes me. Here are some of her controversial opinions about solo travel. See if you agree or not. Make a big deal about every activity This applies to any kind of travel. Some activities and historic sites will underwhelm or feel like a waste of money. It is nevertheless part of the history and culture of the place you are visiting. I cannot imagine choosing root canal or cleaning the toilet as a better alternative. Some places surprise, and some disappoint. It applies to the new restaurant you tried last night, or that highly touted bottle of wine. No need for a budget When I travel solo, or the fabulous Mr. Mike, I (we) never have a budget. ... read more
Trans Siberian Railway, Vladivostok
Bangkok Chinatown

Europe » Greece » Crete » Heraklion July 17th 2023

Another toasty day on the island of Crete! I went to Knossos (ancient Minoan palace) first thing this morning - still hot, but better than midday! (PS The site is bugging on me and I can’t do pictures - I’ll add them back in tomorrow.) The palace was worth it, but it’s kind of large and… flat? If you will. The audio guide is def worth it for the history piece, but there are some signs here and there to explain what ruins you’re looking at. (It really is ruins - there isn’t much left standing) But the parts that are there are striking, such as the GIANT clay pots and some of the art. After Knossos I headed back into the city to grab some lunch and bakery treat (all the bakeries = SO delish) ... read more
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Europe » Greece » Crete » Heraklion June 12th 2023

The history of Crete goes back to the 7th millennium BC, preceding the ancient Minoan civilization by more than four thousand years. The palace-based Minoan civilization was the first civilization in Europe. After the Minoan civilization was devastated by the Thera (Santorini) eruption, Crete developed an Ancient Greece-influenced organization of city-states, then successively became part of the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Venetian Republic, the Ottoman Empire, an autonomous state, and the modern state of Greece. Excavations in South Crete in 2008–2009 revealed stone tools at least 130,000 years old. This was a sensational discovery, as the previously accepted earliest sea crossing in the Mediterranean was thought to occur around 12,000 BC. This suggests that the island may have been visited by archaic humans many thousands of years ago. Stone tools indicate that the is ... read more
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Europe » Greece » Crete » Heraklion » Arkadi May 18th 2023

Did I ever think I would visit the famous Palace of Knossus when I took Classics 17AB at UC Berkeley in the 60s? No, we only took the class to fulfill the humanities requirement, and pad the old GPA, if you know what I mean. From Live Science: The Palace of Knossos is located just south of modern-day Heraklion near the north coast of Crete. Built by a civilization that we call the Minoans, it covers about 150,000 square feet (14,000 square meters), the size of more than two football fields, and was surrounded by a town in antiquity. The site came to prominence in the early 20th century when it was excavated and restored by a team led by British archaeologist Arthur Evans. When the palace was first constructed "it must have been a remarkable ... read more
Rather colorful
Schematic Knossus

Europe » Greece » Crete » Heraklion » Arkadi May 18th 2023

One of the primary reasons for visiting Crete is the Iraklio (Heraklion) Wine Region. Heraklion is the capital of Crete and produces some of the most notable wines in Greece. The wine region is regarded as a top wine region in Greece, producing great wines that must be sampled. The region is home to almost two-thirds of Crete's vineyards. The Heraklion wine area accounts for 80% of overall wine production in Crete. To discover this unique region, the territory is divided into four different PDOs and two major wine routes. The Minoan Megaron, one of the world's oldest wine presses, is located in the deserted village of Vathypetro near Peza. In the Heraklion wine region, you are never too far away from a local winery. Heraklion is the largest city on the island of Crete, located ... read more

Europe » Greece » Crete » Heraklion » Arkadi May 17th 2023

From MSN/Mediafeed: The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is another fantastic warm winter destination in Europe, enjoying mild temperatures during the winter months, with an average temperature of 59°F to 68°F. Crete is also home to fantastic beaches, ancient ruins, and picturesque villages. Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. There is so much to learn about Crete: Crete is believed to be one of the oldest civilizations in Europe, with evidence of human habitation dating back over 130,000 years. The island is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning mountain landscapes. Crete has a rich cultural heritage, with influences from ancient Minoan civilization, Byzantine culture, and Venetian and Ottoman rule. The island is ... read more
Palace of Knossus

Europe » Greece » Crete » Heraklion » Kokkinos Pyrgos May 16th 2023

The largest (fifth largest in the Mediterranean Sea) and southernmost island in Greece is none other than Crete. Crete's most famous author, Nikos Kazantzakis, wrote Zorba the Greek. His words: “The mystery of Crete runs deep. Whoever sets foot on this island senses a mysterious force coursing warmly and beneficently through their veins, sensing their soul beginning to grow.” Crete is long and narrow, from east to west only 160 miles, and a width of 7.5 to 37 miles. The administrative center is Heraklion. The island is home to roughly 600,000 people. As you might guess, the service sector, aka tourism is the largest portion of the GDP. Only a third of Crete's land can be cultivated, with olives, grapes, vegetables and fruit grown ... read more
Clear water Crete

Europe » Greece » Crete » Heraklion » Anissaras January 19th 2023

We spend four days at sea, listening to lectures, doing watercolours,taking part in quizzes and eating! I go down with a cold so spend most of two days in my cabin sleeping. It’s Thursday it must be Heraklion, the major town and port on Crete. The history of Crete has been one of turbulence. It’s position between Africa, Asia and Europe resulted in invasion and occupation by various conquers. At the beginning of the 20th century Crete obtained independence and in 1913 was United with Greece. The temperature is only 18c but the skies are a lovely blue with a few cotton wool white clouds, you get the picture I am sure. Getting off the ship gives us the opportunity to walk of a few of the excess calories we have put away over the last ... read more
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