Palace of Knossos, the entrance
Where in the world is Onthegogirl? She is sitting by the seaview pool in Kotor, Montenegro. To pick up where she left off.......
My next port to explore was Crete. There are so many legends about this island and our group heard many of them. We docked in Heraklion and after a short drive we arrived at the Palace on Knossos. This was the center of the Minoan civilization from around 4000 bc. The palace sits on a rise near what once was a navigable river and contained 1500 rooms. So they were small rooms but still. Some parts of the palace were five stories high. At the time when it was occupied the walls were covered with bright colored frescos and what few remain from that time are in the Archeological Museum.
While gawking at a wall I managed to trip and land on the pavement. Not unusual. Bruised and embarrassed I was hauled to my feet and continued on. I can’t tell you how many angels were on the tour, offering to carry my bag or offering gifts water and wanting to help me up the steps. While my ego resented it, my
good sense took it for what it was.....the kindness of strangers for which I was very grateful.
The god of the Minoans was represented by a bull. Legend has it that Zeus took the form of a bull to seduce the maiden Europa. Not sure how that tactic would plan today. While the Spanish fight the bull, the Minoans devised a pageant or game involving a ball, the rules of which are lost in antiquity. Frescos of the time show the bull and an acrobat leaping over it’s back and two figures whose role is unknown.
The palace complex is an amazing representation of ancient engineering and technology. Fresh water was delivered from a nearby spring. There were baths and separate chambers for the King and Queen. Natural air conditioning was achieved by strategically placing doors around the rooms. The Queen’s chamber had eleven and the breeze could be captured by closing some and opening others.
Knossos was not only the palace of the king but also a religious center. Statuary representing the bull’s horns adorned the patios and terraces. It is believed that a tsunami that resulted from the explosion
of the volcano on Santorini devastated much of Crete. The Minoan culture declined to be replaced by the Dorians, the Romans, the Venetians and the Ottomans. It’s strategic location made it a coveted prize tempting countries from around the Med.
I kept looking for the Monitaur but he must have been napping.
From the Palace we rode to the Museum and what a treat it was. The treasures there were in remarkable shape given that there were 8000 years old. We had a whirlwind tour and when the guide wanted to take us shopping, a few of us stayed at the museum and explored. So much to see, so little time.
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