Just kidding, I don’t know too much about the people here, but for the most part they seem fine. I do find the “Cretan paradox” interesting, however, I did not have the courage to ask anyone about it. The Cretan paradox being that the gentleman who said “all Cretans are liars” was from Crete himself; so, if all Cretans are in fact liars, he would have been telling the truth, thus making his own statement a lie: therein lying the paradox. I believe It is understood, that while he said ”all Cretans are liars” he was not inferring that everything a Cretan says is a lie, he merely meant that they are more prone to making false statements rather than truthful ones. Anyhow, the people here seem no different to anywhere else and we have been happy enough with them.
I almost feel sorry for Crete though, in that they had the misfortune of falling after Santorini on our Eurovision world tour. Anything after Santorini seems bleak, especially given that we were fortunate enough to find a friend in Nenad. I wish he could have come with us!
This morning we got up and went for a quick walk along the harbour before jumping onto a bus to find the Palace of Knossos (remains of a Minoan palace). The bus ride was quick and allowed us to have a brief view of the city. We were sceptical about Knossos, purely because of the reviews we had read, and I am glad that we were prepared for less than Ancient Thera’s remains in Santorini (which were spectacular). An Englishman named Sir Arthur Evans had “restored” the site in the early 1900’s and he had unfortunately added to the remains, building up walls and reinterpreting how it would have looked. The signage at Knossos seems to indicate that they believe he was largely making assumptions that are most likely inaccurate. All of this aside, the palace was remarkably big and entirely impressive. Human beings can be so clever! The brochure I have in front of me says that the earliest traces of inhabitants in the area of the palace date back to 7000-3000 BC. Sheesh!
After venturing to the palace, we took the bus back into the city where Andrew spied a fruit and vegetable market. After purchasing some cherry tomatoes from a kind man who didn’t speak a word of English, we walked down to the old port to eat them. We sat by the old Venetian Fortress whilst listening to a busker play his accordion. The fortress is impressive, even though the inside doesn’t appear to be open to the public.
Heraklion, the old city, is surrounded by Venetian walls, presumably of the same era as the fortress. While finding our way to the top we stumbled across one of the tunnel doors, it was open and a quiet Greek man showed us in. Again, no English here, but there were a couple of signs to help us out. The tunnels under and through the Venetian walls we’re used to mobilise the Venetian army from the city and out into the square on the other side. In WW2 the walls were used at one point to hold Nazi prisoners. Inside the tunnel housed a number of photographs and memorabilia from the second world war, including an Australian plaque. While interesting, the tunnel was very sobering. We were not looking to find this exhibit, so we were pleased to have come across it on our journey to walk on the walls.
A perfectly sunny day here. We are excited to head on to Rhodes in the morning.