Sunday, 28 September 2008

Iraklio - the capital of Crete

Hi from Clare, Saturday 27/9

Photo 1 - Getting off the boat
Photo 2 - Minoan Palace 2500BC
Photo 3 - Replication of the wall paintings
Photo 4 - Lunch with Swedish friends
Photo 5 - Artifacts 5800BC

We left Rethimno last Monday heading for Iraklion, the capital of Crete. The weather forecast was for a few pleasant sunny days so we anchored on a small desolate island six miles across from Iraklion and spent three very enjoyable days swimming, reading, enjoying the sun, and trying some new recipes. We have nicked named the island "flying cake island" which had something to do with a cooking failure that went whistling out the galley window missing Andrew by inches, I can't understand why he would complain - I wasn't asking him to eat it!

Night two was very social when we invited our Swedish neighbours, plus their son and his wife, over for drinks. It's always good to chat with others and find out how they organize their life to include months of cruising each year. Unfortunately for the kids the holiday was over and they had to fly out from Iraklion so they left the following morning and we arranged to catch up with the parents later in the week.

We arrived into Iraklion on Thursday. We read in the cruising guide it is difficult to find a place to berth in the inner Venetian harbour so we were very happy to see a new pontoon totally unoccupied. Fantastic, so we moored up along side while our Swedish friends came to help us get settled and invited us over to their boat for lunch, all is going well I thought. But not so fast, out of the corner of my eye I could see this fat little official or should I say a 'fat little officious' stomping towards us waving his hands. We couldn't stay there, he didn't had the official papers for the new pontoon, so we had to tie up to the outer wall, great!

So here we are for the last two nights on the outer wall bobbing around like a cork, being subjected to the wake of numerous ferries arriving and departing. To get off the boat and onto the wharf, I just about need to be a monkey. I have to get into the dinghy, duck under the shore lines of other (much larger)boats, climb up a tractor tyre, get dirty and throw myself up onto the wharf. A bit infuriating when I know on the other side of the wharf there is an unoccupied pontoon in flat calm water and on which I would be able to just step off the boat - but they're the breaks.

Today, with our Swedish friends, we went to the ancient Minoan Palace at Knossos. Some of what we saw dated back to 2500BC and some was replicated to show what it must have looked like. It is an impressive four story palace and town with original roads, stairways and foundations. Below the site archaeologists have found remains of structures dating back to 6800BC.
After lunch we went to the museum and saw many artifacts from the site dating back to 5800BC.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and now we are back on the boat, not so much bobbing, more like rolling. It is even hard to walk around without crashing into the walls. I think I should have a few drinks and see if that evens things up.

Tomorrow I will shop and if we don't get a place in the marina we will get out of here and stop rolling. I forgot to mention, the wharf is also directly under the flight path of the international airport of Crete - what a place!

love CANDY