Owl Coin charm

 

 

Trip to Greece and Ephesus, March 2012      Site summaries: A | B | C | D | E | F       Begin slide show E

Day 7 was our last day of island-hopping, but it was a stellar day of adventure.

Early in the morning we docked at Heraklion, Crete. A group of us looked at a local map and found our way inside the walled part of that city.

We had a delightful surprise when we stumbled upon a large domed space, made of rock, just inside an arched stone entrance in the wall. Glancing at the entrance I did not guess at the special space we were about to enter. We stopped, stood, and stared upward to a sunlit opening at the top of the dome.

We'd gone in search of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. The museum is closed, I believe, for renovation, but much of the important parts of their collection were on display in a stripped down version of their space. I was fascinated to read about and see examples of early human creativity.

Earliest examples were clay vessels and utensils. People quickly became very creative in shaping and decorating the clay.

The next major advance was in using and shaping metal into tools and weapons. Examples of work in metal were exhilarating to see. Metal tools also allowed humans to carve in stone, clay and metal. The sophistication and elegance of pieces of work were inspiring.

What amazed me most, and this was the insight of this trip for me, was that the next primary output of humans was JEWELRY. It was not long at all before they were crafting fine, delicate work in solid gold.

I found bracelets and necklaces in the collection to be forerunners of jewellery that would be snapped up today as pleasing design work. Seeing this early work made me lust for such fine work to adorn myself. I now realize that to decorate our persons is a totally-human action.

I followed Washburn travellers into the shopping area of Heraklion for a look around. We then headed back to cruise liner for luncheon and more travel.

In late afternoon we headed into the harbour at our last island stop, Santorini.

This island was volcanic at one time. The volcano erupted and 1/2 of the island broke away and fell into the sea. Some think that the legend of the Lost City of Atlantis was derived from this event.

What is left are towns perched atop impressive sheer cliffs. There is all manner of rock, heavily striated. I love rock, and I loved this rock. Some was quite dark and dramatic.

The sea was rough at Santoini. We took smaller boats called "tenders" in to port. Immediately we had to make our way up the cliff. There were two methods. I took a cable lift for 4 Euros. Some of the younger members of our group paid 5 Euros to ride donkeys up the steep incline.

It was our goal to get atop the rocks before the sun set. The view of the sun setting was glorious: it lit the white buildings of the town with golden light, then settled into the ocean, low among the many outlying island.

Nancy, Glenda and I sat at a bar to watch the sun set. There I had another glass of ouzo, given the opportunity.

On Santorini I bought a Greek fisherman’s cap. Max has had one for years. Now, we can both wear them!

 

Day 7 (Thursday): Stop at Heraklion, Crete
SunriseMorning landscape approaching portOutskirts of Heraklion, port city of CreteTugboatCity of HeraklionPort fortressWharfApparently, these are Greek intellectuals being honored. I wish I knew who the figures represent.Subtle entrance to the walled portion of HeraklionLovely March flowersAmazing domed room just inside the arched wall entrance. Best surprise of the trip!

Day 7 (Thursday continued): Heraklion Archeological Museum, Crete
Glenda with 2-d Greek figureFascinating readingEarly figural workEarly vessels and utensilsEarth-mothe-type vesselsWonderful lidded boxPitcher with the most impressively-sized spout I've ever seen!Tiny stone carving. I was focused on the caring of a FLY. My camerawork does not do the work justice.Early gold jewelry, breathtaking in its delicacyEarly beaded bracelets and necklaces, marketable at today's tastes--timelessEarly metal tools. Precise and delicate.Symbols inscribed in claySymbols inscribed in clay, closeupEleanor and Greek artifactsOctopus vase...my favorite vessel of the collectionMetal art and weapons. The edged sword was long and beautifully crafted. Note the golden handle ornament.Wild beast handleAccording to my postcard, this is a Rhyton of rock crystal from the sanctuary of the Palace of Zakros (1500/1450 B.C.). It was about four feet tall.Important Greek female figure. Snake-handler, no less.Another very tall vaseThis male figure is jumping over the back of a bull. Females managed this feat also.Large 2-D Greek imageClay pitcher and cupAnother vesselFemale figures with crownsDelicate metalworkChariot, with horse and driverMetal Greek coins. I like the maze at lower right.Wonderful clay owl pitcherMetal sculpturesLifesized marble sculpturesMarble bustsMore wonderfully-modern-looking ancient gold and stone jewelryAnother 2-d imageMaggie photographs statuaryPliable Greek figural work in metalCupid figuresLarge coin, side ALarge coin, side BBlack ox with glowing eyes, detailBlack ox with glowing eyes Black ox with glowing eyes, detail BHorned animalsHorned animal, closeupFemale lion's head done in marble. When and where did Cretean citizens encounter lions?Face-pitcherJewelry and jewelry boxBull done in clayDelicate hammered gold relief Lion vesselThree-headed dog detailCo-travelers enjoying artifactsLook back at the museum entranceHigh-contrast decorative work on vesselsA look down the back side of the display roomGold jewelry detail. Note owls. Beautiful work.Glenda enjoys 2-d workFigure-in-boat vesselFlying fish of stone

Day 7 (Thursday continued): Hanging around in downtown Heraklion, Crete
Roy and his new bride, Vickie, joke about being cold once we walk outsideFiguring out where we are on the map of HeraklionSpring blooms and grafattiMore spring bloomsCity circlePedestrians, high-rises and trafficRow of parked motorbikesMMouse outisde a childrens clothing shopMoped and advertisingFun grafittiChurch in Heraklion


Day 7 (Thursday continued): Afternoon cruise to Santorini
Hearing plans for our stop in SantoriniStir fried lunch on the swimming deckMediterranean watersHanging lifeboatInitial glimse of rock walls at SantoriniImpressive rock of an island that broke in halfDark rockMore rockHill and cliffStrataStrata BTouring friends eye the village atop shear cliffsTravelers at the bow of the Cristal, watching our approach to SantoriniTravelers at the bow of the Cristal, watching our approach to Santorini BLovebirds, _____ and Taylor, aboard the CristalMore rocksMore rocks BMore rocks CMore rocks DMore rocks EMore rocks FMore rocks GMore rocks HMore rocks IMore rocks JNice view of town and paths to the topMore rocks KMore rocks LBoat peeking among rocksSmall boat, serious rocksMore rocks MMore rocks NMore rocks OGetting closer to our dockTravelers aboard the tender, transporting us to land from the cruiserBuilding perched much nearer the water than other buildingsBarely ashore <View tourist stand beside dock, Santorini


Day 7 (Thursday continued): Ashore on Santorini to watch the sunset
We are to be lifted by cableNancy, Glenda, Vickie and RoyMaggie poses among other tourists at the topCarol at the topA view from the topA view from the top BGlenda, Nancy and Carol enjoying the sunsetView of townDonkeys carried some of our party to the top of the cliffsBronze helmets for touristsMules parade through the shopping districtMules parade through the shopping district BMules parade through the shopping district CWalking toward the setting sunTown at sunsetSunset from SantoriniSunset from Santorini BA view of the Cristal from our high perchTavelers aboard the tender, returning to the Cristal

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