20 September 2019. Loutro to Heraklion to Santorini

Thursday 19 September 2019, It’s time to say good bye to Loutro. A few days of relaxing, swimming, enjoying decaf coffee in our room and on balcony. Sunrises and sunsets stunning and breath-stopping. Large clean room in this hotel, very simple. We have a fridge and kettle so it was perfect.

Wednesday about 2 pm we were picked up by small motor boat and taken to the local living place,where many participated in a local cooking class to prepare moussaka. I spent few hours on the stony pebble beach with pristine clear water, with lounge chair. GAdventures covered our dinner, Greek salad for me and some vegetable dishes without gluten. It was nice to have a special prepared meal.

“So everyone is safe back in the hotel after a day full of adventure! And we have even seen the bioluminiscent plancton, the milky way, we have prepared moussaka with heart and spirit, met one great family, did sunbathing, kayaking, some even hiking”. Our tour leader sent this summary of last evening.

Moving Thursday to Iraklion, aka Heraklion …

Staying at Olympic Hotel in Heraklion. Drivers were from http://www.Alpine.gr. Travel agency, nice vehicles. Twisty turns again. Up up. Down down and instead of Chania, today Heraklion. We drive past beautiful beaches, lovely countryside, uniquely Greek coastal culture, olive trees, vineyards, agricultural farmlands, goats roaming.

Minoan culture. Palace of Knossos. I have been to Heraklion but never seen the ancient sites there. Now it is included in my tour and I will enjoy the visit. Our guide name Styla for the ancient site, very Greek accent, with lovely stories. Palace of Knossos. Minoan culture. 4000 BC to 1100 BC. Oldest in Europe. Minus, son of Zeus who fell in love with princess Europa. Earthquake and fire covered the site. Before fairly recent excavation no one knew this palace was here. In ancient times, this area was popular for Agriculture export. Import copper gold for weapons and tools.

In 1878 first excavation here. Palace is massive, 20,000 sq meters. No one believed the founder that it was the site of this historic site. Another fellow, in 1900-1903 financed excavation. Found and uncovered the pieces of this massive palace, including colorful frescoes. In total 1500 rooms, varying between 1 to 3 to 5 stories high. 500 lived in palace. No fortification walls, no warring happened here. Elaborate Ceremonies celebrated change of seasons. Flush toilets existed then! Large clay bathtubs, storage vases, sky lights for air circulation, protection from rain, allowing light to enter, no windows. Elaborate drainage system. Built for stability and flexibility in earthquake lands on island of Crete. Oldest road and small theatre in Europe.

We are finished our tour. It was sunny and hot, however we were able to find shade and places of cool breeze. Taxi back to hotel to freshen up, finish a bottle of rose we got a few days previous, then joined two other gals from Victoria, Janie and Jan. Out for lovely dinner in recommended restaurant located behind the Starbucks.

Apres dinner, decaf coffee at Starbucks, a walk around for the gals to make some purchases for souvenirs.

Up early Friday 20 September 2019 for quick breakfast at 630 a.m. and taxi to Blue Star ferry from Heraklion port to Santorini. It’s a 4 hour ride and our last stop. Tonight is our last sleep on the tour before we begin our flight home.

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