The mules in the Samaria gorge

A lot of people who come to Crete want to walk the famous Samaria gorge, but not everybody has the strength to walk 16km over rocks and stones and pebbles, starting at a hight of 1200 meter and walking down untill sea level.

That is why we have these mules here, they are empty today so it was a day without accidents or people that gave up.

Mules are a crossing of a horse and a donkey, they are very strong animals and they are trained on bringing people up or down the gorge.

Archeological museum in Heraklion

The archaeological museum in Heraklion has become one of the best museums in Europe,  the finds of the Minoan civilization exhibited there are beautiful, it is unbelievable what the Minoans could make 4000 years ago, I am amazed at every display again and ag, no matter how many times I see them.

The entrance fee for the museum is only 10€, students with a student card of the EU do not pay any entrance fee and senior sitizens of the EU pay half price.

You can also pay a combination ticket for both the archeological museum and the archeological site of Knossos, that costs 16€.  But than you have to visit both place within 2 days.

In case you will visit both, take my advice and visit first the archeological museum, because then you will be able to imagine life in the palace during the Minoan sivilization much more easy.  And that is what you need on the archeological site of Knossos, a lot of imagination, YOUR imagination, so feel free to create your own story with the what you will see on both places.

On Sunday, September 30, 2018 access is free so if you are in Crete, do not miss this opportunity!

Here are pictures of some of the finds.

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Cretan grape varieties

Crete is a very fertile island whit a long wine history, in the region of Kato Zakros, (east Crete) the oldest vineyard was found and in Vathipetro (central Crete) the oldest winery in the world!  So Crete has its own grape varieties, the Vilana gives us a white wine, and Liatiko, Kotsifali and Mandilari are used for red and rose wine.

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The Egyptian lighthouse in the Venetian port of Chania

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Although the lighthouse was built during the Venetian occupation we call it an Egyptian lighthouse because it was restored by the Egyptians during their rule on Crete from 1830 until 1840, that’s right, during the Ottoman occupation.  It was the Protocol of England that granted Crete to Mehmet Ali who was Regent of Egypt at that time.

As you can see on the picture the base of the lighthouse has 8 angles, the part above the base has 16 angles and the highest part has a round shape.  During days of threat the entrance of the port was closed by tying a chain from the lighthouse to the Venetian fortress Firka that is situated opposit of it.

The Egyptian administration made big efforts to have equality on the island for both the Christians (Cretans) and the Moslims (Ottomans). They also achieved to have a time of peace on the island.  Because of these changes, many Moslims left Crete and went to Asia Minor and many Christians left to go live in Greece.

Besides a time of peace, this was also a period of the reconstruction of roads, aquaducts, bridges and harbours that had been destroyed during the many revolutions of the Cretans against the Ottomans.  Also education was organized again for both the Cretans and Moslims, even a newspaper was published (1931) in the 2 spoken languages of the island.

the celebration of the Holy Cross

Every year on the 14th of September the Holy Cross is celebrated in every Orthodox church in Greece.

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On this day the women in the villages cut some branches of the basilicum that they have been growing all summer to bring it to church, where it will be blessed.  The Greeks do this because they believe that Saint Helen found the Cross on a place where a lot of basilicum grew.

In some places people also take water to the church to be blessed, this water then will be used to make the new leaven that will be used to make the leavened bread of the coming year.

Map Rethimnon city walk

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We start the walk at the parking place of the busses behind the old Venetian port, we leave the parking place and go to the left until we reach the old Venetian port. We walk through the port until the path turns to the left, we go to the right and after 10 meter we we reach the loggia.

We cross the street and walk by the loggia from the right hand side until we see the Rimondi fountain at our right

standing in front of the Rimondi fountain we go to the left and after 20 meter you will see on your left hand side a narrow street with at the end of it the highest minaret that was built on the island.

Now you are in the center of the old venetian town.

These beautiful paintings are made by mister Franco, you can see him work at the street that looks over the minaret.