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Month: December 2014

Greece 2014 – Day 22 – Athens

Back again in Athens. It’s our last day of the trip and so we made our pilgrimage to the Acropolis and the Parthenon. The extensive multi-year restoration looks to be nearing its final stages.  Practically the entire structure has been taken apart and put back together, over many years, to replace failing restoration attempts from the early 20th century (note mandatory Greek cat photo). It’s looking great! As was sun setting, we headed over the the nearby Filopappos Hill to catch the last light before retiring early for the flight home.  We had a great...

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Greece 2014 – Day 21 – Knossos

Making our way back from Matala to Heraklion we stopped to visit the most famous by far of Minoan palaces, Knossos (~3000 – 1500 BC), home of the Monitor and his labyrinth. Excavated and restored by Sir Arthur Evans in the very early 20th century Knossos offers a representation of how a Minoan palace, with its multiple stories, might have looked in its heyday. Using concrete instead of wood for pillars, Evans used research and imagination to recreate and rebuild portions of the ruins in three dimensions – an approach that generated much controversy that continues to this day....

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Greece 2014 – Day 20 – Gortyn & Phaistos

Like most of Crete, the valley that resides to the north of Matala is as historically rich as it is ancient.  The earliest detectable inhabitants date to ~7000 BC.  We chose to visit two very different and important archeological sites, Gortyn and Phaistos. Gortyn is as ancient as any city in Crete, but is most famous for the Gortyn law code (left) that was etched into stone in the 6th century BC and remains on display in the later remains of a Roman Odeon.  It is the oldest and most complete example of a code of ancient Greek law and contains...

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Greece 2014 – Day 19 – Matala

Matala turned out to be our final resting spot before starting the long journey back home. An infamous town back in the 60’s, known as a hippy hangout full of free love and free rent living in the rock caves along the cliffs.  No doubt loads of fun! Of course the hippies were not the first to live like this, they simply followed the ancient ones. We spent our first day enjoying the touristy beach town and ate a fabulous lunch looking over the water.  Same itinerary, different...

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Greece 2014 – Day 18 – Loutro

No agenda …. walk, swim, repeat. The water is still warm in October, the sun is hot, but perfectly so … I noticed a curious phenomenon that occurs along the coast of much of southern Crete. Spring water runs through the porous limestone mountains and exits along the water’s edge. As a result, often a layer of cold, sweet water forms atop the more dense salt water. You can feel the cold water exit through the beach pebbles with your toes as well as the accumulated layer on top. Contrary to initial expectations, the water warms as you swim...

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