Saturday, November 19, 2016

Crete, Continued

We got back on the bus after touring Palace of Knossos on Crete and traveled over to the port city of Heraklion. This was a walking tour. Again, Mike was on the second excursion of the day (Minoan Palace counted as ONE for him, even though they are all together on one bus trip), so he just walked a little while with the tour guide though the city area. Then I left him in a comfortable square of the city and I traveled on with the rest of the group to see the other parts of the city. It was a Venetian city at one time!  I walked down to the port area, as well.  Beautiful area.

Below are some of the photos that I snapped while wandering around in this area.  I did find Mike when it was time to head back to our tour bus. He had had a nice rest, got a drink. And waited. He was so good to just wait and wait and wait for me as I wandered and wandered and wandered.  And I shared all my photos and descriptions with him when I returned.

 You can see the Venetian influence in the architecture here.  The kingdom of Venice bought the island of Crete for the Cypress wood that was there.  Unfortunately, there wasn't enough wood to justify the purchase, after all.  They did own it for a time, though.
 Above.  At the end of this street is the harbor. I walked down to this.  It was small, but one could see the fortifications they used to defend the city in olden days. I'm sure glad we don't have to fortify things like that any more and can enjoy (basically) free trade. 

 Inside the church of Titus was a lot of cypress wood carved things. It was beautiful.  If you enlarge the photo of the sign above this photo, you can see how the church (and most large churches in Greece) have had to change and evolve over the centuries.

 These are metal prayer cards. They are close to the size of a playing card and tied to the icon of choice. This is a variation on candles, perhaps. Or prayer beads. Or something.  You can tell I don't know much about how other people worship with "stuff."
Above, our guide is showing us the special place where the skull of St. Titus is kept. I looked though a hole in the top. Something is definitely in there. It could have been an old skull. It could have been Titus'.

 Another interesting thing about this church was that there was a "beggar" on the steps. We didn't run into this much at all.  The woman was asking for money to feed her many children. There were about 5 little children with her. They all looked pretty scruffy.  Inside the church was a basket of bread that was given to the poor. Our guide invited us to have some if we wished. She shared with us how she used to NOT like coming to church as a youth.  There is holy water in the church. And there were baggies nearby.  She said that a lot of the faithful grandmas who DID attend church regularly would put a bit of the holy water into the baggies and take it home to their stubborn grandkids who were too lazy to get up and go to church.  I'm not sure what exactly you do with sprinkles of holy water...sprinkle it on you?  Drink it?  Well, the pious and faithful grandmas felt they were doing what they could.
 These chairs have hinged seats.  They can be placed close together in rows, but if you need to stand up to allow another person to enter the row, you can just fold back the seat, step back and allow them to pass.

Mike was waiting for me when I finished my wanderings in that part of town.  I was sure glad to find him right where I left him each time.  Or at least close by.  Good thing he likes to people watch. :-)  Remember, we didn't have functional phones to keep in touch with one another.  We walked back through the shops and streets to find our tour bus and returned to the ship.  Lots of people tried to sell us lots of stuff.  But we bought none of it.  I did buy some bookmarks from a vendor when we were in Turkey, but pretty much passed on everything else.  Remember, too, we were traveling light. Very light.  Anything we bought had to be hauled home with us in our two stuffed carry-on small bags and our two smallish personal items.

We were back on the boat in time for our lunch, and then sailed on to the NEXT stop of the day--Santorini!

No comments: