Islands of Greece (Greece, Part 3)

The Minoan Palace of Knossos was in ruins as well as the rest of the Greek heritage; but still I was surprised to see that only few parts of the palace remained. We climbed the stairs of the ancient palace, and at the top I stopped trying to imagine the whole complex. Suddenly in my head, the columns emerged from the ground as I was remembering the plans and sketches of the palace from my old college books. I was always fascinated with this building in particular because it had one of the oldest plumbing systems in the world and it was very bright thanks to a large number of inner courtyards surrounded with columns (peristyle) and windows above the doors.

We boarded ferry in Heraklion port. As our ferry moved away from the island, we enjoyed the view and the smell of the sea.

The ferry docked at Athinios port at Santorini Island. From here we went to Akrotiri, the ruins of an ancient town destroyed in volcano eruption. In big excavation site we saw the remains of a building preserved in the volcano ashes. I was surprised by simplicity of the common people’s houses. They were much different from gracious and monumental temples. In their front yards, we saw some amphoras and similar everyday items from Minoan time. Most of the everyday items found in this location are stored at the Museum of Prehistoric Thera in Fira, Santorini’s principal city, north from Athinios port.

We went ashore and asked around for a boat that will take us to the Santorini’s Old Port. The captain of a small tourist boat was more than happy to take us to our destination. It was much easier to take a bus but we wanted to see the island from the sea and pass near Nea Kameni Island on our way to Skala, an old port.

Fira is connected with the port by a long zig-zag road settled on the steep slopes of a hill. I wasn’t in the mood for such a long walk or to torture a donkey (the usual transportation from the port), so we chose the cable car and it proved to be the best choice. A small cabin dangled from the wire high above the ground, so after the initial shock and a little panic attack, I was laughing with my companion and enjoying the view.

When we arrived, my eyes were instantly blinded with the bright white surfaces of houses, a typical landscape of this island. A long line of white houses formed narrow and winding streets. I lost my companion in the crowd of tourists and wished to possess a family locator or a Harry Potter’s wand to preform the Summoning Charm. Luckily, I found him in front of a restaurant, browsing through the menu displayed on a big board. He was craving to taste suvlaki, so I indulged him, after suppressing the urge to kill him for getting lost like that!

Later that day, we went for a swim in Amoudi Bay. A few young men were jumping from the cliff into the deep blue sea and I felt the chill down my spine. No thanks, I will jump from the boat’s deck. As my feet were streaming to the bottom of the sea, I opened my eyes and saw a whole different world beneath the surface of crystal blue water.

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