Thira (Santorini), to Heraklion, Crete, Greece, 12 October 2018.
(Click on any image to see it in a larger size, if you are on a PC or tablet at least.)
We are now on the ferry on our way from Thira to Heraklion (in Crete). Fortuitously, it is just after six o’clock and sunset is approaching so there are some special opportunities for long lens photography as we leave Thira.
Cruise liner probably heading to Athens. I think Oia is in the background.
Picturesque vessel, I think a schooner.
Probably part of Thira township at the top of the cliffs.
Close-up of luxurious tourist accommodation atop the cliffs.
Late light playing on the sea.
It took me a while to work out. At the bottom of the cliffs is not the port we came from, it’s the old port of Thira, with Imerovigli at the top. You might need to click on the image to expand it to see, but there’s a road going down there and also a cablecar.
The light is very different according to the direction you are looking.
Towards the sun, sunset approaching.
Akrotiri lighthouse with people in front of it to watch the sunset.
These houses may be on Akro Aspronisi Point, near Akrotiri Lighthouse.
The light is slowly fading away.
Last view of Thira with darkness approaching.
Venetian Harbour and the Koules Fortress.
Some hours later and we are now in Heraklion in Crete. This is the view from our hotel room.
We are now in Heraklion and for the next nine days we will be travelling around Crete, especially to remote places and ancient sires.
An ancient building with the roof in need of repair.
This is also taken from the hotel the next day, from the balcony outside the dining room at the time of breakfast. This also applies to the next four images.
An old ruined boat fenced off beside the harbour. I think I may have been told a story about it and I know exactly where it is but I can find no further information.
The Venetian Lion on the side of Koules Fortress.
The Venetian Harbour at Heraklion.
Crete has had a long and varied history. Humans were on Crete as early as 130,000 years ago (though not our subspecies). Prehistoric animals included pygmy hippos, pygmy elephants, dwarf deer and giant mice. Remarkably, there have also been plausible though contested claims that footprints in rock in Crete were from a human relative 5.6 million years ago (which is not consistent with the conventional Out of Africa theory).
The Minoan civilisation was the earliest in Europe and lasted from 3500BC to 1100BC. Crete was then taken over by the Mycenaeans and then the Dorians and became part of ancient Greek civilisation. Rome conquered Crete in 69BC and it later became part of the Byzantine Empire. The Arabs took over in 820 and established a piratical Emirate. They built the town of Candia here which became the new capital of Crete and was later renamed Heraklion. Byzantium took it back in 961 until the time of the Fourth Crusade in 1204 when the Venetians took over, after briefly contesting the island with the Genovese.
The Ottomans took over in 1669 after laying siege to Candia for 21 years and the last Venetian outpost at Spinalonga fell in 1718. Many Cretans participated in the Greek War of Independence from 1821 to 1829 but did not gain independence for Crete. Despite many revolts, this did not happen until 1898, first as an independent state under the Ottomans (though occupied by the Great Powers) and Candia was remaned Heraklion at this time. From 1908 it became part of Greece.
The Moslem minority of Crete was repopulated to Turkey after the treaty of Lausanne in 1923. Germany occupied Crete from 1941 to 1944 and there was fierce guerilla resistance from the locals. There was civil war on Crete from 1947 to 1948, with an attempted Communist insurrection and the last two holdouts surrendered in 1974, 25 years after the last action on the mainland.
El Greco was from Crete (and from Candia) and Eleftherios Venezolos “Maker of Modern Greece”, the dominant Greek politician of the early 20th century, was also from Crete.
After breakfast and taking the preceding images, we headed off to the ancient Minoan city of Knossos (next post).
Returning from Knossos, we left the rental car at the hotel and walked to the Museum of Archaeology (post after next). On the way I paused at a couple of weathered doorways.
We returned from the museum and later in the early evening went for a walk around the harbour. These shells were for sale and Jools bought one.
Fishing boats leading up to Koules Fortress (which was closed).
This is in an area of Venetian dry docks and boat repairs. The water was lapping in in those days.
Later in the evening, a closer look at the mysterious old boat. The name XAPAꓥAMΠOΠ may be a reference to Saint Charalampus, who lived during the reign of Septimus Severus.
We were very fortunate that a band was playing Greek music in a park across from the hotel. I do not know the band’s name. There was also a market at the same time.