The next day was another double-duty day. We woke up in Crete, the largest island of Greece. At least from the port, it looks very different than the other islands. It’s much more modernized, but that is not to say there is a lack of history.
We decided to see the ruins of the Palace of Knossos, built around 2000 BC during the ancient Minoan civilization. It is considered to be the oldest civilization in Europe. We had an amazing tour guide who told us about the advanced design of the palace: an early A/C system, sewer system, and that doesn’t even begin to describe the architecture.
The myth of King Minos is incredible (even in shortened form): King Minos’ son was murdered after winning the Panathenaeic Games in Athens. To take revenge, the king asked Zeus to punish the city and an oracle told the Athenians to do anything King Minos wanted in order to avoid the plague of Zeus. So King Minos made Athens send seven boys and seven girls to the palace every year. They were sent into the labyrinth to try and defeat the minotaur (which none ever did). That is the myth, but as our guide taught us, no myth is ever completely fictional. The labyrinth? Is the palace. You can see it even in the ruins: thousands of small rooms, multiple doors in every room. Definitely a maze. The minotaur? King Minos.
After pictures on the oldest road in Europe, we grabbed some coffee and baklava from the cafe and headed back to the ship by lunch! Crete was cool and I think I would enjoy it more if I spent more time there (and I hear the beaches on the other side of the island are beautiful).