Monday: The palace of Phaistos is located in the south of Crete, while we were living at the north-east coast, but fortunately the island is not particularly big so from Herakleion it only took us about one and a half hour by bus to get there. The palace of Phaistos was the second biggest palace on Crete and as the name suggests, it was there the enigmatic Phaistos Disc was found.
The north-west entrance of the palace. The interesting thing about Phaistos and Malia is that, unlike the palace of Knossos, the ruins have been left more or less like they were found. No reconstructions. I guess Evans never was there.
”The Queen’s room”. The archaeologists have kept using Evan’s terminology, even if no one knows if there really lived kings and queens here.
Guess what? There actually was a cigarette butt at the bottom of that pithos.
Tuesday: This day we went on a jeep safari up in the mountains. We joined it for the particular reason that one of the stops would be at the Psychro Cave (also called Diktaian Antron), a place that otherwise was a bit difficult to get to.
Our driver drove us through the small serpentine roads up to the Lasithi Plateau. We passed through small villages (made a stop at a café where we bought a jar of thyme honey and were shown some fossils from dwarf mammoths found in the area) and a valley with tree-climbing goats (I saw one up in a tree!). But the highlight was the Psychro Cave. Damn, that place was fucking awesome! Unfortunately, it was difficult to take good pictures with my camera.
People had thrown coins in the small pool in the lower chamber. The archaeological finds from the cave indicate that it has been used as a site of worship since Minoan times. According to one tradition, the god Zeus was born and grew up in this cave.
Wednesday: Our last day on Crete we went to Herakleion and visited the Archaeological Museum. But first we took a walk around the city. As I mentioned, Herakleion is the biggest city on Crete and about as big as Uppsala.
We quickly named this green spot ”The Dog Park” since there always were some stray dogs lying there.
At the harbour.
The Archaeological Museum was really fun. Like in Knossos it was so cool to see all these things in reality that I’ve seen on pictures so many times. The Minoan ”snake goddesses” were among my favourites, since I’ve always been quite fascinated by them (and not just because of the naked boobs).
I’ve drawn one of those statuettes in my comic about Persephone (minus the animal on her headdress).
Some sketches I made while I walked through the museum. Ignore that sea shell thing. I gave a copy of my comic book Nekyia to the museum as a gift. Since it is in Swedish they can’t read it,
which is just as well because they probably would consider it silly anyway, but maybe they will like the drawings?
Well, that was my week on Crete. Needless to say, I had a great time and I hope that next year I maybe can go to Athens. In spring when everything is in bloom. Now let’s finish this with another picture of a cute little kittie.