Beautiful Golden Crete ~ and Crete famous museum

Heraklion Travel Blog

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Bee Pendant: 18-1700 BC: Two Bees with a drop of honey: from Chrysolakos, Malia: 1 13/16ths tall or 4.6 cm. amazing detail..

We caught the plane at about 7 AM the next morning.  We got to the airport so early we saw the sun rise over the tarmack....  There was no direct flight from Santorini to Crete so we had to first fly to Athens, change planes and fly to Crete.  I took pictures of unknown islands as we flew....  Oh, how I wish we had been able to "island hop" as we thought we were going to ....  Next Time!....  (Note to self: don't go too late in the year)

David and I arrived in Crete early in the morning.

smiling bull leaper: fresco from the east wind of Knossos Palace. Bull leapers were men and women. 15th C BC
   We went from the airport across to the bus station.   When we got to the bus station David asked the man when the bus to downtown would arrive.   The man said it would be arriving in 10 minutes and it was bus #6.   David came back and sat down and we chatted while we waited.   A bus was already sitting at the station when we got there....  It started it's motor to go after quite a while... all of a sudden David got a thought and ran to the front of the bus.... It was #6.... why the heck didn't the guy tell him that?   (we were sitting about 25 feet from him on the bench,.....)  David made the driver wait while I got gathered and ran to the bus stairs... We looked at the man who worked in the ticket office: from his smirking expression and laughter we could see that it was not an accident that he misled David.
Heraklion Museum:
..    Not the perfect start having someone play a little trick like that....   Oh well....    moving on....    We asked the driver to let us off in the downtown area for a motel...  He was very nice and happy to let us know... (see.... nicer people already!).... 

We had a guide book and began walking with our backpacks to find a motel.  We began in the main square.   We tried to get our bearings and figure out the streets...   A really nice man came over and asked how we were doing and asked what we were looking up in our book.  We told him and he told us what street to walk down and how to find the motel.... then he took a few minutes to tell us about the town and what was available.   And a few more minutes to tell us about his family and what he did for a living.

Heraklion Museum: Prince with the Lilies: Minoan dress with lilies and peacok feathers on his head. he may have been leading a sacred animal. From Knossos: 15th century BC
.. such an interesting guy!    The square we were on was lined with restaurants and a few really nice hotels.  We thanked him and walked down the avenue he had indicated.... but we still couldn't find the motel in the guide book.   We stopped a few other people and they also thought we were in the right area... but the closest we could find to the motel was a vacant lobby of what appeared to be apartments... 

After about one hour of searching we decided it would be best if David found the motel while I sat with the suitcases.  We went down a cute little alleyway and stopped at an "outdoor" coffee restaurant in a covered piazza area.  We had a cup of coffee together and David took off.  He left the suitcases (actually our suitcases are backpacks)  

I had coffee and chatted with the young lady who was my waitress about a vacation she had taken to Kalakari Island.

Heraklion Museum: fruit bowl: 18-17 C BC: from Phaistos palace
  It was really interesting hearing it from a native.    She said it is known as the most beautiful island and she really thought it lived up to that reputation but it was really over touristed and over priced.  She told me she shared a humble room and it was 75 Euros... yikes...  she recommended the area but suggested the stay should not be too long...  She said it has been made really popular because of the movie Momma Mia and she expects it will get worse.   She had more customers and I sat and read Lonely Planet while I waited.... 

David had gone to the main square again and went to the nice hotel on the plaza.  He spoke to the duty manager and told him the price range we were looking for and asked if he knew of a motel (in our price range) that the manager would take his wife to.

Heraklion Museum:Kamares vessel
...  The only recomendation was Hotel Irini...  He told David how to find it...  He also told Dave the motel we were searching for was closed for the season so it wasn't even there....   

Eventually David came back with a motel reservation at Hotel Irini (see our review).    He had already gone there and paid for the first night and gotten us a room with a view of the bay.  Great.   We walked down towards the harbor and went into the motel lobby.  It was a huge open lobby with a fire place in one corner.   It had a well maintained  board with all of the local places and the hours posted.  The personnel were friendly and efficient...  We were really pleased.   The room wasn't a fancy room but the bed was comfortable.

Bull's Head: From Little Palace of Knossos. ritual libation vessel: gilded horns, eyes rock crystal and mother of pearl muzzle.
   We had a view of the bay ... and quite a few apartments that were in the area.

We dropped off our suitcases and walked down towards the wharf to find the archeological museum.  We had already heard about it a few times so we were anxious to see it.   It didn't take us very long to find it....  We had a wonderful time touring it.  Pictures were allowed as long as no flash.   We took as many pictures as we could although we felt a bit anxious about keeping the pictures straight.  The museum closed before we felt ready but there was nothing we could do about it.  We saw things from all over Crete: Knossos, Gortina, Malia, Phaistos....   We hadn't been to any of the places but we hoped we would see them all... 

It appeared the most important was Knossos.

Heraklion Museum:
 Knossos was a huge castle  that had a reputation as being one of the best to see as it had been partially rebuilt.  It had reached it's peak about 3,000 years ago.  The items they found in the castle were astonishing.....  vases, jewelry and amazing frescos. 

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Bee Pendant: 18-1700 BC: Two Bees …
Bee Pendant: 18-1700 BC: Two Bees…
smiling bull leaper: fresco from t…
smiling bull leaper: fresco from …
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum: Prince with the …
Heraklion Museum: Prince with the…
Heraklion Museum: fruit bowl: 18-1…
Heraklion Museum: fruit bowl: 18-…
Heraklion Museum:Kamares vessel
Heraklion Museum:Kamares vessel
Bulls Head: From Little Palace of…
Bull's Head: From Little Palace o…
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Even the sunrises are beautiful in…
Even the sunrises are beautiful i…
our plane
our plane
David just before we loaded....
David just before we loaded....
Looking down
Looking down
land
land
Santorini?
Santorini?
pretty even out the crappy window …
pretty even out the crappy window…
flying over land.....
flying over land.....
more land
more land
airport....
airport....
beautiful terracotta rooftops
beautiful terracotta rooftops
Look at that water!
Look at that water!
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:kamares vessel
Heraklion Museum:kamares vessel
Heraklion Museum: fruit stand: Kam…
Heraklion Museum: fruit stand: Ka…
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum: from Malia: two …
Heraklion Museum: from Malia: two…
Heraklion Museum:Bronze sword with…
Heraklion Museum:Bronze sword wit…
Heraklion Museum:sword end: repous…
Heraklion Museum:sword end: repou…
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Heraklion Museum:
Fruit bowl Kamares Style: from pal…
Fruit bowl Kamares Style: from pa…
Iraklion/Heraklion museum: geometr…
Iraklion/Heraklion museum: geomet…
Iraklion/Heraklion museum: Floral …
Iraklion/Heraklion museum: Floral…
Iraklion/Heraklion museum: This ha…
Iraklion/Heraklion museum: This h…
Iraklion/Heraklion museum: display…
Iraklion/Heraklion museum: displa…
Iraklion/Heraklion museum:Kamares …
Iraklion/Heraklion museum:Kamares…
Iraklion/Heraklion museum: zatrich…
Iraklion/Heraklion museum: zatric…
Far right is 1500-1450 BC:cut rock…
Far right is 1500-1450 BC:cut roc…
From Little Palace of Knossos. It …
From Little Palace of Knossos. It…
Steatite, shell, rock crystal, red…
Steatite, shell, rock crystal, re…
Knossos: 1550-1450 BC: look at the…
Knossos: 1550-1450 BC: look at th…
Larger snake godess:1600 BC: snake…
Larger snake godess:1600 BC: snak…
Heraklion Museum
Heraklion Museum
Heraklion Museum: creamy transluce…
Heraklion Museum: creamy transluc…
Heraklion Museum: Lioness Rhython …
Heraklion Museum: Lioness Rhython…
Heraklion Museum: Lioness Rhython
Heraklion Museum: Lioness Rhython
Harvesters Rhyton (ritual vessel)…
Harvester's Rhyton (ritual vessel…
Bull Leaper: chrysselephantine fig…
Bull Leaper: chrysselephantine fi…
Famous Bull Leaper Fresco: Knossos…
Famous Bull Leaper Fresco: Knosso…
Bull Leaper ... Knossos : 15th C B…
Bull Leaper ... Knossos : 15th C …
Green/blue monkey Fresco: 1500 BC
Green/blue monkey Fresco: 1500 BC
Monkey Fresco
Monkey Fresco
Fresco of lady: fragment from Knos…
Fresco of lady: fragment from Kno…
Blue Birds..from the house of Fres…
Blue Birds..from the house of Fre…
The Cup Bearer: 1500-1450 BC: frag…
The Cup Bearer: 1500-1450 BC: fra…
gold necklaces:Heraklion Museum
gold necklaces:Heraklion Museum
jugs: with papyrus
jugs: with papyrus
Jugs: the upper vase is colorful..
Jugs: the upper vase is colorful..
remarkable surface on vase
remarkable surface on vase
Lower left: gold signet ring from …
Lower left: gold signet ring from…
slender libation jug: Kamares style
slender libation jug: Kamares style
Jug with birds and slender fish
Jug with birds and slender fish
jugs with birds...
jugs with birds...
silver mirror with gold handle: ne…
silver mirror with gold handle: n…
Museum: jewelry, dancer sculpture,…
Museum: jewelry, dancer sculpture…
curled up cat pendents,gold bull h…
curled up cat pendents,gold bull …
sarcophagus: flute player
sarcophagus: flute player
libation jug carried:
libation jug carried:
Sarcophagus side: 1300 BC: painted…
Sarcophagus side: 1300 BC: painte…
Sarcophagus : perhaps symbolizing …
Sarcophagus : perhaps symbolizing…
end of the sarcophagus
end of the sarcophagus
Sarcophagus:
Sarcophagus:
detail of sarcophagus
detail of sarcophagus
one man holding a bull: one a dog:…
one man holding a bull: one a dog…
priestess or widow carrying bucket…
priestess or widow carrying bucke…
closer look at the priestess with …
closer look at the priestess with…
sarcophagus detail... sacrificial …
sarcophagus detail... sacrificial…
Bronze age : helmet swords pots & …
Bronze age : helmet swords pots &…
Goddess with raised hands
Goddess' with raised hands
goddess and a cow shrine...
goddess' and a cow shrine...
Griffins & intricate painting on p…
Griffins & intricate painting on …
unique libation jug
unique libation jug
10-9th century BC: clay model of a…
10-9th century BC: clay model of …
10-9th Century BC: close up of the…
10-9th Century BC: close up of th…
donkey (looks like he has on joggi…
donkey (looks like he has on jogg…
display : the dancers on lower lef…
display : the dancers on lower le…
close up detail of pot
close up detail of pot
pots & small offering/sacrificial …
pots & small offering/sacrificial…
detail of vase
detail of vase
An annoyed bull
An annoyed bull
group of pots, bowls, jewelry
group of pots, bowls, jewelry
roman: 480 BC-4C AD
roman: 480 BC-4C AD
roman
roman
roman
roman
roman
roman
roman
roman
3 headed dog
3 headed dog
man and woman with 3 headed dog
man and woman with 3 headed dog
woman .. roman
woman .. roman
classic heads
classic heads
Museum sign outside
Museum sign outside
Hooray I found a hibiscus..
Hooray I found a hibiscus..
Old building.. falling down
Old building.. falling down
old building
old building
Wonderful old doors
Wonderful old doors
Doors with doric door posts
Doors with doric door posts
top floor
top floor
motel view at night
motel view at night
motel view at night
motel view at night
night time view
night time view
Day time view of harbor
Day time view of harbor
we saw this cobble stone that was …
we saw this cobble stone that was…
through the opening of the venetia…
through the opening of the veneti…
Street light in Iraklion
Street light in Iraklion
A storage door
A storage door
David walking under the arch of th…
David walking under the arch of t…
windows... probably for cannons
windows... probably for cannons
these were massive... and probably…
these were massive... and probabl…
window
window
Venetian Arsenal sign
Venetian Arsenal sign
windows
windows
bars in the door way under the ars…
bars in the door way under the ar…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ven…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ve…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ven…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ve…
Looking back at Motel Ireni... we …
Looking back at Motel Ireni... we…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ven…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ve…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ven…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ve…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ven…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ve…
16th Century Venetian Fortress
16th Century Venetian Fortress
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ven…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ve…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ven…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ve…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ven…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ve…
the Arsenal from the port...
the Arsenal from the port...
Another view of the venetian arsen…
Another view of the venetian arse…
sign for the fortress
sign for the fortress
A cannon hole with the boat harbor
A cannon hole with the boat harbor
venetian fortress
venetian fortress
Along the sides of the fortress wa…
Along the sides of the fortress w…
along the sides
along the sides
Venetian fortress / 16th century
Venetian fortress / 16th century
Lion of St Mark
Lion of St Mark
looking towards town
looking towards town
fortress
fortress
A tall ship in harbor
A tall ship in harbor
Ship
Ship
Lion of St Mark
Lion of St Mark
cannon storage?
cannon storage?
for storing cannon balls?
for storing cannon balls?
The sunset
The sunset
13th century byzentine antiquities…
13th century byzentine antiquitie…
an old anchor
an old anchor
windows in fortress
windows in fortress
the top stone
the top stone
the arch of the window
the arch of the window
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ven…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ve…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ven…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ve…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ven…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ve…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ven…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ve…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ven…
boats in Paleo Limani (the old ve…
Heraklion Hotels & Accommodations review
Heraklion Crete
This was not where I intended to stay, but my guide book hotel had closed for the season. We walked and looked-no success. Feeling a minor disaster co… read entire review
Heraklion
photo by: sylviandavid