Friday, August 20, 2010


I have been trying to get a close up of this guy ever since I came here. It is the only thing left in the sculptor's yard now that the building is having one of its never ending makeovers.
Crete is the birthplace of Zeus, father of the immortals, but there are earlier legends if a matriarchal civilisation here before Zeus came along and spoiled it all.
I wish I had studied ancient Greece more at school, but being a good girl in the A stream I learned Latin and French which was interesting but not really of much utility.

Apart from the idyllic tideless sea and the horrific heat (40 degrees four days running) is Crete worth visiting? Definitely. There is layer after layer of history starting from mythological times. If I was, like my grandson Tom, at the start of my academic career I would spend my lifetime unravelling the legends and finding out the truths behind them. The wife of King Minos fell in love with a bull? and the result of their miscegenation was the minotor, so hideous he was kept i a labyrinth and fed on human flesh. If I was eighteen, like young Tom, I would be looking for the political realities behind that myth.
Then there is the Greek era followed by the Roman. I pass the ruins of Kissamos'Roman baths when I walk into town. They are over the road from the guy in the photo. After the Romans the Venetians who built strong walled forts all over the place, then the Turks, then the Germans and now the tourists.
If you have read this far and are thinking, 'Mmm, I might go there one day,'go now, while you are still young enough to drive a rental car on the wrong side of the road, walk 25ks through the Samaria gorge in one day, scramble arond moutain villages, where boys of my own generation helped fight the battle for Crete. AS I said layer after layer after layer of history.

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