Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
If the blog you are looking at has a yellow strip at the top and two columns ---- one with the blog and the 2nd with information about the blog and how to get around it, your browser is showing you the blog correctly.

If you are seeing a dark blue (purple like) title, your browser is not showing the pretty formatted blog. The words and pictures are all there but to access things like the archive you will need to go to the bottom of the blog.

When I scan down through the blog I only get to May 25th. To see the rest of the blog for this trip click on Archives (it could it in the 2nd column or a the bottom. Then click on May. May 31st to May 10 (when I started the current trip) will be displayed.

2024/06/03: Good-bye Greece

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
It's time to say good-bye to Greece. I would have liked to stay and visit the southern part of Crete and a few more islands but we needed to get back to real life.

The blog wasn't done very timely this trip. We started most days having breakfast around 7am then touring for at least half the day if not the full day. Each evening we headed out for dinner around 7:15pm retuning around 9:30 or later. When we did have free time I preferred to wander about rather than working on the blog.

One good thing about being tardy with the blog I was able to put Ed's HDR photos in. (HDR (high dynamic range) photos are three photos taken with slightly different exposures that are merged together. Ed runs a program to merge the photos when we get home). I went back and added the HDR photos to entries I made during the trip.

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
It was a very early morning today. We were up at 5:30am so we could meet the group by 6:00am ready to depart the ferry. Luckily, the ferry wasn't very busy so it was calm and orderly departure unlike some of the other ferries we took.

The ferry.

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The day Ed and I toured Athens on our own we saw the changing of the guards. Today we our route took us past them and we noticed the very different outfit the guard was wearing. Not sure if it was because it was Sunday or some other reason. The second photo is a couple of the statues at the Academy of Athens.

The Academy of Athens.

After a short ride on the subway we arrived at the National Archaeological Museum. Our local guide at the museum was the same guide we had the first day of our tour. It was wonderful to see her again as she is a great guide, full of enthusiasm.

As I didn't study archeology I have a hard time wrapping my head around ancient artifacts. My brain wants to know how the ancient people were able to create such beautiful pottery that was perfectly round and intricately decorated. How did they create the detailed animal figures? Did they use a pottery wheel? How did they fire the clay? Who has more knowledge, the ancients or us? I guess I should just enjoy the pieces I'm lucky enough to see.

The Lilies Fresco from Akrotiri on Thera (Santorini), c. 17th century BCE.

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Cycadic, 2500-2200 BCE a Terracotta bear or hedgehog. Dipylon Amphora, mid-8th century BCE.

Another Cycadic piece. When I did a google image search I was surprised to find many pieces that were very similar to this one. Some had the same 4 animals on the lid but different decorations on the base.

2024/06/01: Chania

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
This evening we are boarding the overnight ferry to Athens, so the day is a free day. We have a rooms till noon so Ed and I took advantage and slept in then enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. We spent a few hours wandering around the "newer" part of the city to get a feel of the not so touristy area. We saw fish markets, cheese shops, wandered into an appliance store and checked out some shoe and clothing stores.

Obviously, one of the fish markets.

A city street.

A fellow brought a tarp and sand to a street corner and created sand art.

We've boarded the ferry and are leaving the harbour.

One last harbour shot. Ed and I sat on deck till we were far enough away from land that there were no more lights. We had hope to see starts but the ferry is too lit up for that.

2024/05/31: Chania

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
"Eleftherios Venizelos” is found on many things today including the Athens airport. Eleftherios Kyriakou Venizelos was a Cretan Greek statesman and prominent leader of the Greek national liberation movement. He served seven times as Greece’s prime minister and was the most prominent Greek politician and statesman of the early 20th century. We have seen a lot Greece's ancient history so our guide thought it would be good to see some current history.

We had a tour of Eleftherios Venizelos's home and learned a lot about the man and politician.

The next stop was spectacular new (2022) Archaeological Museum. This is a mosaic depicting Dionysos and Adriadne.

A love figurine.


A tour of the old town takes us to the Maritime Museum of Crete. The museum is housed in an old ship building facility. When the building was used for ship building the water came into the building.

The Monument of the Hand is a memorial to the victims of the SS Heraklion ferry disaster of December 8, 1966. It is located on the waterfront of Chania.

The lighthouse.

Wandering through the narrow streets of the old town.

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Colourful buildings on the waterfront.


2024/05/30: Irkalion (Herkalion)

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
The first stop today was the Archaeological Museum. The Heraklion (Irkalion) Archaeological Museum is a museum located in Heraklion on Crete. It is the best in the world for Minoan art, as it contains by far the most important and complete collection of artefacts of the Minoan civilization of Crete. The following photos are a few of the exhibits.




The lighthouse in the harbour at Rethymnon.

The harbour in Rethmnon.

Souda Bay War Cemetery. Graves from many allied soldiers for WWI and WWII can be found here.

Fields of grapes along the highway.

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The Agia Triada Monastery just outside of Chania.

The inside is really ornate.

The main building of the monastery.

The harbour at Chania.

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We walked the kilometer or more along the breakwater to get to the lighthouse. You could only go to the top of the stairs. Lynn (one of our group is with me).

The lighthouse at sunset.

This photo caught the flashing red beacon.


Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
We are staying in the city of Iraklion.

Our first stop this morning is Knossos, the ancient palace of King Minos, first built around 1900 BC. In 1700 BC it was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt to a grander and more sophisticated design. The city of Knossos consisted of an immense palace, residences of officials and priests, the homes of ordinary people, and burial grounds. The Palace, which covered an area of 22000 sq m (236,682 sq feet), consisted of royal domestic quarters, public reception rooms, shrines, workshops, treasures and storerooms around a central court. Knossos was excavated by Arthur Evans between 1900 and 1930. A lot of the city has been rebuilt.

Peacocks were traditionally found in many ancient cities as the royals used the feathers in head pieces and the birds were good "watch dogs" as they make a lot of noise.

One of the famous frescoes. The frescoes have been "touched up". We saw a couple of people with paint in the area by the frescoes.



Leaving the palace we drive to the Lassithi Plateau, one of the highpoints of Crete, both in altitude and atmosphere, for it is unique: a green carpet hemmed in on all sides by the Díktean Mountains, snowcapped into April and irrigated in summer by windmills.

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We stopped in the small village of Krasi to visit the largest plane tree in Crete. The village had a cute shop with lots of interesting crafts and plants.


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Next stop was a small monastery.

At another stop this donkey was hanging out having a bit of lunch.

There were three functioning windmills near our lunch stop.

Looking across the valley from windmill. The water is a reservoir. The brown line is the road as it winds up the mountain.

Back in Iraklion we take a walk through the town. The lion fountain is at the main square.

Down by the harbour is this dolphin statue.

A view of the harbour. The breakwater extends more than a kilometer past the building.

This is one of a number of murals that are painted on the breakwater. There were so many beautiful murals it was hard to pick the one for the blog.

2024/05/28: Santorini & Crete

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
We have time for one last walk before we need to catch a bus to the ferry harbour where we will board the fast ferry to Crete.

The beach is pretty quiet in the morning.

Walking inland we found the base of the road that winds up the mountain to another ancient site.


A great view of the ferry harbour from the bus.


We arrived in Crete around supper time so our first photo is of the harbour from the second floor of the restaurant.

2024/05/27: Santorini

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Ignore the breakfast but look at the location. What a nice way to start the morning. Yes, that's a mimosa.

We were driven to the town of Oia, at the top of the island and told to walk around. As usual there are beautiful family churches and bell towers.

And of course, there are beautiful large Orthodox Greek churches.

Santorini and in particular Oia is a popular place for photographs. Our guide indicated that some of these places go for $5,000 a night. Many people come here not to get married but to have there wedding photographs taken --- they even rent the gowns. We also saw a group of young women (brides maids perhaps) getting there photos taken as well as a family. They stand on roofs or block the narrow walkways.

Most of our happy group.

The narrow streets of Oia were just too crowded so Ed and I turned right and got out of dodge. We wandered around and ended up at the Holy Church of Panagia "soumela" and Agios Georgios "Methystis". The church is built into the tuffa.

We made it down to the water. Someone's beautiful garden.

I think this is a garden because of the spacing of the plants. I love the colours.

A hill of tuffa.

There were a lot of cars parked on this road by the water. We couldn't figure out why they were they till we went around the bend and saw this harbour full of boats and restaurants and a stairway from the city.

We've climb part way up and looked down.

Then we looked up.

Some people cheat and ride horses to get back to the top.

The next and final stop was the Artemis Karamolegos Winery where we tried 3 different wines. I checked the white (which was very good) is available at the LCBO.

2024/05/26: Santorini

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
We were a little shocked this morning when we opened the door to our room and saw that everything was wet and that it was still raining. We can't be upset about this as Greece needs rain. Unfortunately, the view points we stopped at did weren't very "viewie".

First stop today was the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. BTW the Greek name for Santorini is Thera. The museum houses a very large number of artifacts from various locations on Santorini such as Akrotiri (which we are visiting this afternoon). One of the beautiful pots in the museum.


This one and the following photo are two of the frescoes.


Not much a view from the view point.


Colourful items for sale.

The flower from a caper bush. Did you know capers we buy bottled in the store are the buds of the caper bush?

Akrotiri was destroyed in the Theran eruption sometime is the 16th century BCE and buried in volcanic ash, which preserved the remains of fine frescoes and many objects and artworks. Akrotiri has been excavated since 1967.

Some pots were left where they were found.