NOTE: My camera’s memory card glitched and we basically have no pictures from our trip until we hit Athens. I may try and find images online, just so you have a sense of what we saw/ are talking about. (And will credit if I do.) But keep that in mind as you read these next posts.
The Minoan Palace at Knossos is incredible. Partly because it’s old (and we like old things) but more than that it is *complex* and well-designed. The signage is clear and even a little funny, as it calls out Evans’ failings in so many ways. The ‘good stuff’ is in the Archeological Museum, but the site itself is well worth a visit.
As with so many tourist places, the wisdom to go early is truly wise: we managed to get there about 9am and sort of slid between a couple of tour groups. By the time we left a few hours later there were five huge tour buses onsite, and the local bus (arriving every 15 mins) was bringing groups of 25 or more at a time. It was sort of amazing.
By the time we finished walking around, I was feeling the sun a wee bit too much, so we paused at the onsite cafe for a glass of orange juice. (After olives, oranges are the most common crop on the island I believe.) So refreshing.
Then we crossed the street and had lunch at Minotavros. This is a place that ‘breaks’ all of my rules about dining: there is a guy standing on the street barking for people to eat there; the menu is mostly pictures; its a tourist destination. However, the food was good. A little more expensive, yes, but not unreasonably so. J. had the greek salad and I had the Cretan pies. It was all very fresh and great quality. We ended up talking about languages and world views with the guy on the street.
With that it was back to our place where we had the pool to ourselves for a few hours. So we swam and read and generally relaxed until the sun went down.
That evening we walked into Skalani again and went to Taverna Marazakis Nikos. This is a ‘traditional’ style taverna with heavy wood tables and chairs and no menu in english. Our server did an excellent job of explaining what was available to us, however.
We started with salads: J. a more typical ‘greek’ and I with a lettuce version — huge portions, but so welcome. Then we shared a local dish. The meal took several hours and we were quite full by the end. She asked about dessert “no, no, thank you” we replied, “you want dessert,” she announced and then went away, returning in just a bit with a dish. “You will enjoy this,” she said then set out two small glasses of raki. I’ve later identified the dish as Galaktoboureko, a custard or semolina pudding wrapped in phyllo sheets and then drizzled with sweet syrup and cinnamon. FANTASTIC.
Taverna Marazakis blew Koulas’ Taste out of the water.