Saturday 9 June 2018

June 7, 2018 - Crete and Santorini

An early rise so we could spend the morning in
Heraklion (Crete), the most southerly of the Greek Islands.
For nearly 3,000 years, the ruins of an ancient Minoan
civilization lay buried and forgotten beneath the coastal plains of Crete. We met the tour guide and walked through the remains of 
the palace where the legend of the Minotaur (half man – half bull) 
was born. The people of this society enjoyed life in peace and entertained each other with games such as bull dancing where young males and females would jump over the bull from the bull’s horns to the rear of the animal. Today, Crete is known for its wildlife
and varied landscape, clear blue skies, sandy beaches and glorious sunshine. Its main industry is
olive oil production where there over 45 million olive trees on the island.

Bull Dancing
Back on board we got ready for our final concert. We entertained a multinational audience with various selections. Two of our choir
members were celebrating their birthday so we were treated to a
birthday cake by the cruise line.

Then on to the jewel of the Greek Islands - Santorini. Santorini was once the island of Thira
and widely believed to be the candidate for the lost kingdom of Atlantis.As we approached the
island and its barren, rocky cliffs it was not difficult to imagine what occurred there in the15th
century BC when the volcanic island erupted and the accompanying earthquakes and tidal waves destroyed the Minoan civilization on Crete. The crescent shape of the island is due to an
explosion so many centuries ago. To access the island we ascended to the top by cable car, walk
up 500 steps or ride donkeys. Once at the top the views are spectacular! We walked the tiny,
narrow streets and enjoyed a snack or beverage at one of the many restaurants overlooking the
sheltered bay where our cruise ship waited for us.

Back on board to pack and enjoy our last night on the ship.
Santorini from the top

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