Way way to early to get up this morning... The alarm went off at 345am! Checked out at 4am, put a bag in storage an walked up to syntagma square to get the bus to the airport ( bus 95 runs every 20 or so mins take around 45 mins to get to airport). Was a bit creepy walking around at 4 in the morning... The homeless people almost outnumber the street lights. Made it to bus and got talking with an early traveller from Canada heading to Cyprus. Bus ride was easy as to early for traffic and was cheaper then the metro... I am using a student card from student flights. Getting half price in heaps of places. Checked in after walking to the wrong counter... I have been on countless flights and still can read the check in tv screens... I blame the fact that it was early I had a really crappy sleep what little I got. Had breakfast and a much needed cup of tea before heading through to the boarding gate. Managed to go straight to the right even if I did have to skull down a bottle of water before security... Again flown many time and know that you can't have liquid on the flight so why did I have a full water bottle... Maybe it is just because I am In such a relaxed holiday mood I am not thinking!!!
Small plane but had a good window seat and the provided for fanatic views of Santorini as we flew. Arrived in Heraklion and wondered out to the local public station... ( bus number 1 goes into city centre, there is a large sign with buses to Herelkion outside of yhe arrivals entry). Already noticing that there is less English spoken here but managed to get a ticket into town. Missed the stop closest to my hotel so went all the way into the city and had to walk back. Wasn't too bad and I didn't even really get lost. Was so grateful that I has sent the hotel mentioning that I am getting in at 9am and if they could store my bag or let me check in early that would great... And they let me check in early :)
Freshened up before walking back into city centre to get the local bus ( bus number 2 leaves from elefterias square often, buy tickets from kiosk before getting on the bus) to the palace of knossos. Around 20 mins later was at the site. Didn't bother to hire a guide as it is so hot and I am feeling tired so want to be able to go at my pace and not get stuck standing in the sun when it it close to 40degrees like other guided tours. Walked in and you can see how small parts have been reconstructed. The ruins cover a large area with highlights including the charging bull fresco, the throne room and queen megaron apartment with the dolphin frescos. I arrived at the site after 10:30am and it was full with hundreds of other tourists. Had to wait in lines inside the compound to have a look at the throne room and queen megaron. This was ok as there are heaps of English speaking guides around so they were telling stories to their clients and I just listened in. Caught the bus back into town which was packed with people, making it hot and stuffy. Walked to the Iraklio archaeological museum. I had brought a combined palace and museum ticket. The museum is closed for renovations since 2006 and it still closed with just a small room housing maybe 100 selected objects on display. Was interesting to see some of the frescos, pottery and jewellery on display from different periods of ancient history. Wondered through town along some great shopping streets. Prices arent overinflated and some items were less then Athens. Stopped briefly at the Morosini fountain( lions fountain) from Venetian rule. Walked till I reached the waterside and wondered along looking for a lunch stop. Found a place with a table over looking ocean and serving a nice Greek salad and tried a piece of pastrami pie. Was alright but spinach and cheese is still my favorite.
Visited the historical museum of Crete. Was a good display of the last 1500 years of Crete history. Learnt about how Crete has been Byzantine rule, Venetian, Egyptian and Turkish rule. The top floor had an informative display of the Germany occupation in world war 2.
Walked along the water front to the Koules fortress. Built by the venetians with distinctive lions it was fenced off and closed to the public so instead took the time to walk out the few km along the sea wall protecting the harbor port. Was windy walking along and the water would spray up onto the wall which provided for a nice walk. Took a break at the end to admire the view out over the ocean and watch the port. It was fairly quiet though... I guess everyone was at home having the afternoon nap.
Walked back to the hotel via the bus station so I could pick up a timetable for the bus tomorrow to chania. Rested before heading out for dinner finished off with frozen yogurt and then as I try to eat something different when I am out I had a small kalitsouni lyhnari, which is a sweet cheese muffin. Was alright.