Saturday, November 08, 2008

Iraklio, Capital of Crete


Most people wouldn't know of Iraklio on the Greek island of Crete, even though it is Greece's six largest city. The reason people know this city is because it is the gateway to the Palace of Knossos, an ancient Minoan ruin site.


But I actually like Iraklio not because it's modern and busy. I just like the look of it and there are lots of things to discover around the town. I loved walking down to the port taking photos in the afternoon then walking back to the city centre where so many people were shopping with full bags of clothes and shoes.


To get to Iraklio, we had driven from Hania further along the coast to the east. Of all the places in Greece, Iraklio was the most difficult to find accommodation. The one way traffic system didn't help as we couldn't actually stop to check out the few hotels in town. We ended up driving out the coast to the local beach at Gournes to find a hotel.


Knossos is a pretty amazing site, though I was more impressed by the Acropolis in Athens and the Sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi. Unfortunately, there were too many tour groups at such a small place and they all arrived at the same time and were of different nationalities. I felt like I was in the middle of the market as I couldn't relax. The tour groups took over with their tour guides explaining the site and standing in front of the ruin sites. In fact, some of the rooms required us to queue in the hot sun to get in. Like some other places in the world, including Vietnam, tourism needs to regulated in Knossos. I've never seen so many busloads of package tourists in my life.


Anonymous said...

I love Knossos very much. One of my friend from Knossos and I visited her lastyear. Thanks for bringing back our great memories

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