Marjorie in Qatar (qatar) wrote,
Marjorie in Qatar
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We're in Chania!

I was surprised, when I started reading up on Crete, to realize that two familiar Greek myths take place here and not in Greece at all: Theseus and the Minotaur, and Icarus and Daedelus. Both of these stories revolve around the mythical King Minos, for whom the Minoan civilization was named. Whoever it was who really ruled the Minoans from Knossos, though, did so a millennium before the Greek pantheon rolled into town. It seems that the Minotaur story may have been invented much later by Greeks who saw the labyrinthine storerooms of Knossos, and its frescoes of sacred bulls, and put the two together.

At any rate, we escaped Knossos's maze of twisty passages all alike, having encountered no wildlife more threatening than a few grey and black crow-like birds.

Then, after a tasty lunch of crepes and gelato (hey, they can't all be spanakopita), we took a 3-hour busride to the pretty Venetian town of Chania (news flash: Venice had an empire??). The coastal highway makes Highway 1 in northern California look downright sane. Because the Mediterranean's tides are so minimal, the road can be shockingly close to the sea. That's true here in Chania, too. I'm writing this from the roof patio of our hotel (the whimsical Pension Teresa, where our room is up a flight of 45 stairs that somehow manages to spiral in both directions), looking down on old town. The entire neighborhood rings around the harbor, only a couple feet above the water level. Yet, judging from the age of these buildings (directly opposite me is an Ottoman mosque) flooding must not be a problem.

Speaking of Ottomans, we just enjoyed an amazingly delicious dinner in a former Turkish bathhouse (hamam), now Turkish restaurant named Tamam. Thought my friends in Doha would appreciate the pun.

Finally, in pregnancy-related news, while I've felt a couple questionable flutters in the last few weeks, I think I experienced my first outright kick today, on the bus to Chania. I like to the little dude was complaining that I was obscuring his view of the truly spectacular coastline.
Tags: greece, travel
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