Our last stop on the European tour was the island of Crete – a much larger venture than I ever anticipated. We hung around Heraklion and the south of the island, venturing all the way to the south tip of the island, where we found another island: Spinalonga. It has a rich history – from medieval forts to modern leper colony, now it lies empty save the tourists arriving from Plaka and Elounda daily.
These flags below sat on the top of the central hill of Spinalonga, being whipped in the fierce winds (which I would imagine can be much more harsh). While I’m not exactly sure of their purpose, my guess is that they warned possible island adventurers to steer clear for death and leprosy awaited them on the island if they set foot on it. They also might be part of an art installation.
It turned out that we would never forget the experience as it ended in us getting drenched to our underwear.
Cretan weather, they say.
On our way off of Crete, we visited Knossos Palace, the ancient complex where King Minos and other Minoan kings ruled. It survived buried under the ground until the ruins were discovered and dug up in the early 20th century. The archaeologist took his own liberties with the ruins by painting them all different colors, including restoring some frescoes (some of which truly were stretches of the imagination). So, really, these pillars and walls probably didn’t look as they do in the photo below.