Ηράκλειο

October 17, 2018 by Lucian Mogosanu

So these past two months I've, in some order or another: been sucked into heathendom and its tar pits, came out of it, spent little to no time touching computers, spent more time away from the place I call home than near it (in three other places -- or four, maybe five, since we're still counting), saw places, met people, said a "fuck this, I'm gonna take this backpack1 and fly away" more than once, and a few other very important stuff which I shan't recount here. So this is how I, for starters, ended up in southern Greece, on this very nice island where all the Cretans live2. And while this wasn't my first time in Greece, it was my first time going there this decade and the first time I got closer to Istanbul, Antalya or Nicosia than Bucharest. I guess that has to count for something, so let's see how this first trip of mine went!

Above: a bunch of things gathered together, as seen from a vantage point somewhere in Heraklion. The buildings at the left of this photo hide the town centre, with its taverns and boutiques and all the soulless tourist stuff, only this time with an actual soul: the place is quite lively in the late afternoons and evenings, when the cafés are full, the children are playing around and some guy is sitting at the edge of a fountain, pouring some popanglosong out of his guitar and his mouth, only with a pronounced Greek accent.

The central piece of the photo above is, as I suppose you have well noticed, the Mediterranean. The northern part of the town is separated from the sea by a small gulf hosting a bunch of yachts, itself separated from the sea by a pier. Below: a photo of the gulf and the pier in question.

Smack dab in the middle of the pier, one can see a fortress. And much like that other one, this one was also part of -- and in fact founded by -- a group calling itself a Most Serene Republic. Only from the looks of it, this one was much better preserved, which makes it a lovely sight.

Above: the town, the sea, the pier. Below: the eastern part of Heraklion, as seen from far away. Somewhere in the far plane there's a small, white, round object hiding -- very probably a radome, possibly from the airport.

Above, another shot of the fortress on the pier. Yes, the thing above on the wall is the Venetian lion. Pictured below: a shore that is definitely not located in Heraklion.

Speaking of which, if you haven't tried Mediterranean foods by now, you've no idea what you've been missing. Yes the seafood is great, but that aside, even cheapfoods such as the ol' boring tzatziki and gyros are a joy to the palate when served in the right venue. Not to mention that they're very easy to prepare at home, given the right ingredients.

Further below, some photos of the palace -- though whether it was actually a palace or not remains a point of debate -- of Knossos. There's more where that came from, and I'm not going to insist on this particular photo session. First because most of the cool objects from Knossos are now in the archaeological museum in Heraklion, which I have indeed visited. However, I didn't take any photos of the cool objects, as I was way too charmed by the guide, a woman in her forties who gave an excellent account of (pre)historical Crete, as dumbed down as that was.

The second reason for my lack of interesting archaeological photos is that Knossos was full of orcs. I don't know how I'm supposed to imagine myself in 2000BC when the place is swarming with people dressed in jeans, most of them loud as fuck and standing in the way, both physically, and that of actually enjoying the thing. So no, that's not an archaeological site, it's a shitshow.

And in more modern shitshows, a snek.

Above, the very same view from the vantage point, only this time a storm was brewin', yarr! Fortunately, the weather got better later that day, and I took off and, well:

Above, another shore that was definitely not located in Heraklion. All in all, that's all that I (unfortunately!) managed to get through the lens this time. Τα λέμε!


  1. And this is how I once again find out that a 30L backpack can easily fit all the necessaries for travelling, plus some extra junk. My guess is that this volume can be reduced by at least 5L, maybe more, assuming a place to wash clothes and dry them -- which brings us more into the 15-25L range suggested by well-traveled Republicans. Not being much of a nomad myself, I can't say I'm very eager to try out this "life style", but on the other hand it's quite something to get the perspective of how much one doesn't really need in order to enjoy their time on this Earth.

    Life, y'know. 

  2. This is such a horrible, horrible pun, and how long I've waited to make it! 

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2 Responses to “Ηράκλειο”

  1. [...] of further pain, spilled guts and rivers of blood. This is how, back in November, after months of rollercoaster-ing, I've ended up in a similar situation; and how, after further rollercoaster-ing and making the [...]

  2. [...] be they stray or owned. I'm guessing they must like the seaside, there were many of them in Heraklion as well. Below, birds, swimming and [...]

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