Day 34: Saturday, April 29

Sites Visited: Knossos

Leaders: Dan and Victoria

This morning, we had an incredible tour of the Minoan Palace at Knossos. We were fortunate enough to be guided by the head of the British excavation team at the site, who was extremely knowledgeable. He gave us a 2.5 hour tour that included highlights such as the palace’s throne room, king’s and queen’s megara and living quarters, and storage space underneath the western wing of the palace, after which he said, “So, that’s a brief overview of the site.” We then got a quick tour of his workshop, where we were able to handle pottery from about 3500 years ago!
During the afternoon, everyone split up to explore the city of Heraklion. Most of us went the Museum of Natural History, which featured an earthquake simulation machine. A couple others went to the internet provider store to try to get our data sticks working- another hour and a half later we were successful! We celebrated our triumph with a nice afternoon nap.

Happy Minotaur day,

Dan, Vic, and the children who will hopefully not be consumed in the Labyrinth because Theseus is supposed to show up any time now. Theseus? Is that you? AHHHHHH!!

Day 33: Friday, April 28

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Sites Visited: Heraklion Museum

Group Leaders: Nat and Barg

Dear family, fans, friends, and haters,

Today we woke up in beautiful Heraklion, Crete. We had the morning off so most people slept in, with the exception of a few sickos who found a local gym. Said sickos also returned to the gym in the afternoon. After waking up late, we headed to a craft coffee shop recommended by TA DA Future Dr. Tim Shea and then to the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. The museum has material from the Neolithic through the Roman period, but the most interesting stuff by far was from the Minoan palaces on Crete. We spent all afternoon learning about Minoan material culture. Some notable finds in the museum included a boardgame from 3000 years ago, examples of early writing, and wonderful wall paintings.

After the museum, we had our third quiz, which covered material from the past few days. After that, we were free to enjoy the city and get ahead on our Crete projects.

See ya when I see ya,

NAF + AMB + other people


Happy to be at the museum

Day 31: Wednesday, April 26; Day 32: Thursday, April 27

**Tuesday, April 25 was a day off in Athens: NO BLOG**

DAY 31: Wednesday, April 26

Sites Visited: Piraeus Museum and Shipsheds

Leaders: Ben and Grace

Today was quite an eventful and full day. First off, we were down one student and Professor Hruby due to a medical situation (don’t worry, everyone is okay). That didn’t stop our plans, though; just made us modify them.
We began with a trip to see the Piraeus museum and a ship shed under the guidance of Tim Shea, and saw a ton of really cool stuff including a massive bronze Athena.

After a short lunch and coffee break, we got back on the train and headed to the Alexandros to get our bags and move them to professor Hruby’s apartment for the duration of our stay in Crete. Then we left for the airport, with Professor Hruby but sans Tim Shea. A very brief flight later, we were on the island of Santorini, where we stayed in an absolutely gorgeous hotel in which most of us fell asleep immediately.

Akrotir-ya later,
Ben and Grace

DAY 32: Thursday, April 27

Sites Visited: Akrotiri Excavations, Museum of Prehistoric Thera

Leaders: Michael Bodek and Saphfire

We woke up bright and early to maximize our few hours in Santorini. After eating the best breakfast of the FSP, we boarded a swanky bus to Akrotiri, a Bronze age settlement that was destroyed in a volcanic eruption in the 17th century BCE, and is incredibly well preserved. The settlement was advanced for its time, and it was the first Cycladic settlement we had seen. The water systems were well developed, and several buildings were multi-story skyscrapers. Wall paintings were found in situ, and the site was quite large. When the site was destroyed by a volcano, the people there were in the process of evacuating, so the site had things like furniture left outdoors. If we learned one thing from the site, it is that the Minoans are awesome!

We took a quick walk to the red sand beaches then headed back on the tour bus quality public bus to the prehistoric museum. Many wall paintings from Akrotiri were on display, as well as incredible Minoan pottery. We also saw a gold ibex at the museum.

After getting a short break during which we explored Santorini, we headed to the port to partake in the ritualistic ancient Greek tradition of boarding a ferry. Since ships pay per minute they are docked, they try to get people on and off the boats in as short a time as possible. In the span of five minutes several hundred people and a few dozen cars came off the ferry, and a similar amount of people and vehicles got on. We made our way onto the ferry, and two hours later we arrived in Crete, where we are now.

Timotheos Anesti!!!

Mike, Saph and nine other scrubs

Day 29: Monday, April 24

Sites Visited: Center for the Study of Traditional Pottery

Howdy,

Today, we returned to home base aka Athens via a flight. We had left early and once back from Cyprus, we attended a pottery workshop at the Center for the Study of Traditional Pottery. There, we learned about clay and were able to make our pots and figurines. The curator awarded the best pot to DA TA Future Doctor Tim Shea. We cleaned up and headed back to our hotel to rest up for our day off tomorrow.

Later,

Shania, Frankel, & everyone else.

Day 28: Sunday, April 23

Sites Visited: Kyrenia Castle, Bellapais Monastery, Salamis, St. Barnabas’s chapel

!!!!!!!

Today was our last day in Cyprus! We ventured over to the North side occupied by Turkey to see some stuff and things, but not without picking up our tour guide. Gradually throughout the day, we gave up trying to understand each other’s English, and instead we opted to have Frankel step in and translate the guide’s German. He should probably get paid or something for his services. Or not.

Our first stop was the harbor, where we got some picturesque views of the ocean. We then made our way to Kyrenia Castle a short drive away, and got some really pretty views of the harbor we just left. We peeked into the harbor’s museum to see a remarkably well-preserved and well-excavated Hellenistic shipwreck dating from 300 BC. They dated it with the almonds still on board, and we’re not sure how that works, but we’re nuts about it!

Bellapais Monastery was the next stop. There was a concert hall with great acoustics, so we all participated in the ancient ritual chant, “Heeeeeey, Miiiichael Bodek!” as is custom for our peoples. We took a little time to explore after that, and it was VERY windy and we all almost DIED falling off the Frankish fortification walls and into the sea, but we didn’t.

It was good we didn’t die, because we got some AWESOME food at a Popeye restaurant. Not Popeye’s, it was a Turkish restaurant with Popeye as their mascot. Weird. Anyway, it was soooo gooooood and we wanna go back already.

But we had to go to Salamis next, the legendary site that Teucer (the brother of Ajax) founded when he couldn’t go home after he failed to avenge his brother’s death. Or something. Anyway, it was time for site parkour! We went exploring the ancient Hellenistic and Roman bath complex, and saw some ancient bathrooms and mosaic domes. Pretty dope. It was a lot of people’s favorite site today, because we get really excited about baths now. They’re so cool.

Our last stop of the day was St. Barnabas’ chapel, where the saint is buried and pilgrimage stuff goes on. We marveled at some ancient pottery and some Byzantine icons, and then finally headed home to Nicosia to rest. We leave tomorrow morning for Athens, wish us kalo taxidi!

d o n t t o u c h t h e a n t i q u i t i e s,

Vic, Student Tim, and da squish