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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

372: Grecian two thousand (and sixteen)

Ryanair flies from Warsaw to Athens so I thought I would make my first ever trip to the mainland of Greece and then fly on, with Aegean Air, to Crete. I flew there last Thursday evening and back again on Sunday. A long way to go for a weekend but hey, life is short enough - you have to squeeze as much out of it as you can.
Ryanair often gets a bad press but I've (almost always) found them to be OK. I invariably pay extra for an exit seat and that makes all the difference for me and my long legs. Sitting in 1C gives priority boarding and gets you first off the plane. Sometimes I get a tiny bit exasperated (who me?) when I see people dawdling whilst boarding and disembarking. Sunday's trip back to Warsaw was interesting. Firstly the plane was half an hour or so late taking off - the captain said it was to do with the flight plan and related documentation. We sat patiently on the plane waiting for clearance to take off. Secondly, once we'd finally got airborne, there was quite a bit of 'light to medium' turbulence which meant that the fasten seat belt sign was lit for much of the flight. There was a sizeable group of young children who had obviously OD'd on coke and any other diuretic they could lay their hands on. The flight attendants had to carefully allow them to use the lavatories even when the fasten seat belts sign was lit, otherwise there would surely have been a few wet patches appearing on trousers, and seats.
Anyway, back to the story. I had a couple of hours to spare in Athens on Friday morning just enough time to take the metro to the Acropolis stop and very quickly walk around the Parthenon "etc". There was quite a queue to get in and I had neither the time, nor the inclination to queue up for admission. It was enough for me to have walked around it and seen it from a few different angles. 






Continuing the cultural theme I managed to visit Knossos palace on Crete. The site is extensive. 15 euros admission but 8 for OAP citizens of the EU! I'm pleased I got in on a 'cheapy' but I wonder if I will still be eligible after the referendum on Thursday! Reading up about it afterwards I discovered that the Minoan civilization, based on Crete, pre-dates even the Ancient Greek period. According to Wikipedia, and we all know that's never wrong :), it flourished from approximately 3650 to 1400 BC. I notice that many reference works are now using CE (Common, or Current Era) and BCE (Before Common, or Curretn Era) in place of AD and BC. I prefer to stick with BC and AD (Before Christ and Anno Domini). Perhaps because of my own vintage!  



I'll have a large gym & tonic please!

And for my video clip, who else but Demis Roussos with his hit "Forever and ever"