If you substitute an olive for the apple, it does seem like paradise here. The weather is spectacular, the air is sweet, the flowers are overflowing their branches, and the water is crystal-clear.
We aren’t the only ones enjoying Chania today, but the crowd was minimal compared to what the summer must be like.
Today we strolled along the port and saw several museums dedicated to aspects of Chanian history. The first was a Maritime museum, which addressed the 6,000 years that this port has been active.
Those ancient slaves were useful in so many ways, not the least of which was rowing those huge Greek triremes with three levels of oarsmen, all pulling together. A cutaway shows how they worked. There was also a model of the still-standing Venetian boat dockyards, which held later generations of ships. Every culture and every generation figured out how to navigate efficiently around these waters, and the fleets must have been beautiful.
A highlight of the port is the Turkish Mosque Yiali Tzami, which was built in the 17th century, but lost its minaret in the twentieth century. Given Greek feelings about the Turks, it’s surprising that it still stands. (Interesting that the time of the Turks is always called the Ottoman Occupation, but one never hears anything negative about the Venetian rule. Must be the religious thing…)
Our next stop was the Archaeological Museum, housed in a 16th c. church. Lots of the exhibits here – as in other museums we have visited – have signs prohibiting photographs, as the material has not yet been published. It would seem like someone should be more eager to document some of these things, but that’s what happens when you have so much, I guess. People just get spoiled.
Don thinks we should put a mosaic floor in our garden – get a Mosaics-by-Number kit or something. I think that’s a swell idea, but suspect we should have started it several decades ago.
For fun, we also went on a glass-bottomed boat trip around the harbor area for an hour. The thrill is that our captain goes into the water and feeds the fish, and then leads them under the boat to the glass ‘windows.’ While the boat is anchored for this part, any passenger who wants a swim can join in. We did have one candidate in our group – a young Adonis who stripped down to his underwear and grabbed a snorkel. The fish were fun, but he was especially pleasant to watch.
Such a gorgeous day. Do these people know how lucky they are?
Don’s Food Corner
Not wishing to risk disappointment, we returned to the restaurant that served up that great grilled octopus I had last night. And today it was still terrific.
While I was doing my bit to empty the waters of octopus, Jo was enjoying a very nicely grilled piece of swordfish. We started by splitting an order of Greek salad. The meal seemed so simple — and healthy. All those fresh ingredients, albeit bathed in olive oil. The flavors of paradise.