After the magical time we spent on Thira we headed to Crete, the biggest of the islands of Greece. First stop: its main city and port, Heraklion. We were hosted by a Couchsurfer here and aside from seeing some ruins at Knossos, we just took it easy for a few days and relaxed!
A view of the waterfront, one of the first things we saw when we got off the ferry from Thira!
Another waterfront photo...
A Venetian fortress on the water.
Another view of the harbour with the fortress in the background.
Random residential street just outside the centre of Heraklion.
Faces only mothers could love...
Ruins by the water.
The main square in Heraklion--we think it was called the Lions square, named so after the fountain seen here with the four lions. Cliff is tasting the air to test it for us...(Actually, he was imitating the lions' faces!)
Ruins at Knossos. Knossos, "also known as Labyrinth, or Knossos Palace, is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and probably the ceremonial and political centre of the Minoan civilization and culture," according to Wikipedia!
Stelios (our really hospitable CouchSurfing host in the black and white stripes) took us out to dinner with his brother, his brother's girlfriend, and some friends. In usual Greek style, there was a ton of food and drink on the table, and everyone made sure we got sent off from Heraklion with a great feast!
Sadly, we forgot to take photos of the spread of awesome deliciousness that was dinner. Some highlights included deep-fried mushrooms (which are amazing dipped in tzatziki) and baked feta in olive oil with freshly sliced tomato, green pepper, red pepper, onion, and oregano. What you see in the photo above are the remnants of dessert: fresh fruits, preserved orange, watermelon, and carrot (they're soaked in honey until it sort of resembles dense jelly), halvas (the semolina-based sweet you see next to the watermelon in the photo), and sweet-cheese-filled loukoumades (deep-fried homemade dough balls smothered in honey...amazing!!!). As is customary in Crete you are also given some complimentary Raki, a grape-based spirit, alongside dessert. Though we got some free Raki at the end Stefan drank lots while enjoying his Cretan feast!
Here you can see Margarita shocked at Stelios's and his brother George's food babies! We had some major food babies too!