Here are some more photos from Greece. The first are from the island of Patmos, where St. John the Divine is believed to have written down the New Testament book of Revelation in a cave. In 1088, a monastery was built above the site. Alas, the Greek orthodox priests are absolute in their insistence that no photos be taken inside the cave or the monastery. I did take many in the portico before you enter the monastery. I'm also including a photo of the Aegean and the cruise ship as well as sixteenth-century windmills. The guide explained that there are many windmills on the island, but these are actually restored and working ones from 500 years ago.
In a response to this email, I will include photos from Knossos.
The actual reason I booked with Louis Cruises was because ever since I was in college and studied Bronze Age Greece I have wanted to see the remains of the Minoan civilization, which was destroyed some time after 1500 BC probably by earthquakes and volcanoes. Even though its script, Linear A, has still not been deciphered, the wall paintings of aristocratic women, snake goddesses, bull leapers, and so forth, fascinated me.
Louis Cruises was one of the only cruise sites for short cruises that I found that stopped at Heraklion, near the Palace of Knossos. Knossos is linked to the story of King Knossos and his Minotaur, who lived in the labyrinth. According to legend, the Athenian hero Theseus, who sought to stop the export of 7 young girls and 7 young boys each year as tribute to fight the bull, went there himself. With the help of Ariadne, he was able to kill the Minotaur and find his way out again. Unfortunately on his way home, he forgot to change his sail to white to tell his father (as his boat approached) Cape Sounio that he was returning alive. His father is said to have jumped from the cliffs in grief.
Alas, my photos are not too good. I would have liked to have had at least two days in Knossos rather than two hours. The guide took us to many but not most of the sites, but unfortunately one had to lean down to take photos of interiors behind fences and gates -- so my photos are askew. Sorry! ProfChiara