As usual, we have been keeping busy. The plan was to go to Knossos yesterday, but someone didn’t sleep well (ahem, D) so no one slept well, and we stayed in bed a little later than planned to compensate. So plans were switched, and we ventured to the Cretaquarium instead.
After some intensive online study of the bus routes, we finally figured out how to get to the aquarium, 14km east of the city. We then got to enjoy a 12 minute walk through most of an abandoned US military base to get to the seaside aquarium, which is in one the the renovated buildings. Yup, as weird as it sounds. Anyway, D had an absolute blast at the aquarium, and Z and I enjoyed it more than we thought we would. D ran from tank to tank and back again to ooh and aah at the fish and creatures. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon.
Today we then journeyed to Knossos and after waiting a little more than 30 minutes for a bus that never showed, we took a taxi to the site. It was one of the weirdest archaeological sites we’ve ever been too, and not weird in the creepy way, but weird in the “I don’t think that’s what that was” or “This plaque doesn’t make it sound like this is correct” way. The site is an ancient Minoan civilization site, and the excavation and recreation was largely led by one man, who may have taken certain liberties with interpretation and reconstruction. So some things seemed weird. There were also a ton of tour groups, which has been an annoyance lately, mostly because they block things and people don’t move when you ask them to nicely. Anyway, it was still neat to see, and we were able to catch a bus back to the city center.
We then enjoyed an indulgence of McDonalds for lunch and they even had a play place for D to conquer.
Later this evening we took D to a local playground to run around for a while. (You may be sensing a theme here, someone is still not sleeping well, so none of us are sleeping well. Therefore, the goal is exhaustion so we all get sleep.) D found his tribe in a small group of toddlers who also enjoyed throwing small rocks on the slide and moving them up and down. Good to know certain types of fun transcend language and culture. When we got back, we saw our AirBnB hostess (the couple live upstairs, we are renting their basement apartment), who invited us to have some fruit and relax. We ended up spending most of the evening talking with her and her husband and enjoying their adorable 8 month son.
Really, it’s those things that I value the most about traveling. Unexpected moments of joy and peace. Meeting people, sharing stories and experiences. We talked about parenting, tradition, education, travel, and work. We touched on the banking crisis and maternity leave. We laughed at the boys being cute together and enjoyed their company (and delicious libations). It was a truly lovely evening, and time I’ll fondly remember from our trip. We hope to have more of these moments interspersed with our time making memories at beautiful places and visiting incredible sights. This is why we travel, and I’m glad for the timely reminder as we face the remaining days of our trip.