Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009 – Iraklion, Crete, Greece

      Iraklion (or Heraklion), is the largest city in Crete and the capital of the island.  It’s also the fourth largest city in Greece.  Iraklion  is a busy town, a communications hub that receives and distributes most tourism traffic arriving on the island, but light industry and agriculture in the periphery, also affects the life.

     Iraklion is located in the middle of the north beach really close to Knossos and has one of the most interesting archeological museums of the world.  The city of Iraklion still enjoys its reputation as one of the most attractive Mediterranean capitals.

IMG_5293 Stitch Iraklion

     NCL had a shuttle bus to get us through the port.  There are a few shops in the terminal.  We walked through quickly, and I missed seeing the Internet cafe.  It was a good walk to the bus station, maybe a little over a mile.  The local bus to Knossos was 3,60 Euro round trip per person.  The city is very busy.  The ride was 20 to 25 minutes and we got off at the last stop.

     The entrance fee to Knossos is 6 Euro per person.  There really wasn’t too much to see so I’m glad we weren’t on a tour.  Most of it was really ruins except for the throne room, which was restored.  Of course there were souvenir shops on the road. 

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Quite a crowd was waiting for the return trip, many of them Cruise Critic friends.  The bus driver put everyone on the bus!  The next to the last stop would have left you near the museum, but we stayed on till the end, the bus station.  There was a hotel nearby, so I used their wireless.  When we finally got back to the terminal by the ship, we saw people using their laptops.  Oh well, I will know better for the next cruise.  It sure would be nice if the cruise lines would let you know what is available in the terminals.  We had lunch in the Blue Lagoon on deck 8.  It is open 24 hours.

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     There were 2 shows tonight.  The first was Yalb – a musical journey around the world.  Omar Gonzalez  is a master of over 30 instruments from the pan flute of South America to the bagpipes of Scotland.  It was a very enjoyable show.  We went to the casino for a little while then back to the Stardust theater for “And the World Goes Round”, a brassy, sophisticated revue of classic Broadway songs by Kander & Ebb.  A very enjoyable night.

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