One of the highlights of my day in Greece today, living a Travelife, was a meeting with the Regional Governor of Crete, the honourable Stavros Arnaoutakis.
Governor Arnaoutakis is a dynamic and very popular political figure who has just been re-elected to another five-year term.
He holds office in the heart of downtown Heraklion, in a charming low-rise yellow building humming with activity.
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AN OFFICE FULL OF ACTIVITY
When I walked in to see him, I passed his office anteroom filled with people waiting for an audience with him. I even saw a Greek Orthodox priest in one corner.
We had a very nice chat about Crete including about his ambitious plans for his beloved island. They’re planning to expand their airport to accommodate more direct flights from around the world, including from Asia.
That’s me, being interviewed today by the Greek media about tourism and Asia
At the moment, Heraklion airport mainly deals with domestic flights and certain charter flights from around Europe. There are no direct flights from Asia.
And they’re also looking to do more business with Asian countries, including China and the Philippines.
TWO WEEKS OF SPECTACULAR VIEWS LAST TIME,
MORE SIGHTSEEING THIS TIME
We also talked about the charms of Crete, and he was very happy to note that I had once spent two weeks in Crete, in the beautiful Elounda area of the island, famous for its amazing coastline views.
The Governor gave me this lithograph of a 17th century map of Crete as a present today
On that visit, we’d hardly left our villa as the views from our terrace were simply spectacular and it was just so nice to relax on the terrace with a good book and a glass of wine.
So on this visit, I was glad to do more sightseeing, including visiting the Palace of Knossos and the newly-renovated archaeological museum of Heraklion.
THE MAMMOTH PALACE OF KNOSSOS
The Palace of Knossos, which is the second most visited attraction in the whole of Greece and an important UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must-visit if you are an antiquities buff.
At the Palace of Knossos
Meanwhile, the archeological museum of Heraklion was excellent, filled with fascinating objects from the ancient Minoan culture.
You must visit the Palace of Knossos first, to get a background on Minoan culture. And then it’s good to head for the museum to see the objects they used in their lives.
That’s our guide, explaining in details the intricacies and practices of the Minoan society, at the archeological museum of Heraklion
I’ve been to so many archeological museums all over the world by now, but the museum of Heraklion was truly a surprise in terms of quality, and definitely worth a visit.