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Ruins not as colorful as a peacock

Those of you who have read this blog before may know that I love ruins. There’s something about seeing and experiencing the remains of a long-gone civilization that really excites me.

We have marveled at the ruins of London, Paris, Rome, Athens, Olympia, Pompeii, Agrigento, Delos, Ostia Antica, Ephesus, Giza, Saqqara and probably some I don’t even remember. They’re always my favorite site to see in any location.

So I was surprised at my reaction to Knossos, the Minoan site on the island of Crete. I wasn’t all that impressed and it didn’t get me the way most of the other ruins I’ve seen did.

Maybe it was the heat (it was viciously hot and we stood a great deal of time in the sun), or the fact that it was packed. Literally very little room to move around and lines to see everything, it seemed. Or maybe it was our tour guide who kept harping on little things that didn’t seem important and ignored the greater story.

Maybe it was the woman in our group who passed out and had to be evacuated by ambulance. Or the annoying child in our group who kept stepping on my toes and getting in the way of every picture I tried to take. Maybe it was that the ruins are not that extensive, and the best bits have been photographed to death. It didn’t seem any better to see it for real than to read a book about it.

But it was kind of ho-hum.

I took the requisite bull picture … but the most fun was the peacock at the end. By the gift shop (also ho-hum) there was a peacock, clearly unimpressed by his reflection in the shop window, which I imagine he thought was a rival male. He kept strutting and attacking – falling back every time of course, and it was interesting to watch.

The pictures and video I have of him are my fondest memory of Knossos.

Who knew a peacock could upstage 4000-year old ruins?


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