Friday, March 6, 2015

Archanes and Anemospilia Crete

First days of March 2015

If you just have a couple hours before a flight out of Iraklion...go to Archanes and walk on Youchtas.

We did just that on a cold late afternoon a few days ago- it was well worth it. I want to just remark about the interesting synergy created by enhancing the archaeological site of Anemospilia with an effort to promote the local flora! Anemospilia - located on the phrygana hillside of Youchtas (a Natura 2000 site) at about 450 m. elevation is somewhat famous as a Minoan sanctuary were it was said a human sacrifice may have been preformed. This was made famous in a National Geographic article back in 1981 - even I remember reading it! So people my age visit...

Anyway, the site is fenced and really not much too see unfortunately. But the local Natural History Museum has taken an initiative to sign-post the flora. So you walk around the site's fence and learn your local flowers!!! This has been a rather wet year, and at this elevation few species are flowering. (Much snow on the high mountains still!). We were happy to find the first orchids, spurges, irises. And just enjoy the varied phrygana scrubscape.

Later, we visited the village...and asked why and how is it so well "preserved"? The "archeology" they replied. Thank God! At least there is a God of Archeology that has saved some Cretan villages, some landscapes. It is a beautiful village - and more should mimic it. Just 15' from bustling Iraklion.

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