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The Mythical History of Knossos

The Heritage Greece Program so far has been a wonderful experience where peers and participants have come together to learn new things from each other and from the activities the program provides. I personally enjoyed the tours in the Acropolis museum, the Benaki Museum. Also, the trip to Crete was a fun learning experience, where we visited the Knossos ruins archaeological site, Elafonissi Beach and Manousakis Winery. I loved the Knossos archaeological site because I got to see up close the oldest city of Minoan civilization, which I had learned about before in school, but never saw. As I am a visual arts student I enjoyed the frescoes of the dolphins and the depiction of women. We learned the story of Minos, the king who lived at the palace of Knossos. We learned about the mythology of the Minotaur, a half human and half bull creature. We learned how this creature came to be in the labyrinth of Minos. Before the Minotaur was born, Poseidon had sent a bull as gift to King Minos, to sacrifice. Aphrodite, the god of sexual desire made the queen, Pasiphae, fall in love with the bull, which led them to have the Minotaur. Minos protected the Minotaur by keeping him in the labyrinth. Mino’s son, Androgeus participated in the Panathenaic games in Athens and won prizes from the contest. When the Athenians killed him, they had to send seven girls and seven boys every year as a sacrifice to the labyrinth. We then learned about the myth of Thisseus and how he killed the Minotaur with the help of princess Ariadne. As a visual artist I enjoyed the Queen’s room, which was decorated by dolphins. I too was reminded about my Greek Heritage by going through these stories that day (June 18, 2016).

Alexia-Celia Peza, Saturday, June 18

Anastasia Perreault Elafonisi Beach

Elafonissi beach was absolutely gorgeous. We spent the day exploring, splashing, tanning, and burning. Of course, it’s even better with the fantastic Heritage Greece crew. Week one of Greece has been amazing, and I cannot wait to see what week two brings!

Anastasia Perreault

Marina Stelmack Elafonisi Beach

Yesterday, we went to Elafonissi Beach, which is voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. The clear water was absolutely breathtaking, and pink sand lined the shore of the beach. We explored the different islands of the beach and then relaxed in the shallow water. It was definitely a day to remember!!

Marina Christina

Alina Syros Elafonisi Beach

Yesterday we went to Elafonissi beach. It was the most beautiful beach I have ever been to! I had so much fun exploring with my friends and spending the day in the water. It was truly a day I will never forget!

Alina Syros

Afroditi Mouxlianiti (ACG Peers) Elafonisi Beach

The program is really good. Although it is intense the places we go and the activities we do keep you interested. You get to meet a lot of interesting people with each having diffetent stories . We have educational as well as fun activities . My favourite experience was the beach at Elafonisi in Crete! It was amazingly beautiful! Crystal clear turqoise and emerald waters, and pink sand. I am glad I got the opportunity to experience such a thing!

Afroditi Mouxlianiti

Jerry Rasias Knossos Visit

The trip in Crete was incredible. Knossos was amazing to see and to learn about. The beach Elaphonisis was one of the coolest I’ve ever experienced. The sand was perfect and there were no waves and the weather was great. The nightlife was very fun as well.

Jenna Nikolopoulos Benaki Museum

I really enjoyed the religious aspect of the museum. This icon really stuck out to me because it is the only one contained in a glass case, but I loved looking at all of the different icons that were displayed. They have been preserved extremely well and look as if they are new. It was amazing to see the different icons from different time periods and how the artist decided to portray each one.

Jenna Nikolopoulos

Maria Gergoudis Benaki museum and Oloi Mazi Mporoume Concert

Today began with our usual Greek class, where we practiced ordering food at a ταβέρνα and then headed to a culture seminar. This afternoon we toured the Benaki museum, which is especially unique since it combines ancient treasures as well as more recent artifacts. My favorite parts of the day were dinner on the rooftop of the museum, as well as a concert we attended in the Panathenaic stadium. Sitting in the stadium listening to Greek music with thousands of other people and the Acropolis in the distance was a beautiful sight, and a few of us enjoyed some ice cream as well– the perfect end to a full day.

Maria Gergoudis

Peter Katsogiannos Museum visit & concert

The Ottoman occupation of Greece is a subject that has not been covered in any school textbook I’ve ever read. The occupation was a dark time for Greece and many of my ancestors suffered during it. I appreciated how much of the museum placed a focus on the parts of Greek history that society tends to shy away from. Upon completing the tour of the museum I had a much deeper understanding of the strife and turmoil this country has suffered.

I believe that studying these parts of history respects those who suffered during them. I’m glad the Benaki museum is making it a part of their goal to exhibit such pieces and am happy that I was a part of this program which allowed me to experience it.

Nik Douvris 2

Nik Douvris Museum visit & concert

Today was a busy day that started off with our Greek Language class with Dr. Zevgoli at The American College of Greece. After, we had an interesting seminar in Greek culture and got some basic background information on Greece and its history. In the afternoon, we went to the world renowned Benaki Museum and saw many Greek items dating from 5000 BC all the way to modern times. Finally, after eating a wonderful rooftop dinner at The Benaki Museum we went to the Kallimarmaro Stadium for the “Oloi Mazi Mporoume” Concert.

Nik Douvris 1