Sunday, April 5
Sites Visited: Phaistos, Ayia Triada, Kommos
Where did we stay tonight?: Rethymno
Leaders: Jerry Guo and Ally Begly
Note: This entry requires familiarity with the X-Files television series
Specials Agents Guo and Begly reporting
0730 Matala, Crete
Dawn broke over an ominous grey horizon. The approaching storm clouds heralded a day that was to be full of looming terror. The Agents awoke the rest of the group and collected the keys while everyone at bread and coffee in the dark and shadowy café downstairs. A Smoking Man sat in the corner – no one knew who he was. An omen of the mysteries to come joined us in the café – an adorable kitty cat was loved by all.
0830 Phaistos, Crete
Speeding away in our bus, we attempted to outrun the heavy grey clouds and ephemeral spirits that infested the town of Matala. Our hotel overlooked a series of caves sunk into the cliff wall that tower over the beach. The Romans buried their dead there. The hippies lived there for a while too.
But we arrived at the ancient, mystical palace of Phaistos, the origin of the legendary Phaistors Disk. We spent our morning exploring the dark and narrow corridors of the palace, attempting to decipher the function and meaning of the now empty rooms. Scattered remains of the once great Minoan civilization surrounded our investigation that morning. We interrogated Greco Cat, our ever present companion, about the mysteries of the palace, but as always, he remained silent. Agent Guo fed him some turkey, but he still would not speak, perhaps because of the Minoan essence haunting the ancient site.
1245 Ayias Triada, Crete
After a long report on the mysteries of the palace, the Agents boarded the bus and made the short, but winding and confusing, journey down to the ruins of Ayia Triada, an ancient villa that housed a brilliantly painted sarcophagus whose meaning is difficult for any Agent to determine. As the Agents disembarked from the bus, the thunder began to rumble in the distance, a warning from the site of the dangers that were to come
A sudden lightning storm forced Agent Begly to take refuge in a small Byzantine church. A lone candle flickered within, and the faded faces of a Byzantine fresco gazed heavily into the distance, their painted lips closed holding a secret we would never know.
After the storm let up, the Agents made their way back to the bus to steal a little rest and dream of the Phaistos Disk, whose origins were certainly extraterrestrial in nature. Even Agents Faro and Murray could not agree upon the origins of the disk, whether it was a forgery or a gift from another world. What is clear, however, is the disk had some powerful properties, perhaps granting supernatural powers to the viewer. Though Agent Guo disagrees, Agent Begly is a true believer.
1515 Kommos, Crete
We ran from the storm clouds like rats from a sinking ship. As we wound through the mountain passes, many Agents swore seeing black helicopters and unidentified flying objects whizzing between the peaks. We arrived at Kommos and the weather took a strange turn: the sun broke through the clouds and we were overwhelmed by a strange heat.
We trekked for miles along the beach attempting to find the elusive site of Kommos. When we arrived we were surprised by its seductive beauty. The vines crawling along the walls reminded us of a miniature Hanging Garden of Babylon.
AD Murray gave the other Agents a background on the Kommos site. We were left to determine the function of a Phoenician shrine among monumental Greek architecture.
1900 Rethymnon, Crete
We arrived in Rethymnon in the evening exhausted from our long day attempting to decipher the secrets of the Minoan past. With the rest of the Agents, we journeyed to a small café along the cobblestone streets still wet from the recent storm. Although the food was delicious and the company was excellent, Agents Guo and Begly still found their minds wandering to the possible extraterrestrial nature of the Phaistos Disk.
We want to believe.
Phaistos lecture clip:
Ayia Triada in the rain:
Dramatic Hesiod reading vis-a-vis shipshed use at Kommos: