3 Reasons to Choose Heraklion as a Home Base to Explore Crete in Greece

Speaking of Greece, people usually think about the blue and white backdrop of the breathtaking Santorini. But Crete is in fact the largest and most populous Greek island and in my opinion, a perfect getaway. My first stop on this island was its capital city, Heraklion.

Heraklion is a nostalgic city, full of historical heritage and old buildings. From museums, palaces, ruins, Lions Fountain to the distinctive yellow building style, it tells of the ancient history and culture of the Minoan civilisation, the very first advanced Bronze Age Civilisation in Europe. The civilisation dated back to around 2700 BC when Heraklion was the port of the centre of the civilisation, the Palace of Knossos. There are fascinating legends about the palace, one of which says King Minos, in Greek mythology the first king in Crete and son of Zeus, lived in the palace. The Minoan civilisation was named after him. It’s amazing how the Greek history is intertwined with mysterious legends.

Today the ruins of the palace remain on Kephala Hill. Through the frescos and remains we can learn more about one of the oldest and mysterious cultures on earth. A relaxing day like this in the old town marked the beginning of my trip in Crete.

The reasons why I chose Heraklion as a home base to explore Crete in Greece:

  1. There was a direct flight from Paris to Heraklion, and the hotel I stayed was only 15-minute drive away from the Heraklion Airport.
  2. The Heraklion Port is the main hub to take ferries to different islands  near Crete including Santorini.
  3. Heraklion is located in the middle of the north coast of Crete, making it convenient to go either East or West to different destinations.

Read more or book: Hotels in Heraklion


三大原因選擇伊拉克利翁作為發掘克里特島的根據地

說到希臘,人們不其然想起聖托里尼的藍白風光,大家都忘記了克里特島才是希臘最大及人口最多的島嶼。島上一派詩情畫意,絕對是完美的度假勝地。我在克里特島的第一站是其首都伊拉克利翁。

伊拉克利翁是米諾斯文明的的發源地,所以城內充滿歷史遺跡和建築,從博物館、宮殿、遺址、廣場,到標誌性的黃磚牆,一一印證着這重要的愛琴海文明的歷史和文化。米諾斯文明是歐洲較早期的青銅時代,可追溯至公元前約2700年,當時米諾斯文明的政治和經濟重心在克諾索斯宮殿,而伊拉克利翁就是克諾索斯的港口。關於克諾索斯宮殿的神話傳說有很多,例如說宙斯的兒子米諾斯是克里特島的第一個王,並住在克諾索斯宮殿中。而米諾斯文明亦以其來命名,這種歷史和神話交錯的故事為此地增添許多神秘色彩。

今天,克諾索斯宮殿的遺址仍佇立在凱夫拉山上,透過壁畫和遺蹟向我們訴說這古老神秘的文明。如此便度過輕鬆的一天,讓我在克里特島有個愉快的開始。

我選擇伊拉克利翁作為我發掘克里特島根據地的原因︰

  1. 交通方便,有直航從巴黎到伊拉克利翁,從伊拉克利翁機場到我住的酒店只需十五分鐘

  2. 伊拉克利翁港口是乘搭渡輪到達周邊島嶼包括聖托里尼的主要交通樞紐

  3. 伊拉克利翁位於克里特島北岸中部,方便前往東西兩邊不同目的地

更多相關資訊︰伊拉克利翁酒店

Red-eye Flight

I attended an international conference in Tokyo last week. Though it was not a planned trip, I decided to pay the visit to meet old friends and make new ones. I thought it might be a good opportunity to get an update on how different parts of the world had been developing their cities to make them smarter.

Traditionally, November is a busy month to me, for her approaching the year end. To be able to attend, I had to take the midnight flight so as to save time and costs. The flight was about 4 hours from Hong Kong to Tokyo, which was a bit embarrassing – it was not short, yet not long enough for a nice sleep. I ended up finishing the Ghostbusters 2016 movie while having a few incomplete naps. The reward was the very beautiful sunrise (see the above photo).

Upon arrival to the hotel, I was provided with access to the gym and pool. I was so tired though that I went to sleep right away. No wonder my mentors always remind me not to take a red-eye flight, where possibly, as that does not save much of the effective, productive time.

While feeling a bit exhausted, I managed to make the conference on time, and had made a lot of very interesting new friends from US, EU, Latin America, India, Middle East and Asia. Will I still take the red-eye flight? Maybe when situation comes.


搭夜機能省時?

上星期我到東京出席一個國際會議,這不是計劃好的行程,我決定順道去探望老朋友,並認識新朋友,亦是個好機會了解世界各地在智慧城市上的發展。

一般十一月對我而言是個忙碌的月份,因為將近年尾。為了出席這個會議,我特意搭夜機來節省時間和費用。從香港飛東京約四小時,時間不算短但又不夠好好睡一覺,十分尷尬。結果我在機上半夢半醒中看完了整套捉鬼敢死隊(Ghostbusters)(2016)。驚喜的是可以看見美麗的日出。(見上圖)

由於太疲累我一到酒店就睡了,也沒有使用酒店的健身房和泳池。難怪我的導師曾告誡我如果可以選擇的話,不要搭夜機,因為無助節省有效率和高生產力的工作時間。

雖然略帶疲憊,我還是準時出席會議。會議上認識了來自美國、歐盟、拉丁美洲、印度、中東和亞洲的朋友,留下美好的回憶。下次我還會搭夜機嗎?可能只有在必要的情況下吧。