The Life and Soul of the Underworld

Palace of Knossos

One of our first trips together was spent in Crete. It seemed like the ideal location. There was glorious sunshine, a warm sea and the opportunity to walk down a busy road crying “Ooh ah Malia” with a belly full of overly sweetened alcohol, if we so wished. It also had the added bonus of being the birthplace of Zeus and home of the minotaur.

We caught a local bus from our the resort, through Heraklion and on to Knossos. There were stalls selling faux artefacts and general tack. Tourists were lapping it up. It was all King Minos would have wanted and more.

While the palace itself isn’t quite what it used to be, the grounds are vast. There were chambers and rooms, and areas still being excavated. What I was intrigued by most was what should have been underneath us. Where was the labyrinth?

Grates covered the lower recesses of the palace, and more than once I made Abby stop and stare down them with me, looking for any sign of sacrifice or bull-headed man. I can only assume that the fabled labyrinth that has spooked me since I was 8 years old is buried further underground.

We came away from there without any evidence that the minotaur existed but I had the foundations of Parcae in my mind. Red walls for some reason, stand out in my memories of the palace.

As we walked away from the palace, along a long forgotten road covered in grass, I couldn’t help but think of the horrors that the palace implied. Monsters that lurk in darkened mazes, feeding on innocent children. It’s the stuff that kids books should be made of…

 

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