A problem arose for us, and you will not be surprised by it, if you are a frequent traveler. We planned our trip on the internet some time in advance. Changes don’t always get documented on the internet and guidebooks, and travelers may find out too late (!) that a restaurant is shuttered, a museum has closed for renovation, or hours for a site have changed.
We had planned a one-month visit to Crete and arranged a side-trip to see the Heraklion Archaeology Museum. When did we discover that the Museum was closed for extensive renovations? We caught up with that news long after our itinerary was set and a hotel room reserved. Disappointment… resignation…we adjusted our plans and scratched the museum.
When we arrived at our hotel in Heraklion, we mentioned the Archaeology Museum. The hotel receptionist said she read in the newspaper a few days earlier that the Museum had just reopened! What good news! We reverted to our original plan, put the museum back into the schedule.
What a gift! We spent many hours in the museum studying the collection, starting in the first room with the earliest Minoan pieces. As we moved through the collection, the time period moved forward and ended with the Classical Greek and Roman periods, covering a span of 5,500 years The evolution of materials, techniques, and symbolism over the years became more sophisticated. We only left the Museum when we had run out of energy to go on.
Sifting through photos afterwards only emphasized something we’d noticed as we went through the galleries: we thought many of the 3,000 to 4,000 year old pieces had a contemporary look.
The Heraklion Archaeological Museum had been closed for renovations for over 7 years. As travelers, we know how lucky we were to get to visit so soon after its reopening – a beautiful farewell gift from the island of Crete. Thank you!