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July 25, 2008

Not the Natural History Museum

If we had a success with one historical museum in Iraklio, our other attempt at visiting one would in Internet geek circles be described as an 'Epic FAIL'. We wanted to visit the Cretan Natural History Museum, which are guide book said was due to open in a new building mid-2005. We figured giving them 3 years leeway was fair enough.

Not so.

The approach to the old ΔΕΗ building on the harbour front was a building site. The road was being relaid, and technically was closed, although that didn't appear to be stopping drivers using it as a short-cut through the diversions in place.


When we got to the building itself there were posters for exhibitions, and school-children milling about, but presumably the exhibitions were actually on at the old building still, as the new one was empty.

Well, not quite empty, it appeared to be full of all sorts of interesting old bits of electricity works, but as I went to take a picture a security guard shusshed me away from behind his desk. He seemed to be the only person on site, apart from a small gift shop. Maybe we were just being idiots, but they seemed to have the gift shop open, but no actual museum.


Which was a shame, because I was hoping to identify a rare animal. Before we set out for Iraklio, I had spotted what I at first thought was a rat at the foot of our hill. Actually, as it emerged from the bushes, it appeared to be some kind of weasel or stoat.

There are some indigenous little mammals like that on the island, but the one book of animals we do have isn't the most helpful. The pictures in it all appear to be road-kill that have been stitched back together by Dr. Frankenstein, which makes a postive ID pretty tricky!

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Probably a beech marten, hundreds of them, lots of road kill

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