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Francesco's Mediterranean Voyage

Episode 9: Crete

Duration: 29 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Two EnglandLatest broadcast: on BBC Four HD

Francesco da Mosto continues his sea tour around the Mediterranean. The stormy seas of the Cyclades take a turn for the worse as Francesco approaches Crete, the biggest of the Greek islands. As the storm passes, his first stop is the beautiful but abandoned island of Spinalonga - just off the coast of Crete. It is an island haunted by sadness and tragedy.

Docking at Iraklion, capital of Crete, Francesco sets off for the deep underground caves where Zeus, king of the gods, is reputed to have been born. Just down the road lies the immense palace of Knossus - excavated by an Englishman - reputedly the home to King Minos and the legendary Minotaur. There, he tries his hand at the ancient Cretan art of pot-making.

At the beautiful monastery of Arkadhi he stands in the very spot Cretan independence fighters blew themselves up with gunpowder rather than be captured. Their skulls, together with the remains of their enemies, are stacked on shelves in the monastery.

Then a surprise for Francesco - an invitation to a Cretan wedding - but first he must help prepare the wedding feast. With 1,500 guests invited, the task is enormous: 150 sheep make up the main course alone. Francesco dances until dawn and the boat has left Crete before he even knows it. Show less

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