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A Glimpse of the Minotaur

A story by Barbara Bowen

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Fallen in love with the legends of ancient Greece and living Rome, I hopped over to Athens. June 1967 was after the military takeover by a very nasty lot of Greek Colonels and the imminent threat of yet another Arab-Israeli war. But I went anyway, determined to actually see the Palace of Knossos with visions of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur. My only companion was a woman I met on the plane from Athens to Crete, a registered nurse whose job was escorting back to Greece a man who had gone mad in America – in agony over the Colonels’ takeover (which was, in fact, bloody). She and I were alone; there wasn’t another tourist in sight. So the two of us got a private viewing of the Palace. Our guide, wagging his head over the absence of tourists, allowed us to take turns sitting on the throne of King Minos, followed by a walk through the whole Palace, no waiting for hordes of other people to clear a room before we could enter it! We dined that night in a restaurant peopled only by Cretans – charming - who surrounded us with lamentations about the absence of tourists – their livelihood, I daresay, but also reflecting their pride and love of their beautiful, historic, legendary and dramatic country. I flew back to Athens the following day, startled to be sharing the plane with three of the Colonels. When I was back in Rome my colleagues said I was crazy not to have changed my reservation. The presence of the Colonels made my plane a prime target for a bombing. But I was totally happy with the whole blissful week…

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 Ariadne,Colonels,military take-over,Palace of Knossos,Theseus
  Athens, Greece

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