Sunday, November 20, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011 – Rhodes, Greece – Mostly Sunny - 60s

Antalya to Rhodes: 157 Nautical Miles

Back in Rhodes – we were here last month…

Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese Island Group.

The weather is a bit chilly but it is sunny.

We are on tour today - ‘Scenic Rhodes’ -  Anna – born in Germany to Greek Parents – is our guide; her English is absolutely perfect and her information is terrific – she is the best tour guide I have ever worked with.

The Colossus of Rhodes - a tribute to the Sun God Helios and standing some 9 stories high and one of the Wonders of the Ancient World – was toppled in 227 BC by an earthquake (and some faulty engineering.  The site (they say) of the Colossus is now marked by two deer statues.  We were told that deer were brought to the island to rid the place of snakes.

Site of Colossus of Rhodes (Small)

Site of the Colossus of Rhodes

Beach at Rhodes Turkey in bkg (Small)  

Beaches at Rhodes – Turkey in the Background

The ancient city of Kamiros (5th and 6th Centuries BC) is about 35 km from Rhodes Town.  The trip takes us past many hotel zones popular with tourists.  

Kamiros (Small)

Center of Kamiros

Forus and Agora (Small)

The Forum and Agora (columns)

Kamiros water cistern 1 (Small)

The water cistern (round object) for Kamiros

Residences on left greek islands in bkg (Small)

Residential Area of Kamiros – Greek Island in Background

E in Kamiros (Small)

Ellen in Kamiros

Acropolis Kamiros - Temple gone (Small)

The Acropolis of Kamiros

H and E Acropolis of Kamiros (Small)

Together at the Acropolis

Kamiros the big picture (Small)

Kamiros from the Acropolis

residential area kamiros (Small)

Residential Area of Kamiros from opposite side

View from Forum - acropolis (Small)

Kamiros and Acropolis from Forum

The tour then proceeded to Rhodes Town for the walking tour of Old Town portion of the excursion. 

Old Town was built by the Knights of the Order of St. John (the successors to the Templars).  Many of the structures and buildings in Old Town can be traced to the work of the Knights.  The Knights stayed in Rhodes for over 200 years; after moving around the area looking for a home, they eventually settle in Malta and became the Knights of Malta.

The tour entered Old Town through the D’Amboise Gate.

D'Amboise Gate - Old Town (Small)

D’Amboise Gate – Old Town

City Wall (Small)

Moat Area near D’Amboise Gate

D'Amboise Gate (Small)

D’Amboise Gate

Entering the Old Town of Rhodes (Small)

Entering Old Town

The most impressive structure in Old Town is the Palace of the Knights of St. John or the Palace of the Grand Masters.  It has 300 rooms, a moat, drawbridges, towers, and battlements. 

The four photos below are taken from various locations around the Palace.

Grandmaster's Palace (Small) Cannons at the Palace (Small) Grandmaster's Palace turret (Small)

Grandmaster's Palace 3 (Small)

The wall that protected the Palace is shown below.  At times, the Palace was occupied by monks – the gate also served to keep the monks inside. 

Beyond the gate, the Mosque of Suleyman is visible.  This mosque, built in the 19th century is on the site of the original mosque built in 1522.

Mosque of Suleyman (Small)

Wall of the Palace and the Mosque of Suleyman

The Gate of St. Anthony (below) leads to another part of Old Town.  The vendors beyond the gates sell all kinds of items.

Gate of St Anthony (Small)  

The Walking Tour continued down an original Medieval Street.  This street was home to several foreign consulate offices and apartments.  There were few stores on this street.

Medieval street (Small)

Medieval Street – Walking Tour

Crusader Plaque (Small)

Crusader Symbol on Wall

Old town Medieval street (Small)

Looking back at the Street

The plaque above the door on the building below calls out a date of 1492.  This building is now home to the French Consulate.

Building from 1492 (Small) French Consulate (Small)

Our final guided stop in Old Town is the Hospital of the Knights (now the Archeological Museum).  It is located in Museum Square.  The Hospital was completed in 1489 and provided medical care to the many pilgrims and Crusaders making the trip to the Holy Land.  The long trip was difficult and dangerous and those who survived were in poor health.  The Knights of St. John were the best medical practitioners in the area and did not charge the needy for their services.

Hospital of the Knights of St. John (Small)

Hospital of the Knights of St. John

 Courtyard of the Hospital of the Knightsw (Small)

Courtyard of the Knight’s Hospital

The tour was over and the group left to explore Old Town on their own.  Some quests took the bus back to the ship. I waited for Ellen’s group to arrive so we could see Old Town again.

Quest from Harbor (Small)

The Quest from the Harbor (Bus Pickup Spot)

We went looking for WiFi.  The last time we were here, I was able to tap into the city-wide WiFi system at Martyr’s Square.  The system was a little spotty today so I purchased a beer for 2.5 Euros and used the WiFi at the restaurant.  This was a good purchase since the beer was good and I could use the code later if I need to.

My Mythos Beer (Small) 

Mythos Beer and free WiFi  

After lunch on the ship, we went out on our own to explore the newer sections of Rhodes.  It was a nice bit of exercise but the new city was a strange mix of auto repair shops, old hotels, and upscale design studios.  Yes…that was the mix.

E and Quest in Rhodes (Small)

The Quest from the entrance to the New City

After not finding any nice areas to walk around in the newer part of town, we entered the Old Town through a gate that seemed to be only for motorcycles.  You have to rely on hearing to avoid being run down by the motorcycles.

Gate South side of Old Town (Small)

Old Town Gate (unknown – name plate faded)

Once in the old town, we first noticed the total quiet – no people.  After walking down a number of tight, cobblestoned, streets, we realized we needed some directions.  There are few stores – the area was mostly residential – but we did find one open and got directions.  At first, it looked like we were heading into a blind alley but we kept going and found our way to – of all things – Martyr’s Square.

Using the password I got earlier with my beer, I tapped into the cafe’s WiFi and did some chatting with the kids.

After dinner and after some time with Jim Badger in the Mosaic Cafe, we attended Showtime.  Tonight, we had local entertainment – The Sun Dancers.  The troupe of Greek guys and gals did a number of Dances, which all looked and sounded the same to me.  They also used the time-honored tradition of using a cute kid in their act.  They outdrew the ship’s headliners.  The audience liked them and eventually joined them for a group dance on stage.

2011-11-04 Sun Dancers (Small)

Always include a kid (Small)

The Sun Dancers

A nice day in Rhodes…

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