Day 12 (Fri, Sep 26): Cruising / Rhodes, Greece



Old City

Old City from Harbor
Got off to an early start this morning. We got to Rhodes (the harbor and town, at the norther tip of Rhodes the island) harbor on schedule, but had to wait about half an hour until the Greek authorities boarded the ship before we could disembark. That made us late in getting away, but we enjoyed the ride to Lindos. Rhodes is very beautiful and prosperous looking.

Lindos is a very pretty town - all white washed cubical buildings. Many of the streets and walkways are paved in pebbles which are arranged in mosaic designs. Lining the way to the acropolis there are dozens of shops selling embroidered clothing and table clothes, hand-made crocheted table clothes and spreads, hand-knit sweaters. The merchandise is very pretty and clean looking. Women also spread their hand-made things on the ground next to the Acropolis path.

Acropolis map

Reeves and us

on the Acropolis

Stairway from Acropolis
The acropolis itself is a combination of Hellenistic and medieval architecture. We climbed 262 steps to reach the top from the town, the staircase, marked "3" on the map. Once on top we had to descend another staircase, the one arked "7" (Late Hellenistic Stairway), and that wasn't much fun. The steps, which were very hard for me to see, were also very worn so that they sagged in the middle and sloped toward the front edge. I literally came down "crabwise" and very, very slowly. Not something I'd want to do again, even with my cornea transplants.

We had to wait half an hour for two ladies in the tour who lost track of the time while shopping.

"Old Town" Rhodes

Avenue of the Knights

Grand Master's Palace

Pal. Entrance

Palace Courtyard

When we returned from Lindos we took a tour of the "Old Town" of Rhodes, the oldest continuously inhabited medieval town of Europe. A massive wall that was built by the Knights of St. John (Hospitallers) in the 14th century encloses the old town. They captured and established their headquarters on Rhodes when they left Italy, following the persecution of the Knights Templar in 1307. Pope Clement V confirmed the Hospitallers possession of the Island in 1309. Ippoton Street (Avenue of the Knights running left to right near the top of the map) is about 600m long on a gentle incline towards what used to be the ancient acropolis of Rhodes. It is unusually straight for a medieval street. The tall walls that frame it on both sides - complete with stone-carved coats of arms - are majestic and forbidding at the same time The old Knights' inns are now replaced by government offices. At the upper (left) end of the street lies the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes The Old Town is a very nice place, full of trees and pretty gardens. The medieval section is very well preserved, and people still live there.

We went back to the ship for lunch on the Lido deck. Ross and Robin joined us. After we ate we adjourned to deck chairs where we spent the rest of the afternoon.

Random observations --

Colossos of Rhodes

  • Our bus driver had decorated the front of his bus with ceramic tile pictures of cats and dogs and a crocheted kind of runner with tassels which trimmed the top of the windshield and little wall-sconce flower vases. Just like home.
  • Ross noticed that the school children in their blue school uniforms with white collars were wearing Adidas and Nike shoes.
  • We are both very happy to be back in Greece.
  • Some of the people took donkeys to the top of the path to the Acropolis. Rachel (who is rotund) kept apologizing to hers, and Spence actually enjoyed himself. Somewhere (Delphi, I think) he bought a hat like mine and began buying art books like me rather than complaining about rock piles.
  • In the medieval fortress we saw two little girls on their way home from school stop at a doorway (pointed Gothic arch) to pet two marmalade kittens who were sitting on the steps.

    We had a drink in the piano bar before dinner. Were joined by Grace and Ray Rodriguez. Should mention that the waiter automatically brought Karen and me our martinis without our ordering. Good waiter.

    After dinner we went to the Solaris Lounge to meet Christina. She was playing bingo, so we played a game, too. Didn't win. They called bingo in three languages. We went to the Piano Bar and finished out the evening there.