Friday, November 6, 2009

Rhodes, October 27

The pattern has developed, breakfast arrived and we watched the boat pull into the port. We would be docked today - this was quite a feat. The ship was heading straight to the port, stopped turned 180 and pulled in side ways to the dock, now the ship was positioned to sail straight out. I suppose I am amazed at this because I personally have trouble parallel parking on dry ground - not to mention dealing with water and currents.

First look of Rhodes.

Brief History of Rhodes, Greece
This is the furthest south we traveled ... the island is wrapped by Turkey and Asia-Minor. The island was probably once part of the turkish main land, separated by one of the frequent volcanic eruptions in the region.
Rhodes is the 4th largest Greek Island (540 square miles) The island is one of the most popular vacation spots in the Mediterranean. This island has seen many rulers: Persia, Rome, the Knights of St. John (like Bodrum), Ottoman Turks and finally Greece in 1947.
Rhodes is part of the Dodecanese Island group.
The island used to be home to Colossus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was a HUGE statue of Helios, the sun god. It stood 131 Ft. It was built 305 BC to celebrate a victory over the Macedonians. It took 12 years to build, using bronze. The statue was in the harbor to greet incoming ships. An earthquake in 227 BC caused it to topple over and it was never rebuilt.
Rhodes consists of two distinct areas - the Old Town and the New Town.
We took a bus tour of the the New Town, and a walking tour of the Old Town.

The day was BEAUTIFUL!
Mandraki Harbor:

Speculation that the Colossus stood here, between the deer statues:

Heading toward the beaches:

wow BLUE BLUE water ....

again from the bus (we are so close to the edge!)
The bus stopped for this scenic shot:
We posed:
Other direction of scenic shot
The Rhodes Acropolis Ruins, most cities had an acropolis, situated at the highest point ....
This was opposite the scenic view.

This was the area for games, like the olympic stadium in Athens.
From the Bus tour, we exited the bus and began the walking tour of Old Town, starting with the Palace of the Grand Masters. The original structure was built in the 14th century, by the Knights of St John. After surviving an earthquake .... but was blown up in 1856 by an accidental explosion. The Italians restored the building in 1930 for Mussolini. The present structures are 20th-century Italian reconstructions.
The first sighting of the Palace and the walls around the Old Town
a little gypsy boy with his dog ...

entering the walls of Old Town
turing the corner - can you feel the excitement!

The Palace, we still had a ways to wind around to actually enter.

The main gate, we did not go in this way - they were working on restorations
The entrance we took
The courtyard:
cool window
still in the courtyard
the grand staircase:

there is NO rail!
the view out of the window, at the top of the stairs ...
one of the many GIANT rooms in the palace, this is the Chamber with Colonnades

a large fireplace ...

venetian chandelier, all blown glass

the "office", another chamber

We also saw a number of mosaics, they had been moved from the island of Kos

back outside,
the cobblestone walkway, if you look close the stones are tiled up on the edges, not laying flat.
looking out to the Old Town

Mosque of Suleiman, built in 1523, commemorates Suleiman's conquest of Rhodes.

Heading down the Street of Knights
This street is lined with Inns of the Tongues ... or nationalities of the order of St. John.
France, Itally, England, Germany, Provence, Spain and Auvergne. In my mind, it was like each counties had an embassy ....
The street lead directly to the harbor, the knights would "muster" here to defend an attack.

If you look close in this image ... can you see the juxtaposition of the cruise ship in the distance!

INside one of the Inns, I think Spain?

This was the French Inn, sticking out from the building are alligators. To be a knight, they believed you must slay a dragon, the alligator seemed close ... our guide said.
the street we just walked down:

getting ready to "get lost" in old town

upside down self portrait ...
a shop under the stairs ...

Old Town

getting some inspiration

Ruins, with in the Old Town walls
Our exit from Old Town, we might make it to the boat for buffet lunch.

just outside the gate
The wall lined street. The water used to come up to the water.
walking back to the port

from the dock, checking out the wall

from the deck of the ship, we made it up to lunch before 2pm.
When we pulled into the port there was ship parked here, Royal Caribbean. What a view when they left ...
Finally a Sunset!
Aaron and I made it up for Tea, then got a special surprise:)

This is the ridge with the acropolis ruins ....
Looking a little ragged ... need to head up to dress for dinner.
But then we began to leave Rhodes ... and I just had to get those shots!

Now up to dress for dinner.
My first appetizer ... a crabmeat with avocado ...
then the escargot ... after I enjoyed them. Instead of butter, they were smothered with pesto!
Aaron had Lamb Chops
my dinner, filet and brussel sprouts
ended with the cheese plate again:)
The group headed to the show lounge for the Motown Gold performance ... 2 words. NOT GOOD.
We headed up to the top of the ship for the 50's and 60' music - MUCH BETTER!

not sure if you can see ... what a nice husband he is holding the purse while they dance:)
Final shot of the night ... Aaron and Todd Kane ... TWINS, just like Arnold and Danny:)

The ship was heading FAST (yes we could tell!) to Mykonos, 171 nautical miles


1 comment:

Traci V said...

I love all the pictures! You do realize you will never be able to go on another cruise because it couldn't possibly be as nice as this right? I can't wait to actually talk to you about the trip and catch up. Love!