Sunday, 2 September 2012

Cruising to Rhodes (and Lindos)

It's fun to wake up in a different island each day. This time we had cruised during the night to the Island of Rhodes. It's in the Dodecanese group and once held the Collossus, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world.
We kicked off our visit with a climbing walk from the village of Lindos up to the medieval ramparts erected by the Knights of St John in the 13th century. It was also occupied by the Turks in 1522, then the Italians in 1922 but the island became part of Greece in 1947.

Inside the citadel you can see the remains of the acropolis/temple which sits on a precipice 122m above sea-level. The views are great and I was fortunate to have my photo taken onsite with the Bay of St Paul in the distance (yes St Paul was there in ancient times) before he headed off to Ephesus in Turkey.

I walked up past the mules on hire, past the crafts for sale spread out along the path under the trees and then up the Grand Staircase. The current one is impressive and is alongside the original one. I especially liked the relief of an ancient Greek boat carved into the rock. It's amazing to see something 2000 years old just being there, still. They had great artistry and technology in those times.
This hill is a popular tourist spot. I chose to escape my group lecture and branched out into the fierce heat to look at the temple of Athena ruins and other buildings.It's common for one civilisation to build right on top of a previous one, especially if religion was involved.

Our group was diverted to yet another 'surprise compulsory' manufacturer. This time it was a pottery shop where the designs were genuinely hand-painted. Too expensive for me and too fragile to take back in the luggage. It was diverting without being all that interesting since I already knew how to do pottery.

Then it was time to head to Rhodes itself, a fascinating and well-preserved medieval town with its cannonballs parked on the lawn, it's classy ramparts and towers and its history-oozing streets. It really is the real McCoy and it's extensive. Parts of it are used for private organisations or societies or even the French consulate. We ran out of time to visit most of it so I never saw inside the Palace of the Grand Master. There are pleasant cafes and very low-grade touristy shops.

After lunching on our ship I was rather hot and tired so I didn't end up doing much independent sightseeing. I had thought to take a swim in the Aegean but it required a bit of a hike, was too close to the port pollution, windy and JC doesn't like swimming or beaches so I settled for wandering around little shops without finding anything to take home. I'd have better spent my time going back to the medieval buildings

After re-embarking the Louis Olympia we 'set sail' for the Island of Crete while we slept. Cruises are exhausting. We were heading for the last day of cruising the Greek Islands.


EngageNow said...

Lovely to hear of your adventures, enjoy....

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