Rhodes: Pashas and Crusaders

Trip Start Mar 18, 2011
Trip End Apr 02, 2011

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Where I stayed
St. Nikolas Hotel, Old Town

Flag of Greece  , Dodecanese,
Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today was so relaxing: no agenda other than explore Old Town, Rhodes.  Although the island just celebrated its 2400 Anniversary, the architecture seems to set the period best: it's a fortified castle which was the seat of power of the Knights of St. John 800 years ago and where the Ottoman Turks ruled about 500 years ago.

We had breakfast in the courtyard of the Hotel amid greenery, stone walls, a lemon tree, four or five turtles!, and corroded cannon balls no doubt exchanged between warring English and French ships-of-the-line.  When excavating this area, the Hotel owners uncovered large parts of a Roman portico which is now on display in the local Museum. The ancient agora or shopping/meeting section of Roman days is about 15 metres up the street.

All the area nearby, within 10 minutes walk, is residential.  Wooden doorways lead off the 8-9' wide streets entering who knows what....a living room or a courtyard perhaps.  Towards the main Castle which has housed the Grand Masters of the Order and also Pashas of the Ottoman Empire (the Turks conquered Rhodes in 1522) you start to run into the shops.  On the main streets most of them or for the tourists -- some quite upscale (gold & silver) -- but only a short distance down any side lane canopied by buttressing stone arches are metalshops, woodworking shops, etc.  There is a unique sense of time and space here.

We drifted home about 8pm down dim cobbled lanes.  Your antenna are naturally up in those surroundings but the city is very safe. 

Tomorrow we take a daytrip by fast ferry to the nearby island  of Symi!
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