Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mediterranean Adventures - Part 7 (Rhodes, Greece

Our next stop was the Greek Island Rhodes. Rhodes is about half way between western Europe/France and the Holy Lands of the Middle East/Israel. This made it a perfect refueling stop for the crusaders in the 10th-13th centuries. The Knights built the towns and they remained to this day to give you a glimpse into medieval times. The port town of Rhodes Town (original name I know) is a medieval fortress with walls encircling the town.
The streets were crooked and narrow with shops peaking out in all the nooks.

Topping it all off was a giant castle called the Palace of the Grand Masters. The castle retained all of the artifacts like suits of armor, gilded statues, grand floor mosaics, tapestries, and a MOAT! Yet, I was excited to see a real moat.

One thing that didn’t add up was the Laocoon Sculpture (a guy wrestling with a serpent) which we also saw in the Vatican. Both places claimed to have the original, but one must be lying.
Being caught between two worlds, everything in the castle was imported. It was the running joke picking out where things came from. One thing entirely American was the three wolf shirt! I spied a ten year old sporting the infamous t-shirt…with the sleeves cut off. Yes, it was the holy grail of white trash. I stalked him for several minutes trying to get a good picture without arousing the suspicions of his parents (warning Amber alert!). It was difficult because he kept wandering into rooms where photography was prohibited. There was even a photography Nazi lady who shouted out “no no lady” at any sign of a camera. I wonder if she is related to the sunscreen lady in Athens.
The Castle had gorgeous views of Old Town Rhodes. We were able to get a look at the town from above by walking along the fortress walls. We ran into a tour guide who explained how different towers held different purposes during sieges.

We took to the charming cobblestone streets to shop. One thing I don’t get is the toy guns. Actually the authenticity of the guns. The toy handguns look like real handguns. Shockingly so. They also sold all sorts of medieval weapons like maces, swords, and pikes. Them Greeks are sure violent.
Dana and I are corny enough to take “it’s all Greek to me” pictures. I’m sure the locals were thinking “lame Americans”. Granted I bet they all write home about funny signs in Chicago like Wacker Drive.

We ate lunch at an outdoor café that surprisingly didn’t serve much Greek food. I guess they catered to the hundreds of tourists that flock the town.
On the edge of the harbor are two goat statues that mark the location of the Colossus of Rhodes Statue that existed thousands of years before. It was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The statue was a giant man straddling the harbor. It fell down after an earthquake. Granted I don’t know what it would look like sailing in under his crotch.

The waters were so clear and blue that I couldn’t resist jumping in. I don’t know if the waters would give me diarrhea but it was so worth it.

After getting back to the boat, I stalked the Hot Glass Show guy some. At dinner we noticed the people assigned to sit next to us kept changing. In fact, it was a different couple every night. I wonder if it was us, or the super annoying foursome on the other side of the table. Seriously, I fought the urge to stab him with a fork every night.
We watched to sun set behind the Greek Islands as we steamed on to Turkey.


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