May 19, 2007
As I mentioned in the Cyprus post, the winds were 40 mph and too dangerous for us to go to Kos since it is a tender port and running the tenders in high winds (as we found out early in the cruise in the Pacific) can be really dangerous.
What a nice substitution the Captain and the Oceania office made when we went to Rhodes instead. Nice that it was close and available. The Regent Voyager has been in several of the same ports with us and they diverted to Rhodes too. Jewel of the Seas was there too, it was scheduled to be there. So the Greek economy had a real boost with one scheduled and two unexpected cruise ships!
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese Islands and the old town is a maze of cobbled streets. The old town is surrounded by medieval walls with seven gates. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best preserved and most carefully restored medieval towns in Europe. The entire old town’s walls were built by the Knights of St. John. Back in the 16th century a handful of Knights were the last Christian holdouts in a part of the world that had become completely dominated by the Ottoman Turks.
The Colossus of Rhodes is one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world and the most popular images show that it supposedly stood at the entrance to the Mandraki Harbor. It is apparently more likely that it was on dry land where the Grand Master Palace is now. The statue was completed in 280 but was destroyed in an earthquake in 224 BC. No trace of the statue remains today.
We wandered through the streets, visited the Palace of the Grand Masters and the synagogue, shopped and had a wonderful Greek lunch.
The 14th century Palace of the Grand Masters was well maintained until 1856 when an explosion destroyed much of the building. The palace was reconstructed by the Italians during their stay on the island.
We explored the Jewish Quarter and the 1577 Kahal Shalom Synagogue with its wonderful museum.
The last shot is of the mikvah.
Here are some pictures of the quaint streets, the walls around the city and some of the sights there. You can see that it rained early in the day and ended up to be just beautiful.
We had a wonderful lunch, Norm had the local Mythos beer! Some people had huge glasses. I love the grilled haloumi cheese.
All in all a great day in a beautiful place. Looking forward to exploring more old cities as we travel the Mediterranean.
As we left the Rhodes harbor, we had a sailaway party and happy hour. Here are Amanda, our assistant cruise director and Corinne, our social hostess enjoying the perfect weather and the celebration!