12 Sep Wednesday Heraclion, Crete to Rhodes After breakfast, stayed in rooms til 11:30 then we drove out to Kasteli, where supposedly there was a weekly market. Turned out to be true, but no one had told us it ends by noon. Beautiful countryside, though with rolling hills covered with grape vines, olive groves, and other agriculture. Good lunch at the Cafe Irida - excellent goat in tomato sauce, taramousalada. Back to Heraclion by about 3 pm, and this time, an easy transfer to Rhodes by plane - 40 minute ride.
Transfer to the Paradise Royal Mare - a large hotel complex, outside the old city. Arrived about 8. Good supper with a wide ranging buffet.
13 Sep Thursday Rhodes Breakfast about 8:30. Decided to take day trip into the old city of Rodhos - got bus right outside the hotel (500 dks), then had about 15' ride, getting off just outside the massive 14th century medieval citywalls. Entered the town, and went to the Palace of the Grand Masters Externally it's extremely impressive, with towers and fortifications everywhere. Walls show the strengthening and widening that came in with the use of artillery. Inside, while the palace shows the effects of Mussolini's imperial design, from the 1920's, The The floors are covered with magnificent mosaics from Kos . An excellent exhibition in the small museum on medieval Rhodes, covering the knights societies, and how people lived at that time. Sugar refinery, trade routes and how they changed from Byzantine times. The history continued thru the 4th crusade, to the Ottoman takeover in 1522
Afterwards, found an internet café. Then back to bus stop to return to the hotel around 3:30 to rest.
14 Sep Friday Rhodes Laid-back breakfast, nice British style bacon & onion omelet. We tried to go to Lindos, and desk clerk said the bus stopped right outside. But after waiting an hour, we gave up & just took the #20 into town instead. Checked email at the Minoan cafe, then went into the old city to see the ‘Byzantine museum'. It was interesting, but not Church of the Virgin of the Castle that had been described in the guides. The building was much more impressive than most of the frescos. Outside, it had pieces from several mosaic floors, and odds & ends of ancient columns. After lunch we wandered around the harbor area, and the old city. Excellent roast lamb ribs, as one of the dinner buffet offerings, meat falling off the bones.
15 Sep Saturday - Rhodes Another leisurely breakfast, another bacon omelette. Took bus into town to take bus out to Lindos. Still havent gotten all the intricasies of the bus system, but we knew this would work. About 1 hour ride out to Lindos. First real culture (or rather tourist) shock of the trip. What a zoo! About a dozen tour buses expelling their loads, others arriving like us on local buses, taxis, or walking from nearby hotels. Everyone moves down the hill to the central plaka of this tiny town. Lindos of today is is a warren of whitewashed winding streets hosting souvenir and souvlaki shops, tour agencies and tourist snack stalls, small hotels and tavernas. Few signs (to encourage lost tourists to stop?), but we find our way across the ravine and up the cliff to the acropolis (eschewing the donkey rides). 1200 dks as entry. Spectacular site especially the view from the Byzantine walled castle atop the rocky promontory. It overlooks a beautiful small harbor and bay with a naturally formed jetty-like entrance leading back to a beach. Steep steps lead up thru the fortress walls, coming out on more level spaces. The highest flat spot is devoted to theTemple of Athena Lindia, restored in the 1930's but now being dismantled ('reculer pour mieux restorer' ). Then down the Propylaea and down steps to the partially restored Stoa, and other, Byzantine, structures. Not a lot to see, but the setting is unique and beautiful. Walked back down in time to get the 1 pm bus back, dropping us off outside the hotel. The bus system is a bit confusing, but the drivers and ticket takers are extremely helpful and friendly. Lunch in the poolside cafeteria - good salad bar/ mezes for $4.
16 Sep Sunday - Rhodes - Bodrum, Turkey Up around 6, allowed in early for breakfast, then picked up by taxi around 7 and down to the ferry terminal. For the ride over to Turkey
Tower Palace of the Grand Masters
St. Lucia fresco, 14th c Virgin of the Castle Church
City Gate with tugboats, Rhodos
City walls, cruise ship, yachts, Rhodes Harbor
Tower of St. Nicolas, Rhodes Harbor
Sharks' heads, sponges, Rhodos
Greek, Turkish, US flags on boats, Rhodes Harbor
Marine Gate, Rhodos
City gate, flowers, Rhodos
Byzantine Walls, Lindos
Propylaea and Stoa, Lindos
Shops with Acropolis in bkgd, Lindos
|Touring the Greek Islands: Santorini|
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