Black Sea/Mediterranean 2007:
Day 9 - Rhodes, Greece


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Black Sea/Mediterranean 2007: [Day 1 - Athens] [Day 2 - At Sea] [Day 3 - Istanbul] [Day 4 - Varna] [Day 5 - Odessa] [Day 6 - Sevastopol] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Kusadasi] [Day 9 - Rhodes] [Day 10 - Limassol] [Day 11 - Cairo] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Athens]

Thursday, May 10: We just never get tired of waking up to a completely different destination every day.
Today's visit was to the Greek island of Rhodes -- the southernmost island of Greece. Alas, the fabled ancient Colossus of Rhodes no longer stands over the entrance to the harbor, but these beautiful columns topped with deer do the job nicely. (Tom would like to point out that scholars believe the Colossus was inland rather than at the mouth of the harbor, but that doesn't sound as cool.)
We had a half day tour to the town of Lindos, but first we drove through the town of Rhodes. This is the Temple of Apollo overlooking Rhodes, with our cruise ship visible in the distance.
We circled around to the other side of the island, which faces Turkey just a few miles across the water.
We passed this stadium ...
... and this scenery ...
... and still more scenery as we made our way to the northern part of the island where Lindos is located.
Lindos is a tiny town closed to automobile traffic, so visitors have either have to walk from the tour bus parking lot or take a shuttle bus to a square at the edge of town. This is the tourist area right across the street from the parking lot, featuring a cafe and shop.
We opted to walk down to Lindos, since it was a short, scenic stroll. Donkeys are used to ferry visitors to the Acropolis of Lindos, and as we walked toward the town, we passed the area where the donkeys live.
This the road down to Lindos, with the Acropolis visible at the top of the hill in the distance.
This is the square where the automobile traffic ends.
Our tour guide Maria gave us some last minute information, then we had free time to explore the town. This particular tour was fairly short and did not involve climbing or riding up to the Acropolis. At this point, we'd seen enough ruins and we had no interest in climbing a hill or riding a donkey, so just visiting Lindos was fine with us.
Here are the donkeys in question. It's a shame that this website doesn't offer the full olfactory experience, but go ahead and take a whiff in your imagination.
The tiny town of Lindos is laid out in classic Greek fashion, with tiny passageways and stairwells leading from one shop to another.
Occasionally, there would be a nice view of the Acropolis. What's up there? The Temple of Athena Lindia. We can't see it because there's the medieval equivalent of a fence around it.
At the base of the path up to the Temple, there's a great view of the tiny town of Lindos.
Many of the pathways in the town were decorated with white and black stones in a beautiful designs. These decorations also served to provide traction on the uneven paths. It also made for a pleasant foot massage as we bolted through town, picking up olive oil soap and other souvenirs.
We headed back up to the parking lot area and surveyed the scenery. This is facing back toward Rhodes town.
This statue was just across from the bus parking.
We got one last shot of Lindos before heading back to Rhodes town.
There's a church at the top of this hill if you look closely.
We stopped at a ceramics factory (Bonis Ceramics) on the way back for a pottery demonstration. Normally, we're not fans of stopping for demonstrations on tours, but we really enjoyed this stop. The groovy long-haired guy sculpted that vase in front of our very eyes in just a few minutes.
This family-owned business specializes in glazed pottery plates featuring designs associated with Rhodes, such as boats, olives, and deer.
In the showroom upstairs, artists were painting the vases by hand. We all did some shopping and it turns out that we got great bargains. The small plates sold here for $13 were going for $35 at the Athens airport.
In a country with history stretching as far back as Greece's, ruins of ancient civilizations can be found everywhere, including residential back yards.
At the end of our morning tour, we were dropped off at an entrance to the old town.
We were starving so we headed for the first restaurant serving Greek food that we could find, which was Archipelagos Cafe. We wasted no time ordering tzaziki and Mythos beer to start with.
We were seated on the top terrace of an outdoor cafe with a great view of the square below.
Here's more of the square.
We ordered calamari and pizza with shrimp after we wolfed down the tzaziki. Having beer and calamari in Greece -- this is the life indeed.
After lunch, we got a shot of the restaurant. Our table was at the very top.
We set off through town and found ourselves compelled to follow the Street of Knights to the top. What's up there? We had to know.
The Grandmaster's Palace was at the top. Now you know too.
We headed back down the same street and could see the top of our ship just beyond the old town walls.
Halfway back down the street, we spotted this pretty courtyard just inside one of the gated archways.
This is the site of the ancient Temple of Aphrodite.
This is part of the moat around the walled town. It did not contain water; it simply existed as a barrier between the inner and outer walls so that weapons could not reach the inside of the town.
We left the old town and headed toward the entrance to the harbor to see the deer close up. The statue in the distance is female and the one closer to us is male.
The symbol of the deer is evident throughout Rhodes, including this design in the waterfront promenade.
We think this was the gate of the Apostle Paul, but we're not sure about that. We'll have to do some fact checking.
Our lovely ship, ms Rotterdam, looked regal across the harbor.
We ducked back into the old town for some last minute shopping and stopped to watch these tots playing soccer on the site of the Church of the Virgin of the Burgh, dating to the 14th century.
Here's a cool little seahorse sculpture just outside a small store where we stocked up on Coca Cola Light, baklava, cookies and candy to take home as souvenirs.
Our last sight before we boarded the ship was this dolphin sculpture on a large rock with a small bay and the old town in the background.
This is the view from our excellent starboard cabin looking in one direction ...
... and this is the view in the other direction. Below us is a large dock, and you can see that it, too, contains a large area of ruins being restored.
During sail away, we passed this United States ship named the Anzio.
After dinner, the sky had cleared up slightly and only the smoke from our ship's smokestack marred what remained of the sunset.

Zul had crafted a towel shrimp for us this evening.

Day 10 >


Black Sea/Mediterranean 2007: [Day 1 - Athens] [Day 2 - At Sea] [Day 3 - Istanbul] [Day 4 - Varna] [Day 5 - Odessa] [Day 6 - Sevastopol] [Day 7 - At Sea] [Day 8 - Kusadasi] [Day 9 - Rhodes] [Day 10 - Limassol] [Day 11 - Cairo] [Day 12 - At Sea] [Day 13 - Athens]

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