I woke early today and made my way to the bow on our deck level to the small Jacuzzi. I had the sunrise and the Jacuzzi to myself as the ship steamed into Rhodes. I let Ellen sleep, tough I did take a cappuccino down to her from the “snack bar”.
Today we had a late start after a leisurely breakfast and headed inside the walled ancient city of Rhodes. The city wall is 12 meters thick. Inside there are two mosques, the Palace of the Grand Master (the city father), the temple to Aphrodite, the Museum of Antiquities, the seven homes of the knights, and more shoos and restaurants than we’ve seen on other islands.
The Knights were divided into seven sections or ‘tongues’ – England, France, Germany, Italy, Aragon, Auvergne, and Provence – and each group was responsible for defending a part of the city. They were all interconnected by the outer wall.
The Museum of Antiquities was fascinating, though so extensive that we had to stop after a few hours. On a wall to the left as you exit the first building headed to the gardens, there is an enclosure that houses very ancient mosaics. The earliest is made of river stone collected by color and size and fitted into the mosaic. It is one of three oldest mosaics in Europe. Other mosaics were made from tiles, flat manufactured pieces mass produced for these slightly less ancient mosaics.
Everywhere we looked there were fascinating articles from ancient Greece. Many of the pieces on display have not had photos published. For that reason, photography was not allowed in some of the buildings. In time that will change. Also most guide books say that a 3 euro ticket to one museum is good for all three. That is no longer the case. Each museum charges 6 euro for admission. Not something to complain about, you are supporting the archeological history of Greece. It is something to be aware of.
We docked at the port and could walk ashore. Just before we set out, a massive ship, the aida.de with 2050 passengers docked beside us and disgorged a swarm of tourists. In Patmos there were two small ships in port and we had the city of Ephesus nearly to ourselves. This was quite different. We found that by getting away from the few large shopping streets, the crowds dwindled and we could take in the beauty of Rhodes at our own pace.
Tonight there is an epicurean feast pool side. We have reservations for Restaurant #2 at 8pm. Ellen just popped a slice of peach in my mouth. Each day a “fruit of the day” is left in the cabin. Today was peach and it is perfectly ripe. We had a variety of lychee nut for breakfast that I have never seen before and it too was great.
Lunch at a restaurant on one of the busy streets was a bit disappointing. The stuffed peppers were fantastic, but the main dish of seasoned beef meat balls was just OK. I’m still looking for spanakopita.
Off to shower and join the epicurean event.