Our penultimate stop in Greece and of the season was in Rhodes, where the outlaws, John and Irene would be joining us for a week.
Rhodes Old Town is fabulous and takes a while to walk around it. There are over 200 streets and alleys, some bustling with shops and restaurants and others much quieter.
Within the walls of the Old Town is the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. It was largely destroyed in 1856 by explosives, that were hidden in the basement of the church of St John. The palace was restored by the Italians in 1940 who occupied the Dodecanese islands at that time.
The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is also located in the Medieval City of Rhodes. The museum is situated in what was the hospital of the Knights of St John. On our visits we see lots of statues and you do tend to glaze over at another one however, you have to remember that some of these statues that are completely preserved are nearly 2000 years old. The detail in them is quite astounding.
As always we have to visit the main port and look at the boats and the sea, as it’s not like we’ve seen much of this! The entrance to the Port is where the Colossus of Rhodes, representing the God Helios, stood in 280BC. According to myth it stood 108 feet high (33 metres). It collapsed in 226BC when an earthquake hit the island. There is some debate as to whether it stood astride the entrance.
There is a row of windmills on the outer wall of the harbour and at the end is the Fort of St Nicholas which was built by the Knights of St John in the 15th century.
We visited the Monastery of Filerimos in Rhodes which is located on a hill above Lalyssos. It gave us very good views. The monastery was built again in the 15th century and by the Knights of St John, they were certainly busy bees.
Talking of Bees, we also visited the Bee Museum which gives information on the tradition and history of beekeeping in Rhodes. We could see the bees in transparent observation hives. We also took a trip to Rodini Park where Peacocks were wandering about, a little unnerving when there are so many of them.
The Castle of Kritinia is situated on a hill approximately 131 meters above the village of Kritinia, northern Rhodes. It was a long walk up to the top but the outlaws made it. The castle was built by the Knights of St John. It was originally built on three levels and each level was assigned to a different Grand Master.
Lindos is a popular tourist town with small windy roads, lots of restaurants and gift shops. There is the Acropolis of Lindos on the clifftop. We decided that we’d give it a miss going up to the top and admired it from a lower level.
We’d had a full week of discovering Rhodes, so it was now time for John and Irene to return home. The following day we departed Rhodes at the most unearthly hour of 5.30am in convoy with CopyCat, Ula and We Dun It ,for the final island of Greece Kastellorizo (Turkish call it Meis) where we would check out of Greece to head to Cuffysark’s winter home of Kas in Turkey which was a stone’s throw away. Kastellorizo is a delightful place with lots of coloured houses scattered along the hillside.
We checked out that evening and had to be on our way by 10am the following morning. It’s strange how close some of the Greek Islands are to Turkey.
This was now the end of our 2019 sailing season. We started in Sicily and travelled through quite a lot of Greece but there is still so much to see so in the words of the Terminator “I will be back”!
October 2019 – Posted June 2020