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May 15, 2010

Lucky us! We woke up and found that we were docked so that we had an awesome view of the Old Town from our balcony.

 Breakfast on the balcony was an extra special treat, and offered Lou the opportunity to get a lot of photos before the day had even begun.

The Old Town is the part of town that is inside the ancient wall. The New Town is outside the wall.

The new Nikon camera has much more physical zooming capability that the old Nikon camera.

It was the perfect day, warm and sunny.

In this photo you can see the "roof" of our balcony. It is the overhang from the deck above, I guess. It was awesome! On sunny days, we were protected from too much sun and heat.

We watched people come off the ship and load into tour buses and take off.

We also watched people walking into town and running the gauntlet of taxi drivers waiting for them.

Here is the Equinox Theater on the ship. We met here for our walking tour of Rhodes.

You cannot see her, but Karen is walking across the stage to the desk where you show your tickets and get your tour stickers.

We wore audio devices so that our tour guide, Nina, did not have to shout.
This clean little beach was right next to the ship. Very conveniently located, but no one was swimming.

We are standing in the remains of a church.

This stone is local and is called toufa (or toupha). It is very rough stone.

We are milling about, most people standing in little patches of shade, while we listen to Nina talk about the church.

Across what seems to be a square is actually the remains of the nave of the church.

A glimpse of the Equinox through an archway!

The deer is the symbol of, well, darn, we cannot remember. But here is a cool picture of Lou taking a picture of a man hole cover with that deer on it. His shadow is very clear.

Our first fountain of the day. Not too elaborate, but pretty, and a good landmark for finding our way back tot eh ship later.

Lots of birdies on this fountain

So neat to see the old stone walls and the new shops

An anonymous wall

We were walking toward the Hospital of the Knights, which is now a museum.

If you were on your way to the Crusades, and you got sick or injured, you came to this hospital, where they patched you up and sent you on to the Crusades. And if you got sick or injured actually at the Crusades, then you stopped here on your way home to get patched up.

We are in the inner courtyard of the hospital.

There were a couple stacks of cannon balls in the inner courtyard.

A closer look at the lion

Now we are upstairs, looking down into the courtyard.

We are in a large room that served as the infirmary.

Nina had a lot to say about the ceiling, and about the coasts of arms that adorned the caps at the tops of these columns. These caps indicate when the building was constructed, because they are adorned with the coat of arms of the person who was the Grand Master of the order at the time of construction.

More staring up at the ceiling while Nina talked...

The large infirmary had a number of these little rooms. There was some question about whether they were for supplies, or for the terminally ill. Karen could not resist jumping in one. They were very small, very dark. They would make neither a good closet nor a good private hospital room.

Here is a good view of the infirmary, so you can get an idea of just how large the room was.

Not a lot of light came in through the windows.

Nina told us a lot about burial stiles, about how to tell who was the dead person and who was the grieving relative. This picture shows a daughter (grieving relative) clinging to her mother (dead person) who is on her way to the afterlife.

Here is an awesome lion, or what is left of him.

Looking down into a courtyard with a lovely mosaic floor

A soldier being attacked by a giant snake?!

More headless statues

Finally, some heads

Julius Caesar

This statue was so perfectly preserved and lovely

Here we are at the bottom of the Street of the Knights. We are headed uphill, and Nina is telling us about the buildings we pass. Different buildings houses men of different nationalities (or languages).

Karen looks like she is getting a bit of a sunburn...

This is the French building. The French are the only nationality who did not turn their building over; they retain use of the building. A closer look at the coat of arms

You can tell that this is a Catholic church, Nina said, because of the statues.

Hey is that a minaret?  Of a mosque?

Pirate guy

If you had your photo taken with him, you were supposed to drop money in his bucket.

He stood very still, off to the side, out of the flow of foot traffic. He did not move. His makeup made him look like a plastic mannequin. Karen saw his eyes move -- that is when she realized he was a street performed and not a freakish statue.

The exterior of the Palace of the Grand Master is being restored, hence the scaffolding.

The Annunciation!  When the angel Gabriel informs Mary that she will bear a child who will be our Savior.

We chose this excursion because it was the only one where you got to go inside the Palace of the Grand Master and see the mosaics.

The mosaics in the palace were beautiful.

Have I mentioned yet where all these mosaics came from? They were taken from early Christian buildings on the island of Cos. It was a delicate and laborious task to take a mosaic. They glued cloth over one meter square sections, then chipped around the section, and then pried up the section. Each section was numbered and rolled and transported to the palace. So when they were placed here in the Palace, the strips that had been chipped away had to be replaced.

These walls were lovely.

We ran into Robert (of Lela and Robert). He was wandering through the Palace, not part of a tour.

Creepy Medusa

Attack kitty


Some of them looked like carpets.

Scary basement stairway

Nina talked about Mussolini because the Palace was restored while he was in power.

The Nine Muses

The Nine Muses, plus one pushy woman who stepped into the picture because she could not wait one more second for Karen to finish taking the picture.

At the end f the tour, here is Karen thanking Nina for doing such a great job


We wandered through the streets, which were lined with things to buy.

We were looking for a rooftop restaurant, but then Robert and Lela called us over to join them at a sidewalk cafe.

There were a lot of dogs and cats around. Karen fed a kitty a bunch of swordfish during lunch.

Seahorse fountain

Another shot of the dolphin statue on the way back to the ship


Excursion :

Walking Tour of Historic Rhodes

Historic Rhodes Walking Tour - RH01


Best explored by foot, the Old Town of Rhodes is an eclectic collection of historic influences that can be best discovered at a slow pace. Starting from the ship, your guide will escort you to the entrance to the Old Town. You'll pass through one of the turreted gateways and by the Agora and the Collachium, where the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem lived and worked, building a stronghold of Christendom in the Eastern Mediterranean. Remaining remarkably intact, the Old Town houses the churches, marble coat of arms of the Knights, canon balls, Jewish quarter, the Inns of the Knights, and most impressive, the restored Palace of the Grand Masters. You'll tour the interior of the palace as your guide points out the 14th century beginnings of the Central Courtyard and chambers decoratively built with colonnades and adorned with Hellenistic and early Christian mosaics. You will continue down the Street of the Knights, its paths paved with colorful marble and superb mosaics, past medieval towers and emblazoned facades. You will visit the Hospital of the Knights that is now a museum.

Note: Guests must be able to walk approximately 2 miles over even and uneven surfaces with some inclines and more than 80+ steps. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Time permitting; guests will have approximately 30 minutes of free time for shopping and browsing along Sokrate's Street before assembling back at the Marine Gate where your guide will escort you back to the ship. Flash photography is not permitted in the Palace of the Grand Masters.


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