Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rhodes Town

Time passes when traveling. "Hurry up to wait" the saying goes and we've done plenty of it. This time we wait for a boat to spend the next 12 hours of our life on.  The boat is late though this tardiness is welcomed with less frustration than one would expect.  The reason is that whoever dreamed of the ferry schedule between Crete and Rhodes must have had a bad day.  Leaving at 3:00 in the afternoon for a 12-hour transit does not put travelers into port at a decent hour.  So, our boat was fortunately late though by the time we were able to board, people were antsy.

The ferry boats are huge and this one is a dinosaur of the Greek fleet.  It is the only boat comparable to the ones I traveled on during my last Greek Island voyage and the boarding procedures have not changed.  One large Cretan male was in charge of holding back the hordes of people determined to race onto the boat the second it docked.  His personality and yelling kept the crowd in check for some time but we were engaged in a red light-green light game.  Each time his back turned, the swelling crowd lurched forward until stopped by an abrupt turn.  Eventually, he tired and a mad dash ensued.  Not to be outdone, we raced.  I guess this is where packing light and taking only small packs is a benefit.  Unencumbered by wheelie bags, boxes or the like, we were quickly on and searching the boat for our "territory".  As deck passengers, we are meant to fend for ourselves so the open hallway space provided ample room to spread out and enjoy the hard, concrete floor.

From Greek Trip - Rhodes

Grabbing a few hours of sleep, we eventually made our way to the deck to watch the sun rise as we entered the port of Rhodes Town.  Recommended by many people, we were excited to visit this medieval town inhabited by the Ghosts of the Knights of St John.

From Greek Trip - Rhodes

"Good morning.  Did you just arrive on the ghost ship?" greeted Mikail as we hesitantly made our early morning appearance into his domantia.  Fortunately, he had a room and we dropped bags to explore the narrow stone alleys before the tourists and vendors awoke.

Wandering up a deserted Avenue of the Knights, we passed the "inns" of each country.  Back in the day, the Knights of St John lived in this section of the Knights' Quarter.  They were divided into houses based upon origins and at the top of the avenue lies the Palace of the Grand Master.  Today, the palace hosts a museum which we found ourselves touring without much company.
Beautiful corridor:

From Greek Trip - Rhodes

Inside the palace, room after room spread out.  Each room had its own mosaic on the floor, though most were brought from Kos, an future island of visit.

From Greek Trip - Rhodes

The narrow streets of Rhodes Town provided a welcome resting place for a few days as we enjoyed the old town.

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