Accio Jacksons!

An 11-inch holly blog with a phoenix feather core

November 20: Rhodes (the island, not the frozen dough)

by Rebecca on 2008-12-16

After all of the excitement in Ephesus, we were a little less than excited about seeing Rhodes. But we had arranged for a driver to take us around the island, so we dragged ourselves out of bed in order to meet him at 9:30. Nicholas started out by driving us through the city of Rhodes and pointed out several landmarks. We saw the Harbor of Rhodes, where the Colossus (of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World fame) was reported to have stood. Nicholas didnʼt place much stock in that story because the Colossus would have been extremely tall and the source that says the Colossus was that big didnʼt write until 300 years later. So, we have a picture of the harbor but itʼs probably not where the Colossus was. Sorry, guys. Nick also took us up to the ruins of a Temple of Apollo and said, “Have a look, take some pictures, and meet me down there in 30 minutes.” So, we took a look around, got our pictures, walked up and down the race course at the base of the hill, and then met Nick again.

Our next stop was a ceramics shop with lots of Greek pots. We couldʼve watched the guy making pots all afternoon. Itʼs really hypnotic to watch the potter forming and shaping and trimming a pot. They make it look so easy! Then Nick took us to a gold jewelry store where we could admire many hand-crafted, shiny things. But we didnʼt buy anything at either stop because it was out of our price range.

We drove through Rhodes for about an hour until we came to the village of Lindos, which is at the far end of the island. (Donʼt ask me which end — I havenʼt looked at a map.) The village has been designated a World Heritage Site, and it is a charming little place. We saw very little sign of life, though. Most of the shops and restaurants were closed, since November is the off-season for the Greek islands. Nick drove us around so that we could see St. Paulʼs Bay, where Paul supposedly landed on his journeys. And then he kicked us out of the car and said, “Iʼll be back in an hour. I recommend that you walk up there,” and then drove off. And we looked “up there” and saw the Acropolis of Lindos, with lots of ruins.

So, we dutifully started walking through all of the twisty, windy, hard to see above the walls streets of Lindos. We took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up at a garbage dumpster. But from there we could see the Acropolis, so we were able to correct our course. And then we started ascending some very steep terrain and steps. As we were walking up, we saw a woman coming down, carrying what looked to be a very, very large laundry bag (or possibly body bag). And suddenly, she stopped and heaved her bag over the side of the cliff and kept walking. What?? No explanation for that little incident. Anyway, we went up to the Acropolis and had an amazing view of some beautiful blue Mediterranean water and gorgeous beaches. There are some Greek ruins up there, as well as some medieval ruins. And someone is working diligently to rebuild it all, so there was scaffolding everywhere.

We found Nick at the appointed time, and he drove us back to our ship, taking us through some of the resort areas of the island. I canʼt even imagine how crowded it must be during the summer time. There are hotels and clubs everywhere! (Though I wouldnʼt mind going back someday — that water looks gorgeous!)

When we got back to the ship, we headed straight to lunch and felt much better after we had eaten. William decided to take a nap, so I headed back into the Old Town determined to find the Palace of the Grand Masters. All I had was a terribly unspecific map to guide me. Well, the city of Rhodes looks like any other medieval town — narrow, dark cobblestone streets that twist and turn and completely disorient the barbarian invaders and innocent tourists like me. I kept running into people from the ship who assured me that the Palace was “over there” or “just a few more blocks that way.” So, I walked and walked and walked until I found myself in the midst of the Palace complex but with no clue how to get into the actual palace. Iʼd already been walking for about an hour, so I decided that I should just give it up and head back to the ship. Somehow I ended up in the middle of a park with two sort of scary looking men kind of watching me. So, I turned around and tried to retrace my steps. I ran into two very nice ladies from my ship, assured them that there was nothing to see up there, and convinced them to walk back to the ship with me. And we had a grand old time visiting and getting acquainted, and I was thankful that they came along in time to help me get back.

When I got back, I found William awake and editing pictures in our room. I guess he wasnʼt that tired after all. And the rest of the day was spent recovering from our busy day and waiting around for dinner time.