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Inside the Walls of Rhodes

October 22, 2012

The day we woke up in Rhodes, Greece was one of the most impressive mornings of opening the curtains to a new port.  We were looking at a medieval walled city with a palace in the distance – not exactly the view I’m used to waking up to!

We had nothing on the agenda for our day in Rhodes and just wanted to wander through the walled city, making sure to check out the Grand Master’s Palace.  We thought we could take a cab to the palace at the top of the hill and work our way back to the port, but taxis aren’t allowed within the walls.  So we ended up taking cabs about a quarter-mile to the drop-off point for 5 euros per cab.  If you go to Rhodes, don’t repeat our idiot tourist move!

Unnecessary cab ride complete, we entered the walls to an adorable, quaint European town.  The narrow cobblestone streets were lined with shops and tavernas, and the walls rising around us gave the whole town a unique look.

The first item on our agenda was lunch (we got a late start that day), and the hostess persuaded us to sit down at Island Lipsi, a restaurant that despite its name served delicious traditional greek food.

I shared the Greek Plate, a dish meant for two people that probably could have fed four, with my sister and her husband.  It was a sampler of all the Greek goodies we wanted to try – mousaka, dolmades, spanikopita, pork souvlaki and tzatziki, among others.  It was absolutely delicious.

With our bellies sufficiently full, we started working our way toward the Grand Master’s Palace, stopping to duck into a few shops.  The palace was originally built by the Knights Hospitaller during the Middle Ages as a fortress to defend the city.  The Grand Master was apparently the awesome title for the head knight.  The structure blew up in an ammunition explosion in 1856, and was later rebuilt by the Italians when they occupied the city in the early 1900s.  The Italians apparently took some liberties when rebuilding the palace, so it’s not as it originally looked.

Either way, it was really impressive.  We took some time to walk through the interior of the palace, which was cool but not as stunning as the exterior.

After touring the palace we continued to walk along the edge of the walls, becoming even more enchanted by this town.

Then I kissed a creepy tree.

Another cool thing about Rhodes is that there is a corner where you can see a church across from a mosque and a synagogue.  It’s unique to see the three faiths represented in such close proximity just about anywhere, nevermind the old age of the buildings and the volatile religious history in this region.

We were leaving port early that evening, so we reluctantly made our way back outside the walls and toward the ship.

Back on board, we got to experience one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever witnessed before setting sail.

I would have loved to spend a few more hours in this beautiful town, but the knowledge that we were en route to Santorini made leaving a little easier.

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