With a desire to just take one big bite into Greece we had to remind ourselves that little nibbles are far more satisfying and memorable.
Our first small taste was Rhodes city on the island of Rhodes, well it was just a hop and skip away from Turkey where we had been housesitting for the last few months. Rhodes was such a gloriously relaxing place and so full of history, which did whet our appetite and we wanted to explore more.
As with most first bites, the first is usually the best.
Marmaris, Turkey to Rhodes, Greece
It has been a while since we have ventured onto a ferry. After this short trip, we are not that fussed if we don’t do another one for a while. She was a rough ride, the sort of journey where one minute you see the sea the next it’s the sky. Even the Squire was on the verge of developing a bit of seasickness, which is surprising as he is an old sea dog, so if he was to succumb there was no hope for me not coming down with it. Luckily we reached Rhodes and hopped onto land before it became an issue. Unlike some people around us clutching those sick bags like they were filled with gold.
Within our hour we had booked into our hotel room, put clothes on hangers, had a drink, and we were heading out the door to start exploring.
Firstly Rhodes Old Town is surrounded by stone walls, which are guarded by several towers and moats, and the oldest continuously inhabited medieval town of Europe and the island’s most alluring attraction. With the added bonus of a refreshing sea breeze, it made wandering the narrow streets and archaeological sites a pleasurable experience.
Don’t take my word for it, let my photographs speak for themselves.
The below photograph is a Mosque which was built in the 16th century by Suleiman the Magnificent after conquering Rhodes, and unlike most Mosques in Rhodes, it was originally constructed as a Mosque. It is now used as a Museum.
La Juderia is home to Greece’s oldest synagogue, Kahal Shalom Synagogue. Inaugurated in 1577, it is the island’s only remaining synagogue of the original six. The website is a fantastic resource curated by the Jewish Museum of Rhodes.
Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes
This is one place where we got to view the only Gothic Architecture in Greece.
The Palace had been rebuilt as part of The Grand Master’s Palace was destroyed by a gunpowder explosion in 1856. It was rebuilt by the Italian’s who spared no expense in restoring it with much attention to detail which some may say is far better than the original one.
This once again lavish palace which is now classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Museum. It is so fascinating exploring this Palace with the rooms set up like the occupants had just left the room.
Included in most rooms are antique furnishings, mosaic floors which had been brought over from Kos Island. On the ground floor, we viewed an exhibit about Rhodes from the early Christian period to the Turkish conquest in 1522.
The outstanding feature of these rooms, apart from the glorious view, was the dramatic wallpaper.
Municipal Art Gallery
The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes.
The second Museum we visited was in the Old Town of Rhodes which can be found in the building of the Hospital of the Knights, which is in the Palace of the Grand Master. It all began in 1440 by Grand Master de Lastic and was completed in 1948 by Grand Master d’ Aubusson. As well as the whole of the Medieval Town of Rhodes being renovated in the 20th Century by the Italians so was the building that now houses the museum. Today the Archaeological Museum contains findings from excavations all over the island and some small islets of Dodecanese. We saw an array of vases, figurines, small objects and tomb groups from the Ancient Ialyssos and Ancient Kameiros which date from the Geometric to the Roman times. There are also mosaic floors from the Hellenistic times and funerary slabs of the Knights. The mosaic floors were amazing.
Strolling by the Seaside