Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Atlantic Adventurer Cruise: Day 28, Rhodes, Greece

Friday, November 17, 2017
Day 28, Rhodes, Greece

Today our port is the City of Rhodes on the island of Rhodes in Greece.  Rhodes is much closer to Turkey than it is to Greece and only thirteen miles of water separates them.  The island and city of Rhodes has a very interesting history and has at various times been part of the Roman Empire, Turkey and Greece.  The city of Rhodes is very old and constructed in 407 BC.  For more information on the history and features of the island follow this link.

We weren’t scheduled to arrive until 10:00 and our tour today left right after we docked.  The tour we are on today is was arranged by someone on our Cruise Critic Roll Call, this time by Ann.

When we got up and looked out our window we were very happy to see clear, blue skies and when we went out on our balcony, warm temperatures.  After a quick bite to eat in the Neptune Lounge, we met our group in the Ocean Bar and then when the ship was cleared, we all went down and met our guide and driver.  We were relieved to see that today we were on a minibus that would hold sixteen and we were only twelve so there was no crowding.

We were soon on our way to the town of Lindos, which was across the island from Rhodes. The city of Lindos also has an acropolis. When you hear the word acropolis, you think of The Acropolis in Athens, but it turns out that acropolis means a high point and most towns had one.  The Acropolis of Lindos sits high above the town and has structures and fortifications dating back to the 6th century BC built at various times by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, the Knights of St. John and the Ottomans.  For more detailed information on the Acropolis of Lindos follow this link.

It was about a 45 minute drive from Rhodes to Lindos, but we did make one stop to look at a family run ceramics shop where they make and hand paint their own ceramics.  These stops are usually meant to sell things, but it was interesting and the ceramics were of a high quality.

Before arriving in Lindos, we stopped at a viewpoint where we could see the town and the acropolis above it.  After taking some photos, we were back on the bus and a few minutes later dropped off in the Lindos town square.  Only about half of the group decided to make the long walk up the hill to the acropolis with the guide while the others opted to walk around the town.

Lindos in the foreground with the Acropolis far above.  You can also see some ruins of a Roman Theater down the slope from the Acropolis.

Val was one of those that chose to stay in the village, but she walked part way up with us before turning back.  There are 200 stairs to get up to the entrance to the Acropolis and many more once you enter the ruins; I don’t blame her for not wanting to go all the way up.  It was a very interesting walk and our guide was very knowledgeable about the history and archeology of Rhodes.  She has a doctorate degree in archeology so she was very well versed.  It is quite amazing to be looking at history that goes back to 2,000 BC; history here is counted in thousands of years while our own history in the US is counted in hundreds of years.

You could ride up to the Acropolis on these donkeys if you wanted, but I didn't see anybody using them.

My pictures of my walk to the Acropolis.

Meanwhile, Val was exploring Lindos.

After wandering around the ruins for a while, we walked down to the village to meet the rest of our group.  We had about 30 minutes before we were supposed to meet in the square so I went off looking for Val, but couldn’t find her.  I went back to the square and waited, but she didn’t show up and I began to get worried, but she soon walked up with plenty of time to spare.  She had been sitting in a café having a drink and relaxing.  She had enjoyed her time in town and spent her time exploring and shopping.

It was back on the bus and on our way back to Rhodes where we got a bus tour of the city.  We stopped along the waterfront and walked around for a few photos and then on to our last stop of the day; the Medieval Walled City of Rhodes.

Our guide led us on a walking tour through the town which, proved to be very interesting.  We reached the other side to meet the bus and since it was within walking distance to the ship, Val and I decided to stay and explore the Medieval City a little longer.  Obviously, Val is feeling a lot better today.

It's getting late, so we are headed for the gate.
The Outer Wall from the harbor.

This was a wonderful tour today and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.  Our guide, Tsambika was excellent, she was very personable and knowledgeable and if you are visiting Rhodes, I would highly recommend her.  Not only did we learn about the history and culture of Rhodes, we learned about Greek life on the island.  During the terrible recession of 2008, Greek was deeply in debt and the European Union had to bail them out, but made them go into a severe austerity program.  It was easy in the US for us to say “tighten your belts and suck it up, you got yourself into this mess”, but when you talk to the people and hear what they are still going through it paints a different picture.  They live in this beautiful place, but they spend their life working, working, working just to have enough money to survive.

One thing interesting I learned from Tsambika was that in order to be certified to be a guide in most of the European countries you had to go through two years of training.  She said that since she had a PHD in archeology, she only had to go through six months of training.  She also said that they are in the process of changing the certification to require four years of training.  We have had very good and knowledgeable guides so far on this trip and now I know why.

Val and I continued exploring the city, but it was getting late in the afternoon and decided it was time to head back to the ship.  We considered having something to eat, but we thought if we ate so late we wouldn’t be hungry when it was time for dinner. 

After returning to the ship, we spent the rest of the time before dinner relaxing.  My legs were very tired today after making the climb up to the Lindos Acropolis.  I did take the time to download and backup our photos, but other than that I read until dinner.  Since Val was feeling better, we returned to our evening routine including trivia and the casino where I had a good night and ended up ahead for the night.

Tomorrow we will be visiting the Greek island of Crete and will be going out on our own.  Today was a great day with perfect weather, I hope tomorrow turns out to be the same, but the weather report says rain might be returning.

We say goodbye to Rhodes as we sail away and the sun sets.

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