The Acropolis At Lindos
With the town of Lindos around its base.
As usual, we ate breakfast on deck while entering Rhodes harbour. It was interesting watching two tug boats turn us around, one pulling the stern around while the other held the bow in place. We then gently moved sideways alongside the wharf and tied up. We left the ship at 8.30 for our organised excursion to Lindos, a town by the sea on the east coast of the island, famous for its acropolis. With the city of Rhodes being at the northern end of the island, it took anout 20 to 30 minutes by bus. Our guide (another Anthony) was excellent again; with very fluent English (he is married to a Scot!) and very knowledgable about the history of Rhodes. As we passed through the outskirts of Rhodes, the bus passed over a 2010 year old stone bridge, still in use on the main road. Of the 120,000 Islands in Greece, Rhodes is the 4th largest (Crete is the largest) with a permanent populaton of 120,000, but more than twice that in summer. It has 500 hotels, which 1.5 million people cycle through each year. We saw a lot of these as we passed by beach resorts along the
This wide set of steps leads up to The Temple Of Athena.
coast. We learnt that the reason olianders are planted along highways is because they are poisonous and animals won't eat them.. Rhodes was on the route taken by the Crusaders, and was so weakened by the 4th Crusade in 1204 that, when the Crusaders left, the Turks were able to move in and take over. It wasn't until 1937 that it joined the Greek Federation.
Reaching a bus stop above the town of Lindos, we transferred to a shuttle bus that took us the short distance downhill into the town. From there we walked through the narrow shopping streets of the town, and then up a flight of 278 steps to the entranceway to the acropolis. Apart from this entranceway, which is well guarded, the acropolis is surrounded by high walls with a vertical drop into the sea below; a virtually impregnable fortress. Some of the buildings remain, while others are being restored. At the highest point is the Temple of Athena, the special protectress of the Greek heroes. It was built in the 4th century BC. After some time to roam around the acropolis, we wandered back through the town for souvenirs, and then returned to Rhodes.
In the afternoon we went off by ourselves to visit Old Rhodes Town, a Medieval walled city designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the time of the Crusaders, the Knights of St John lived in the Kollakio (Knights' quarters), while the remainder of the inhabitants lived in the Hora. Today the Old Town is in three fairly distinct parts. The Street Of The Knights is little changed. At its upper end, the Palace Of The Grand Masters has been rebuilt and is now a museum. Its construction is very impressive but, with our being rather tired, its contents didn't hold much interest for us. Parts of the Hora have been converted into a million tourists shops and restaurants. The remainder is still housing and is virtually unchanged; a maze of tiny twisting back streets that are not hard to get lost in, and we took about 30 minutes extra to find the gateway that we came entered through. It reminded us a bit of Venice. 5,000 people still live within the Old City.
That evening we had Greek musicians and dancers entertain us for a while before dinner. We didn't sail until 11 pm, and were asleep
before then. So ended our time in Greece. Waking the next morning we had crossed a border and started our eight days in Turkey. But that is another story.
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