Friday, October 15, 2010

Rhodes, Greece

Another great sunset at sea.

My ferry ride from Santorini to Rhodes was much better than my ferry ride to Santorini. Having learned from my first ride, I had my sleeping bag and sleeping pad right from the start of the voyage. Then, I looked around for a quiet dark place and got a decent night's sleep. I only remember waking up when we stopped at another port. The stars were amazing.

Rhodes harbor.

Despite a great ferry ride, Rhodes was a dud for me. It had two claims to fame that I knew of. One, it had the biggest surviving old town in Europe. Two, it was home to the Colossus of Rhodes, a giant statue that was one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. I was still over old towns and cafe culture so that part of Rhodes was out. There is supposed to be an acropolis on the east coast of the island, but having just come from Athens, I turned my nose up at it. I didn't think it was going to compare. The Colossus would have been incredible, but the big wonder now is what it actually looked like since it long ago fell down and nothing is left. They can't find any ruins. They have two pillars where the legs used to be. In 2008, Greece announced they would be rebuilding the 30m Colossus.

I love this guy. If only he wasn't typical of the old town and trying to get me to eat at his restaurant.

The two pillars that mark the old Colossus' location.

After taking a look around the harbor, I was craving a nap. However, I could not find any grass to save my life. I saw some in the old moat, but I could not figure out how to get down to it. It was frustrating. From there, I went back to where I had left my bike under the watchful eye of an expat Brit working at a hostel bar called Mango. When I got there, I ran into a Dutch man that I had met at the ferry terminal in Athens. He had biked Italy, ferried Greece, and was about to spend two weeks biking in Turkey. He makes the trip every year and gave me a quick look around his favorite Rhodes' Byzantine ruins and sights.

The Dutch bike tourer and Elfstedentocht finisher that I met.

In the years that the lakes and canals in Holland freeze over enough (this is happening less and less), they hold the Elfstedentocht (Friesland 11-City Tour). The last editions of the single day 124 mile ice skating event took place in 1985, 1986, 1997, and maybe 2008. The Dutch biker has finished 3 and competed in 5. The really curious thing about this is that I just learned about this race from the people who told me about side saddle bike riding on the bus to Delfi.

The view from a balcony in Rhodes.

A mosque.

The Street of the Knights and the Grand Master's Palace were established by the Knights Hospitallers who controlled the island from 1307 to 1522. They took control after leaving Italy to avoid persecution by the Knights Templar. The Knights Hospitallers eventually lost control after a siege by the Ottoman, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.

Street of the Knights

Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights.

Rhodes was a quiet day for me. I didn't do much and that is just what I needed. I was starting to feel pretty burnt out. The heat was getting to me. My legs were tired. I was a bit lonely from having been home. I just wasn't feeling my trip at that moment. I think a lot of that had to do from mental and physical exhaustion.

The very crowded Rhodes beach. Check out the diving platform in the background.

No comments:

Post a Comment