Results 1-10of 10 Reviews
Oxford, United Kingdom
September 21, 2011
From journal Cruising The Eastern Med-Again!
December 4, 2006
From journal Rhodes Greece - True Paradise
by GB from Devizes
Devizes, United Kingdom
July 26, 2005
Socratous, the old bazaar street still has the majority of the better stores and this extends specifically to gold and silver. The shop-owners are nowhere near as pushy as in other parts of the Aegean and are generally happy to let you browse without being pestered. Prices are reasonable too although this usually means that trying to secure a bargain will fall on deaf ears.
Caroline had the misfortune to lose her wedding ring last year and one of the holiday’s objectives was to find a replacement. This we did and whilst deciding upon the ring, the owner was happy to give our other jewellery a free clean. To make things even better the ring she chose fitted her perfectly straight from the tray.
There are, of course, lots of gift shops, some selling good products, some frankly fobbing you off with junk. Restaurants, cafes and bars are around every corner and the prices vary hugely so don’t be tempted by your first sight of a bar. Usually, any bar in Greece will offer a "large" beer as being a 500ml glass. In some bars here, large means a litre so watch out from a cost and driving back point of view.
Other stores sell good quality leather-ware such as handbags and purses and these can usually be haggled for. There are stores full of beautiful fabrics, pottery, ceramics and paintings. Cameras, hi-fi, laptops, binoculars and watches feature heavily and assuming of course that they are the genuine article, were very keenly priced. A Tag Heuer wristwatch that retails for around £795 in the UK could be yours for 650 euros, a bargain indeed.
Rather oddly, at the bottom of one small back street, in an area with Turkish names above the doors, we counted no less than four stores selling umbrellas. Not sun parasols but fully-fledged "parapluies"! It hadn’t rained here since March with no likelihood of doing so until late October and the temperature was in the mid 90’s. I guess they had to be superb salespeople or out-and-out optimists.
The Old Town is a vibrant shopper’s delight and if shopping is your thing, you certainly will have a good day out here, just remember to bring plenty of money. Credit cards are universally accepted and most shopkeepers don’t even bother to check your signature. Have fun, you girls...
From journal Rhodes Old Town - The Knights' Architectural Masterpiece
The tower was built after the devastating earthquake of 1851 and stands on the site of the original north-west tower of the internal fortifications of the coliseum. It costs 3 euros for the climb, but this includes a free drink in the enclosed taverna on a lower courtyard. The yard also contains the clock mechanism and bell which have been removed to make room for the half a dozen tourists that can squeeze into the belfry at a time.
Looking out over the Old Town reveals a sea of red-tiled roofs, soaring minarets, church towers, palm trees, and the battlements along the ancient walls. Not to be missed!
Whilst at this end of the town, turn right into Plateia Kleovoulou at the top of Ippoton and walk down for a few meters to St John’s Loggia to your left. It was built in the Gothic style in 1430 and was the official church of the Order. It remained in good condition until 1856 when a lightning strike caused by an electrical storm ignited an old cache of gunpowder in the cellars, resulting in a cataclysmic explosion that destroyed the Loggia, most of the Palace of the Grand Masters, most of the top of Ippoton and caused the deaths of some 800 people.
Fortunately, drawings existed that enabled the church to be rebuilt on the western side of the harbour, close to the Governor’s Palace, where it stands today.
Almost next door to the Loggia are two good buildings; firstly, the tiny Church of Agia Triada Kollakiou, with the house of Nicholas de Montmirel to its left.
Another worthwhile stop is at the Museum of Decorative Arts on Plateia Argyrokastrou with a collection taken from houses across the Dodecanese. Ceramics, costumes, embroidery, tools, pictures and pottery make up the displays which are labelled in Greek but only in pidgin English. The museum occupies part of the old armoury as used by the Knights.
Also close by is the house of Guy de Melay, one of the Grand Masters of the Order.
As written in the overview, the Old Town has so many ancient building that it would be impossible to include them all unless this journal was to contain maybe 20 entries. But the selection described here will suffice to give the visitor a good flavour of what to expect and the best places to see on what will in all probability be a day when decisions have to be made regarding the available time.
For most of its 5-kilometer encirclement of the Old Town, the walls are around 35 feet thick and in places up to 50 feet thick. Each section of the walls was the responsibility of a particular "Inn" of the Knights to maintain and defend.
The walls are punctuated by eleven gates, or "pilia", the only way to gain access into the inner town.
Beginning in the far northeast, the first gate is Eleftherias (Freedom) Gate through which many of the visitors will enter. A pathway flanks the road that also enters here, due to the fact that it is the only passable route to Mandraki harbour. This gateway is a recent addition, having been opened by the Italians after WW2, who saw themselves as liberators of the Old Town.
Just a few meters south is Tarsanas (Arsenal) Gate through which the traffic re-emerges, adjacent to the remains of Aphrodite’s temple. This was the original gateway to the port and, as it’s name suggests, was where the Knights brought in their supplies of armoury and ammunition. Further south by a couple of hundred meters is Arnaldo Gate, a narrow access surrounded by shops and protected by a fortified turret on either side.
A hundred meters or so south of here is the massive hulk of the Thalassini (Marine) Gate, probably the most impressive of them all other than the Kanonia Gate at the entrance to the Grand Masters’ Palace. This is as far south as we walked and after the Thalassini Gate, the others you will see are the Panagias (Virgin Mary) Gate, the Akantias Gate, the Agios Ioannou (Saint Andrew)Gate and the Agios Athanasios Gate.
After here, we are now within reach of the Palace of the Grand Masters, where we resumed our exploration. We are now on the western side of the Old Town where we have the imposing Kanonia (Cannon) Gate at the top of Ippoton, Agios Antonios (Saint Antony) Gate and finally the d’Amboise Gate. The Kanonia Gate was the entrance to the Palace for the Knights and this is reflected in it’s size and presence. With walls in excess of forty feet thick, it surely would have presented an impregnable obstacle.
We took our time to explore these three great gates that are over 600 years old but have barely a scar upon them, such was the building prowess of the medieval masons who put their construction skills to the limit in order to defend this walled city.
July 1, 2005
This was the first port of call on our trip to explore the south of the island and, having deposited the hire car beneath a strategically placed olive tree to escape the intense heat, we took to "shank’s pony" and wandered around this pretty small town.
The central square is busy and roads shoot off in several directions, all flanked by tavernas, bars and restaurants. In the centre of the square is a delightful, art deco fountain, legacy of the Italians who occupied and rebuilt much of Rhodes after the German surrender. Wander down to the side of the fountain to arrive at the stunning Church of Agios Taxiarchos, positioned in a delightful "hokhlaki" (pebble mosaic) courtyard alongside tall cypress trees and it’s unusual "wedding cake" tiered bell-tower.
The church was locked and we had no idea who might hold the key so we peered through the windows to see fabulous chandeliers and some wonderful icons. Several local Greeks passed by us as we looked in awe at this wonderful structure, no doubt wondering what we found so special about something they’d grown up with. But we clicked away with the camera until we had a shot from every conceivable angle.
Having taken our fill of the fountain and church, we drove the 2 kilometers to the new resort but were a little disappointed. The beach is composed of a dull, grey sand and is crowded with parasols and sunbeds. Every taverna proclaimed " real English food available", their offerings comprising full English breakfasts, cod and chips and rather amazingly, liver, bacon and onions.
Not for us, I’m afraid...
We departed Lardos and headed for the next port of call, this being the superb Glystra beach, about 4 kilometers further south. Until recently, this was a totally undeveloped arc of soft, golden sand. Sunbeds now litter its length, but there is no detracting from the prettiness of this sheltered little bay. We had a quick paddle, put the sandals back on and headed south for the next stop.
From journal A Day's Drive to the Castles and Villages of Southern Rhodes
November 15, 2003
So, we decided to explore Old Town, Rhodes, and were instantly transported to the Medieval Ages--it was lovely! We entered the town through one of the numerous arched entryways, walked its pebbled streets, and went "gaga" over all the little shops that sold countless types of souvenirs!
After satisfying our shopping needs, we went to the Clock Tower, then had gyros for lunch at a small cafe behind it. Afterwards, we proceeded to the imposing Castle of the Grand Master. There, we were simply astounded by its well-preserved grandeur and its historical significance. As we viewed its immense walls, the cannons peeking through some holes, the moat which used to surround it, we couldn't help but imagine knights on their loyal steeds rushing through its gates, the sound of horses' hooves echoing across its pebbled streets...crusaders on their way to reclaim the Holy Land from the infidels!
It's a wonderful feeling when you see actual historical relics coexisting w/ the hustle & bustle of modern times. It's like being in a time travel warp! And, being an avid reader of historical fiction, it's so cool!
From journal Yahsoo, Greece!
Berwick, Nova Scotia
August 31, 2003
From journal Rhodes - a magical trip to the past
Warwick, United Kingdom
May 23, 2003
There is so much to explore in Old Town Rhodes that you could easily spend a day wandering and browsing, a truly amazing place.
From journal Summer Sun in Rhodes
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
December 6, 2000
One of the highlights of Old Town is the Avenue of the Knights with its medieval architecture. When the Knights of the Order of St. John, also known as the Crusaders, first came to the island they built Inns, called Tongues. Each
country or area built one and it became the social and civic centre for their fellow countrymen. Plaques mounted on each building denote which country it belonged to and England, Spain, Italy, France, Provence and more are represented here. The buildings are now private residences or offices and are not open to the public but a brochure from the Tourist Information Centre provides information and a history on each Tongue.
The Avenue of the Knights doesn’t appear to have changed all that much over the centuries and we got a sense of what it was like
hundreds of years ago. Even surrounded by tourists, there was a quiet awe and sense of
anticipation about these buildings, almost like they were waiting for the Knights to return.< p> The Avenue leads to the Palace of the Grand Masters, built as the residence for the head of the order. Much of it was destroyed due to an explosion in 1856 but it was rebuilt in 1940 and is decorated with European furniture and Greek mosaics and statues.
Nearby, the archaeological museum is housed in the restored 15th century hospital building, also constructed by the Knights of St. John. Although not as extensive as the National Museum in Athens, this one was much less overwhelming and had an interesting display of statues, pottery, gravestones and other artifacts.
After our daily history "fix" and explorations, we’d usually find ourselves in the center of Old Town, at a large square that had a water fountain topped with bronze seahorses. I can’t remember the name of the square but it was quite popular with tourists, locals and a number of Greek cats who happily suntanned near store entrances. For us, it was a great place to relax with an ice cream while deciding where to go for dinner.
venture into the newer section of town all that often because for us, Old Town had it all - relaxation, entertainment and cultural exploration.
From journal 5 Days in Rhodos (Rhodes)