I woke up bright and early, had (free) room service for breakfast and got ready for my shore excursion on the island of Rhodes.
The excursion was one of the shorter ones, only a couple of hours. I had no pre-conceived ideas about Rhodes other than the ‘Colossus of Rhodes’ used to stand across the entrance to the port. Well guess what? It didn’t. It turns out that the Colossus statue actually stood within the court yard of the Grand Master of the Knights Palace.
We went by bus up to the top of the hill behind the old town, got to see where a couple of theatres and the library were in ancient times. We did a tour of the palace part of the old town. The palace had a wealth of history. It was even renovated in the first half of last century to become the holiday house for the then Italian Prime Minister, Benito Mussolini although he never got to stay there. Our tour guide was really knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour (and was not a huge fan of Greek politicians or Gypsies).
After the tour, I had lunch at one of the cafes, where the food was inexpensive and very nice, then went back to the palace to do the walk around the wall around the old town, (two euros well spent).
One thing that I found fascinating was that the Old Town of Rhodes is the best preserved ancient town in the world. The guide said that if someone who lived there 500 years ago time travelled to today, they would be able to find where they lived because the layout hasn’t changed in that time. Not only that, chances are that their house would actually still be there.
The palace was pretty amazing, all sorts of goodies where there to see, including some unexpected things like Admiral Horatio Nelson’s belongings like his cape and shoulder thingys as well as other exhibits to do with him and his travels.
Rhodes is hot, it was about 30deg but I think it seemed hotter because where I was in the old town was like standing in the middle of a radar dish.
I headed back to the ship with the thought of having a shower to freshen up, when I had a Eureka moment….. this ship has pools! I got my bathers on and headed up to the pool in the middle of the top of the ship. I found a nice lady who had the same idea. After about 60 minutes of talking while we sitting in the pool, we had both chilled and felt much more human. I have been lucky, I have found friendly folk in most places.
My dinner companions were a couple of ladies from America and an older couple from Melbourne, sort of my home town. We had lots to talk about…. The American ladies loved watching ‘Move to the Country’ and House Hunters and the Melbourne couple, well, the fella a least, became animated when I knew about football, (it didn’t seem to matter that I haven’t been interested in it for a while…. But I KNEW about it, that was all that was important!)