Monday, September 1, 2014


The Old city of Rhodes is a great place, no doubt, but the lack of a place to anchor near the city, the almost impossibility to find a place at the local marina as well as the huge crowds of tourists take some shine from it. Let me tell that’s a strange place from the cruising view point: Several ports almost unused were you cannot stay and a huge marina that is still not finished after 10 years. The new marina is a local joke among the resident Greeks that say always that it is going to open next month :-)

There are lots of boats that anchor outside the walls, near the marina, but the holding is poor, the winds strong and I like to sleep well, knowing that the boat is not going to drag the anchor, so we chose a beach on the outskirts of the town, were some very nice and helpful fishermen live by.

We came to love the place, that has good shelter from the prevailing winds, places to leave the dinghy with the fishermen, nice and inexpensive restaurants near by.  It is  30m walking from the old town and a Taxi  there costs only 5 euros, even if they are hard to find around that beach.

Rhodes is great, deserves a long visit but after some time there are just too many tourists to my taste.

The city has been vastly destroyed by successive invasions but the majestic walls, mostly built by the knights of St John of Jerusalem, survived the passage of time as well as some old stone buildings and those are the highlights of the place.

The highlights unless you have come for the night time (wild) or for shopping touristic souvenirs on the streets. The streets, including the old stone houses have been submerged by tourist stores and restaurants that cover everything on a very Turkish (Arab) way:
 You cannot see the houses anymore but a succession of expositors with T shirts, glasses, souvenirs and all that jazz.

Further away from the center it is possible to find an urban landscape less degraded by mass tourism and some medieval/Turkish streets have survived, if not in the flesh on its essence (last photos).

You can fell that on Rhodes West mingles with the East and the Christians with Muslims. Not always has it been that way and Rhodes was one of the places were the clash between Christians and Muslims and their different cultures was stronger.

Just to give an idea of the turning point this city has been it suffices to know that the original settlers were driven out by Minoans (Crete) an later by Dorians (Greeks) then came the Persians. In the time of Alexander the Great it belonged to the Macedonians and then it was finally independent. That is the time where the Rhodes Colossus was built. Their independence only lasted a bit more than 100 years!!!

 The Romans came next, then Byzantium, then the Genovese and the Knights of St John (initially Hospitaller Knights). Their rule, in name of Christianity stood for more than 200 years. The Island became Muslim under the rule of Suleiman the magnificent (Turkish-Ottoman empire). That lasted 400 years.

After it was Italian for more than 30 years and only for the last 60 years it belongs to Greece again, after a time lapse of more than 2000 years!!!

So you can imagine what a melting pot Rhodes is :-) and that's one of the things that makes this a fascinating place.

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