Greece
Grand Master's Palace

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    • Day 19

      Rhodos Stadt

      September 30, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      Aktuell schauen wir uns die Altstadt von Rhodos Stadt an, welche seit 1988 zum Weltkulturerbe der UNESCO gehört. Wir verstehen, warum: Die mittelalterlichen Elemente inklusive der 5 Kilometer langen Stadtmauer sind unglaublich gut erhalten - aber seht selbst!

      Nach einem Spaziergang durch die wunderschönen Gassen sind wir soeben auf ein Kaltgetränk in einem gemütlichen Kaffee eingekehrt und lassen die letzten 16 Tage Revue passieren - denn morgen geht es wieder nach Hause 🛫

      Später werden die letzten Stunden genutzt, um nochmal am Pool unserer Villa zu chillen, bevor dann Packen angesagt ist. Gerade die letzten Tage vergingen wie im Flug, aber das kennt ihr sicher auch.

      Wir melden uns nochmal! 🤗
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    • Day 3

      Rhodes Finally

      May 22, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      I didn’t sleep well last night. My system is probably jet lagged. I did rest enough and feel good today. I am up bright and early at 2:45 AM to get my things together and head downstairs for a coffee before I have to get the bus back to the airport. The flight is going to take off at 5:50 AM and boarding is at 5:20. Yeah and you all know how much of a morning person I am!

      Off I head to the airport. I am supposed to fly out of Terminal 2, however when I get to the airport that has been changed to Terminal 1. The Munich airport has an underground tram that takes you from one terminal to the other. Efficient but a pain in the butt with escalators up and down and up again. We actually board on time and take off on time. This means that I should be in Rhodes by 9:30, yeah!

      Business Class in Lufthansa’s A320 is not as spacious as their bigger planes. That being said, you still have plenty of legroom and the seats are wide enough as well. I have a window seat which allows for some neat camera shots of the morning. The middle seat is empty so that is extra storage space. It is a bright and sunny day here today and the puffy clouds look like marshmallows.
      Breakfast is wonderful. I have not had enough coffee or food today. They served a cold breakfast of cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, smoked salmon and a salmon pate. They also served what I think was like a rice with cream and pineapple. Some warm buns and a croissant with cherry jam (Yes Leslie, they have cherry jam on this flight!). Coffee and orange juice rounds out breakfast just nicely.

      The flight is good and I should be able to get some knitting done. Yes, I brought my knitting. Keeps me busy in the airport and on flights. Hey Kate, your socks are being knitted in three different countries so far. Now you need to travel as many kilometers as they are!

      I’ll catch up with you later when I land in Rhodes and get settled in.

      After a pleasant flight, we landed with no issue. You walk through Customs and out the door. Rhodes is a small airport. You exit onto the tarmac and get bussed to the Customs Building. Taxi's are waiting for you right outside. It is a 30 minute drive to the old city but you get to drive along the coast and see the newer part. (Which is still old, but 1960's old). My hosts father, Marcus was waiting for me at the entrance to the old city. He is probably close to 70 (maybe older?) and speaks better English than I do Greek! He gallantly carried my bags through the streets all the while pointing out where to eat and where to buy groceries.

      The place I'm staying at is on a quiet little narrow street. When you walk in you have to insert the key to get the hydro working. We had to do that in the Dominican Republic as well. This is a good way for the owners to save money. This place is large. It actually has two sleeping areas and a little balconey. I have some shots (before I unpacked) for you to take a look at.

      After unpacking a bit and changing into something cooler, I went for a walk. The little streets are amazing! Some are slate but others are just pebbles in concrete or something. You could quite easily stumble and break an ankle! I am wearing my trusty sandals so that won't happen. This part of town has been consistently been lived in for over two thousand years. You can tell that it was built back when goats and donkeys were the prime mode of transportation. Some of the streets are about 1.5 meters wide and some are just little alleyways that meander in no particular direction. It is quite enjoyable to walk these streets and turn a corner to find a restaurant or some beautiful flowers growing on the side of the buildings. The best part for me is when you look up and see some structure that you just knows dates back hundreds of years. As with all old towns there is a center square that opens up into a large open area. I would imagine that this is where the markets and traders came to sell their wares. Now it is filled with little shops that sell everything a tourist could want. They have a lot of leather shops for shoes, bags and belts. There are many womens clothing shops, hat shops, jewlery stores etc. I like to look but I'm not much of a shopper.

      After all this walking (won’t be hard to make my step count here!), I realize that it is time for some lunch. I have been waiting for months now to try the Greek salad. It is tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, oniions, olives and feta cheese. I stop at one of the outdoor cafes where there is plenty of shade. This restaurant has benches with cushions under the spread of some big trees. What could be more inviting? I order the Greek Salad with a bottle of water and a glass of the local wine. The wine is a very nice white wine that is very aromatic but light and crisp to the taste. A perfect paring with the salad. The olive oil and olives taste different here. They have more depth to their flavour. I don't know if it is a different kind of olive (looks like Kalamata) but they taste like the ancient Greek Gods harvested them just for me. They don’t rush you or try to oversell either. As I sit and people watch, you realize that there are already many, many tourists here. This is supposed to be shoulder season but the old town is already bustling with tourists. I hear a lot of German and some French. Since this place was only 3 hours from Munich that makes sense.

      I finish my lunch and head to the bakery I saw earlier. Sorry I didn’t get any pictures but I was too busy checking out what they had. I went with a couple of traditional Greek baklava and left before temptation took over. I get lost on my way back to my place. (I passed the same restaurant 3 times, just from different directions!) I wanted to go to the local market store but they are closed on Sundays, I guess.

      I finally find my way home and take a nap. All that exploring is exhausting! Tonight, I will try the restaurant at the foot of my street as was recommended by my host.

      I went for a stroll down by the harbour tonight as the sun was setting. It was a beautiful evening and there were plenty of people out enjoying it. I went to a restaurant named Dafni which is the one that my host recommended. I told the waiter that Marcus had sent me and he said he was talking to him already. He knew about me getting delayed in Munich and that I missed one day on the island. I was stunned that the owner would actually go to the restaurant and talk with the owner to let him know I was coming. Talk about looking after your guests. I told him that I didn't like seeing the heads on my fish and that I didn't like beets. Check out the pictures to see what he came up with. It was delious! The sea bass was cooked perfectly and the horta (green leafy greek side dish) was a perfect match. So was the glass of local wine. I met a young man from Ohio and we started talking. Between the owner and us we talked the evening away! I had company for dinner as well. The 'locals' seem to know when you have fish.

      I'm absolutey worn out. Time for bed.
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    • Day 6

      Last day in Rhodes

      May 25, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      I know I said I'd see you in Crete but I had a whole day here so I went to see the Grand Palace. If anyone remembers my Europe blog you know it was dominated by Cathedrals and Castles. Well I'm back at it!

      Today was the Grand Palace of Rhodes. First you visit the Museum of Rhodes where you learn about the history of Rhodes. I'll give you the short version: it's really old (24 centuries) and everyone fought over it from Rome to Turkey in the old days to Italy, Germany and Turkey again in modern times. Each time Greece said get lost. Rhodes is in a strategic location near Turkey, Asian Minor and South Africa. Therefore, it was very important to different countries.

      Okay, let's get to the good stuff! The first set of building is the Knights Hospital. I guess all that turmoil means lots of injuries. I personally just drool over the vastness and archetechure of these buildings. Each hospital room is bigger then most bedrooms and comes with their own fireplaces. The ceilings are really tall (6-7 meters), probably to allow for the heat of the summer. They were all situated around a central square. There were some beautiful flower gardens and water features around the grounds.

      The Palace is impressive! First you have to walk up a road called The Knights Road. All up hill and moderately steep. Then you get to the Palace. I'm a little disappointed that there are no gates or moat or anything. I guess invades are stopped before the get to the Palace. The center square and fountain (Not currently working) are impressive. The turrets and building itself are beautiful. They look like they are made from sandstone. Not sure though. They currently have an exhibit about the floor mosaics. They don't have much about the different rulers or time periods. Of course that leaves more to the imagination. There are plenty of rooms and the are massive and small. Some look like they are used for administration of the island and some have views of the sea.

      I have stopped for lunch at the first place I ate at a few days ago. Thought I would get a little decadent with the dessert. Eat your heart out people, I've already made 7000 steps and it is not even 2:00 PM.

      My flight from Rhodes to Crete was quick, just an hour. I got here late though and felt bad that the hosts had to wait around for me. Since I got here after sundown, I couldn’t check out the water. It is very calm tonight so I can’t hear it either. The girls (Laura & Nicole) have headed to the airport for their flight and they should come in tonight around 6:00 PM Greece time.
      The apartment has two bedrooms, a small but functional kitchen, smallish bathroom but that’s okay. We have two terraces. One off my bedroom which is street side. Basically, used for hanging laundry. The other one off the living room where the water is. I’ll explore more tomorrow.
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    • Day 4

      Getting braver, went outside the wall

      May 23, 2022 in Greece ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      I had a great nights sleep last night. It is another beautiful day out today; I am having great luck with the weather.

      I head down to a place called The Bakery for breakfast. They have these dough bowls with different things in them. They have a bacon, egg and spinach bowl or sausage and egg or vegetable bowl. Check out the picture, kinda hard to explain. Anyway, it was delicious and I couldn’t finish it. I have an cold cappuccino as well but didn’t care for that. There is a very nice young man with an Irish accent (his father is Greek, his mother Irish) that I asked about getting a tour to Lindos. He told me to just head down to the harbour where I was last night and I’ll find plenty of offers.

      Afterwards, I set up my Google Maps to take me to Vodafone for a new sim card for my phone. It is located outside the Old Town in the ‘New’ city. It is only a 20 minute walk which takes me 30 minutes cause you know I can get lost in a phone booth. I made it and I got 15GB of data and 100 minutes of International Calling and Unlimited European calling for 39 Euros. It is good for the 30 days that I’m here. This is half what Virgin was going to charge me for 15 times the data and I get unlimited calling for Europe.

      After getting this I headed down to the harbour to book my tour for tomorrow. I found one there and it will take me to two beach stops and to Lindos. It is a full day trip. More about this tomorrow. On my way back I had to stop for some gelato. Yes there are pictures. They have like 20 different kinds, pretty hard to pick just 2. I thought this was a little expensive (6 Euros) but I’m sure that this is the tourist trap. Breakfast only cost me 7.50 Euros. On the way back ‘home’ I stopped at the grocery store to pick up some milk and yogurt so I can have breakfast at home tomorrow before the boat trip.

      Links: Air BnB https://abnb.me/x14zYiwOgqb
      Dafni Taverna https://www.facebook.com/pages/Taverna-Dafni/11…
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