“Cruising the Dodecanese” is Peter Sommer Travels’ last scheduled cruise in Greece in 2017. This year, to give an impression of the experience, we are providing a diary of sorts on our blog. Rather than describing every day in detail (you can check our itineraries on www.petersommer.com for that), every day we will pick one image we took that day, accompanied by some explanations and thoughts.
Again, a different day.
Today, we were focused entirely on the Town of Rhodes, with its Ancient Greek presence as the prime city state of the region, its Roman and Byzantine existence, its long and important period as the capital of Knights of Rhodes, its role as an Ottoman centre of trade and its current position as a centre of tourism and a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site.
The walls of Rhodes - or Rodos - are a major example of medieval defensive architecture in Europe, and we walked them today. It is a wonderful experience, giving access to a major archaeological feature in itself, but also allowing views of the entire Old Town, with its Ottoman minarets and domes, its Byzantine churches and chapels, its Latin apses and its innumerable lanes and streets: a living medieval town. Our image shows a typical view from the walls.
We also visited the Palace of the Grand Masters, in other words the headquarters of the Knights of Saint John, a building badly damaged by an explosion in the 19th century and subsequently restored by Fascist Italy, then in control of the Dodecanese. It contains a superb exhibit on the history of ancient Rhodes, the city founded in 407 BC, and it explains it beautifully.
Rhodes is a universe in itself, and it takes many narrators to tell its story. It id a place that rewards a longer stay, and several of our guests are availing of that opportunity.
Tomorrow, we'll feel lost, as our guests will be departing.