Today we visit the island of Rhodes. Like many of the Greek islands it has a complex history of early civilizations and conquerors. Rhodes is uniquely situated to control trade between Turkey and the western Mediterranean. So taking the profit motive along with Christian/Muslim intolerance and throw in the Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492 and you have a dynamic and sometimes tragic set of historical events.
As we walk through the old city we see festive and memorial squares, a bombed out cathedral, and the juxtaposition of the very old and more modern buildings.
The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem defended Rhodes in the siege of 1522 by the Ottomans. They were betrayed by one of their own and defeated. Most of their buildings have been repurposed.
The tour of the palace began with a trek up a steep staircase with no railings. It was pretty difficult for me and for many of our tour group. In the upper chambers there were mosaic floors which were taken from the island of Kos and cemented into the floor of this building.
Now we walk into the area which housed the Muslim population and their mosque.
Our tour is over and we are being released to go out on our own!! The first thing that John wants to do is get a beer and do some people watching. We settle into a table at Stergios Corner and each have a local beer called Zythos Vap. We are hot and tired from our excursion and this is the perfect solution.
We take our time strolling through the old city and back to the harbor.
Before dinner we head up to the Explorer Lounge for our Negroni Sbagliatos. Tonight they ask if we want our unusual usual. Allen, the guitarist, pats John on the shoulder. I guess we are becoming known amongst the people who hang out at the bar.
We have dinner at Manfredi’s tonight. We both have calamari fritti and then I have spaghetti vongole which is good but has too many extraneous ingredients and John has eggplant parmesan.