Saturday, April 26, 2014

April 18th – Going Back to Medieval Times in Rhodes Town

The great thing about visiting Rhodes Town, is that we dock so close to the action, right in front of the huge medieval city walls that encircle this historic gem of a town. After all these ports where we've had to catch Shuttle Buses or join tours to get the most out of our time here, it was a pleasure just to do a leisurely walk into town, and sample Rhodes Town's relaxed, historic atmosphere – even a bit of rain at the start of our visit couldn't dampen the chilled out atmosphere.

We went for a tasty lunch in one of the many little squares in town, and then found out that all the museums were free today, because it was Easter Sunday – you don't mind paying to visit evocative buildings like the Grand Master's Palace, but it's even better when they're free! So, we had fun exploring the legacy of the Knights of St John, in this incredibly well-preserved town, full of medieval buildings. The Street of the Knight was full of Gothic stone buildings where those Knights would have hung out, in between their epic battles with the Turks for the mastery of the Mediterranean, while the sheer size of the Grand Master's Palace really brings home the power of the Knights in the 14th century. We also visited the excellent Archaeological Museum, housed in the Knights' Hospital – a reminder that the Knights were set up to care for the sick and pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land.

With the sun coming out in the afternoon, this historic town was looking as good as ever – in spite of the number of touristy shops here, there can't be many better places in Europe that can evoke the past as strongly as Rhodes Town.