Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Strolling in the Sun and a Scandinavian Surprise

Yesterday I was in town on my regular excursion ("Rhodes by Day") which, as you can tell then, is still running, and I decided to do the Moat Walk. I always try and do at least an hour's power walk to avoid spending the entire five hours sitting around. Not good for the middle-age spread or indeed the circulation.

The last time I circumnavigated the entire moat was when I did the "Rhodes For Life" charity run in November a couple of years ago. I hadn't actually walked it for a long time before that. On the way into town I usually tell the guests on the coach about how impressive the old town walls are. Completed in 1465, one can only get a true impression of the sheer scale of the whole thing by walking the moat, so I decided to refresh the old memory on the subject.

Thus, this post is primarily a lot of photos (that's a lot of photos!!) taken during my moat walk of Tuesday October 17th 2017. Temperatures around 26-28ºC, wind light. Off we go then (there's a map at the end)...

(For some odd reason, even though I tried to upload these in the correct order, they seem to have shuffled themselves somewhat. If I try moving them around they lose the 'click for a larger view' facility, Hopefully most are where they should be, but if not, just bear with it folks...)

Not long after entering the moat from the gate behind the taxi rank, you turn a corner below the imposing wall of the Grand Master's Palace and see this gate. Going through it, you enter the 'Sound and Light' garden. See next photo and also previous post.

The 'Sound and Light' garden, recently heavily pruned to allow visitors to roam again. Hard to believe that just to the left through those trees is the New Market and Bus Station street.

That's the bridge across to the St. Athanasios Gate

You come across these quite often. barely large enough for a man to get into. Seems they may be access to an underground quarry beneath the medieval town.

Just around that next 'bend' is the gate of St. John

Yeah, this one ought to have been at the top. It's the uphill section soon after you enter the walk. The Grand Master's Palace is above left.

Rounding a bend at the top of the climb past the Grand Master's Palace, you get the first glimpse of the widest section and the bridge leading to the Gate d'Amboise.

Beneath the bridge leading to the Gate d'Amboise.

Standing, staring at all this, it seems incredible that it all could have been completed in a couple of centuries. Really must check out where they could have got all the stone from too. Underground quarry a clue I suppose.

Beneath St. John's Gate

Approaching the Melina Mercouri amphitheatre a little way down from St. John's Gate. I noted that the further I went, the fewer the number of pedestrians! Seems a lot of people give up part-way around.

Closer still to the Melina Mercouri Theatre.

What an amazing place for a concert. Really must try and do one some day.

By now you are only a couple of hundred metres from the exit near the commercial harbour.

The exit gate can now be seen in the distance.

A good link to information about the medieval town and moat is here.

About half an hour's easy stroll after entering the moat at the South end of Mandraki, you reach this exit, beside the Akandia Gate... 

You can re-enter the old town here, just metres from the exit of the moat.

Rather than entering the Old Town at the Akandia Gate though, I decided to skirt the walls past the commercial harbour and re-enter via the much smaller and less easy to find Virgin Mary's Gate. On my way around I gazed up at a couple of huge cruise ships...

This one caught my eye because...

Now, forgive me if I'm wrong, but should the 'h' be in that word? Must admit to having laughed aloud when I saw this!! Apologies to my German (Deutch) readers. Actually, I had a few guests from Germany on the coach, who proved to be good sports when we drove past this on our way out of town and I casually made mention of the apparent spelling mistake! OK, British humour I suppose.

Entering the Old Town again through the Virgin Mary Gate...

Later, I exited the Old Town through the gate that most people use, Eleftherias, which sits between Mandraki and the Old Fishing Harbour. As I approached the courtyard just outside the archway leading out of the Old Town, I was aware of a live concert going on there, and the music was "Dancing Queen" by Abba. Hmm, I wonder...

Now, as it happens I have an old friend called Mehmet who used to work with me on the Halki trip some years ago. He's the mainstay of the Abba tribute band Abba Dreams that plays all over the island. He plays keyboards. Ηe's bald as a coot and wears a very dodgy wig. I've no idea which was Benny and which was Bjorn, but he was one of them!! As the band came into view I was pretty delighted to see that it was indeed Mehmet's band. The two girl singers were sensational. In fact, since the last time I'd seen them perform at Pefkos By Night some years ago, all the personnel have changed except Mehmet. This bunch were the biz, if slightly out of context! I have to say that apart from the scale of the thing, you could easily have been listening to the real McCoy.

That's him!! Arrest him for wearing a dodgy wig!

TBH, the crowd was larger than it seems from this shot, as lots of people were standing on the roadway beside me.

Coming full circle, as you enter the moat from the old gate to the rear of the taxi rank at the south end of Mandraki, you pass a souvlaki joint that has tables on both sides of the path. To the right it's all table cloths and tourists, but on the left the tables are bare wood and seem to serve as an acceptable kafeneion for a few 'old boys'...

And, here's a map of the Old Town, courtesy of the Municipality of Rhodes:

I'm sure you know the drill. Click on it for a larger view.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful photos and great post. I intend to walk the moat next time. Next time that I am in Rhodes. I will be staying in Pefkos next time Annette xxx