We are visiting the beautiful old city of Rhodes – it’s on the Greek island of Rhodes and offers many wonderful attractions we will be showing you in the program: shops, pedestrian lanes, local people in traditional outfits, great food, historic sites, a wonderful place to be.
The island is located where the Agean meets the Mediterranean, so many people arrive by cruise ship. It’s in the Dodecanese group just 12 miles from Turkey.
The Old Town is still surrounded by these fortified old walls built 500 years ago. We do have a separate video about those walls. But today’s program is all about the pedestrian and shopping zone in the heart of the Old Town.
Arriving by cruise ship, or perhaps ferry, it’s just a few hundred meters walk along the water’s edge. There is a beach in front of the Old Town. Walking next to that medieval wall, you’ll realize how huge it is.
Entering through Virgin Mary’s gate, you come upon the ruins of a Gothic church, first built in the 14th century. This is the church of the city, and all we have left of the pointed arches, showing how strong those kinds of Gothic arches are. The nave is totally gone.
You can see there’s a light on through the window of the attached old building next to the church. Amazing, they are still reusing many of these centuries-old buildings in Rhodes. And for the local kids, it makes a convenient playground.
The first little plaza you’ll come to is the Square of Jewish Martyrs, in tribute to those who died in World War II, also called Seahorse Square, with many fine restaurants around it offering that typical outdoor terrace dining and lots of interesting shops.
Continuing along that pedestrian lane another 150, meters you’ll arrive at the largest, most popular square in town named after the ancient Greek father of medicine, Hippocrates or in Greek people Ipakrotos.
As you can see there are many restaurants all around the square. They’re open all day and into the night. You can sit indoors or outdoors, and mostly it’s delicious Greek food, or maybe just have a drink and a slice of pizza. And this setting has a very historic character.
Over here you see these two towers behind me. The two towers are another gate in the city, that’s called the Marine Gate, and it’s a real important one. So those fortified towers are Barbicans and the defenders would be up inside those towers shooting down anybody was trying to get in the gate.
You’ll get a very good price for your meal if you stick with that tourist menu that’s posted out front, usually three courses for a reasonable fee. However, watch out for the add-ons. They’ll be suggesting some extra tzatziki, have some extra hummus, but prices for that can get inflated, so be sure to ask that friendly waiter how much does it cost?
If you need some enhancement to your wardrobe, or perhaps a nice straw hat that will protect you from the Greek sun, there are many shops selling much more than just souvenirs. How about these leather sandals? They look so comfortable, soft leather, you don’t even have to break them in – provide some variety for your feet.
As you’ve noticed, we’re using three screens to present some of the pictures to you today. It’s a fun little approach to replicate the experience of being there. When you’re at a place you’re looking all around, not just at one focus, but on the side, above, below, and that’s what we’re showing you today. It’s a kind of total immersion to give you lots of interesting things to look at.
Notice how the stone staircase is a popular seating area with a view, and underneath it, through that arch, is the best wine store in town. It’s called the Cellar of the Knights, and you can buy a bottle to go, or enjoy a taste at their friendly wine bar.
The special wine, Greek wine, is cultivated in Greece over 3000 years. Here we go. Sniff, sniff. Aha, ok You, I’ll taste. Well thank you very much, mmmm.
Smells like a Bordeaux, Bordeaux, or a claret. Uh, yeah. Very deep, ruby color. Nemea, um-hm. Nemea wine, fabulous. That’s beautiful, thanks very much. The wine grape of Greece.
He’ll lend you a cushion to sit on those steps while you sip. It’s a family business since 1963.
If you just step one block away from Hippocrates Square, you get more of a local atmosphere that caters more to the residents rather than to the visitors, such as here along Platanos.
That’s so typical of many tourist centers – you just walk a block or two away from them, and it’s a different atmosphere altogether.
Circles show where we’ve just been and where we’re heading next along Socratos Street and little side lanes. Then to Ippotan, Street of the Knights.
Now we’ve arrived at the busiest part of town. This is the epicenter, the commercial hub which is an extension of the same street that we began walking on.
Later, we see a parade in the New Town, celebrating a national holiday.