Aegean Day 13

Turkey

I overslept this morning, awakened by the breakfast bell.  Think that all of the wine (and masticha) after that gin and tonic at the kafeneio had done me in.

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In the morning we motor to a bay off Turkey. We can’t disembark to trek up to the best preserved fortification of the Hellenistic period (click on the above photo to see it at the top of the island) because we haven’t gotten our visas stamped. (Darn!) Only three of us get in the water as the strong breeze makes it difficult to swim back to the gulet. Half-a-dozen boats have dropped anchor. Two small outboard motor boats, filled with rugs, jewelry, scarfs, zip towards us, and the women, tying up to our craft, ask us in English if we’d like to buy.

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We’re a somnolent group, sitting with our books in our laps, contemplating the choppy waves and, after this afternoon and tomorrow on Rhodes, the fact that we shall be going home. Not sure anyone wants to, this has been in such an idyllic trip.

Rhodes

Our craft snuggles up with other boats in the crowded harbour, have our lunch and set of for an archeological museum, housed in the medieval Hospital of the Knights, a splendid building with a severe arcaded courtyard and a wide flight of stairs leading to a gallery which runs round three sides of the square. Almost the whole of the east side is occupied by the Infirmary Hall, surely one of the most wonderful rooms in Europe. Nearly a hundred meters long, it has a vaulted roof IMG_6404IMG_6403supported by arches springing from the seven pillars which divide the hall lengthwise… (The Companion Guide to the Greek Islands, by Ernle Bradford, one of the pile of reference books in the “library” onboard, opposite the bar.)

Marble sculptures.  Asclepius with his snake-entwined staff. Hygieia, his daughter (also with snake), who was the goddess/personification of health, cleanliness and hygiene.

Lots of gorgeous mosaics on the walls of an outdoors room, done in the pebble technique.  (Imagine gathering all of these pebbles, in different colours, all of the same size.)  These were removed from the floors they were on to display in the museum. (Click on them to enlarge.)

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Dinner on a roof-top patio. Wine (of course) and a wide variety of dishes. I never used to like dolmades, specifically the stuffed grape leaves, but am enjoying them as much as the fried cheese.

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