Monday, June 24, 2013

Rhodes, Greece

Although my blog is PJinTurkey, I can justify a discussion of Rhodes, Greece because it was occupied by the Turks for a long time…hundreds of years. As a matter of fact, at the bazaar inside of Rhodes Castle, many of the shops were selling Turkish lanterns, bright colored pottery, and scarves exactly the same as one could find in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul or Kemeralti in Izmir.  In addition to many churches and evidence of the Knights of St. Johns inside the castle wall, tourists can also find a beautiful mosque, a peaceful fountain, and a library donated by one of the sultans during the Turkish occupation.
On our second day in Rhodes, we rented a car and drove to the base of the Tsampike Monastery and hiked 377 steps up the rock faced mountain to its small chapel dedicated to Virgin Mary. Story has it that many years ago some miracles happened so a chapel was built to thank God for the miracles. Then, during the Turkish occupation, it is rumored that one of the sultan’s wives could not conceive a child. Hearing of the miracles that had occurred at this chapel, she climbed the steps to the top of the mountain to pray for fertility. She also swallowed a candle wick. Later, when she was pregnant, her husband the sultan did not believe the child was his and accused her of infidelity. But, when the child was born it was holding the wick of the candle she had swallowed when praying at the chapel thus convincing him the child was his and a miracle had occurred.

In addition to the chapel we also swam at four different beaches, hiked to the ancient acropolis of Lindos, and enjoyed a traditional Greek meal at the hotelier’s brother's restaurant complete with mezze (appetizers) that were similar to Turkey with the exception of the many different kinds of pork, the Greek white wine, and the flavor of the bread.

Entering Rhodes Castle

The acropolis at Rhodes

Some humor at Rhodes Castle

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