Rhodes and around: (June-October 2022)
Close to Symi is the island of Rhodes, the biggest in the Dodecanese. It has several different  harbors, but the oldest one is Mandraki in the North-east. Two columns with a deer on top mark  the entrance to the port. Mandraki is the oldest port, but some other ports have been built for  the ferries and the passenger boats that are sometimes over 200 meters long. These boats often  stay for a day to let the passengers visit the island. In the harbor, you will see the  big castle  that dominates the city. The first settlements on Rhodes have been dated to around 300 BC, but   not many traces still exist. Due to it’s strategic location, over time, Rhodes has been occupied by  the Turks, the English, the Ottoman empire, the crusader knights, the Italians and the Germans  at the end of WWII. The longest occupation was from 1308 till 1521 where the knights of St  John occupied Rhodes. Eventually, they decided to move to Malta. The island was also a place  where many Jews lived. During the second world war many Sephardic Jews from Spain moved  there thinking it was safe. Unfortunately, when the Germans took control of the island towards  the end   of the war, they were transferred to extermination camps. Since 1948, the island has been part  of Greece. A lot of tourists visit Rhodes because of the international airport and the  many  beaches and big hotels. But Rhodes is also a historical place with many interesting sites. South of  the island there is Lindos where an old Greek temple is located. The temple is being restored  which some people object to as the stones are being restored to the original condition as if they  were new.  However, it is visited bya large number of people and at all times of the day there are  long queues to get access to the site. Besides the temple, the other interesting place to visit is  the archeological museum and the  Rhodes Castle. In fact, the museum is located in the old  hospital where the wounded knights returning fromthe crusades would seek medical care. You can  find a big room on the first floor that is 60 meters long where the wounded were treated. If  there are not many visitors, do not hesitate to talk to the guardians as they like to share their  knowledge with visitors. The rest of the museum consists of a large number of rooms with many  objects on display. Next to the museum is the castle. It is there that the rulers stayed in a place  with numerous rooms. Some parts of the castle were destroyed in around 1850 by an earthquake   and shortly thereafter an explosion that seriously damaged the building. Mussolini decided to  make this place his summer residence and restored  it. In fact, he never stayed there, but the  restoration work was completed. One room was decorated  with vases he had received from the  Japanese emperor. The castle is located in the middle of the huge defensive walls that surround  the city. Inside, the roads are paved with cobblestones and it is not difficult to imagine the noise  of the horses trotting through the streets. The city has  preserved the historical sites very well  and some famous movies have been made in Rhodes such as the Guns of Navarone, with Anthony  Quinn. After visiting Rhodes we went to the south west of Rhodes to the island of Khalki. The   island is very quiet with few tourists. The water is crystal clear. Once or twice a day, big ferries  enter the port and maneuver very carefully to dock at the pier. The ferries turn slowly in the  harbor and come as close as 5 meters from the yachts. It is amazing to see how those big  monsters, close to 100 meters long, can turn with such precision in the harbor. However, if there  is a lot of wind, they do not enter the harbor. We stayed there for 2 days and had a dive outside  the harbor. We discovered theremains of an antique wreck with some pieces of amphoras, but as  we were near the end of the dive we needed to return to the surface and could only see a small  part of the wreck. After Khalki, we anchored 5 miles away on the island of Alimnia. A large bay  offers a good protection for boats. The only permanent resident of the island is Kosta, who has restored  an old chapel. He spends his time restoring the chapel and tending his goats. He likes to have a  chat with visitors when he explains his life and his work. He goes to Rhodes once a week to  purchase some supplies and visit his son. The rest of his time he spends on Alimnia where he likes  the solitude. For occasional visitors he has two little dormitories where you can stay free of  charge. On the southern end of the bay are the ruins of the old German military barracks. During  World War II, some German navy boats came here. On the walls of the barracks you still can see  some patriotic German drawings. The end of the season approached, and it was time to move to  Leros for the winter. On the 10 of October, Terus was lifted out of the water and will stay there  until April 2023. Despite the winds, we enjoyed the Dodecanese very much because each island is  unique.   
 Rhodes Archeological Museum Hospital ward of the knights Castle of the Lords Rhodes by night Chalki Broken amphoras Alimnia

Our Wakes: 2022

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