It was another beautiful sunny morning when we woke up on Rhodes. Breakfast was included at this apartment and it turned out to be more substantial than we'd expected. As well as the usual selection of bread, cheese and ham we were offered fried eggs and/or an omelette. As we sat outside to eat it at 8am, the sun was already beating down.
The plan for today was to explore the capital of the island, also called Rhodes. Rhodes Town is less than 10 miles up the road from where we are staying in Faliraki, so we only had a short drive. We parked in some free parking near the commercial port and set off to explore the city.
The port where we parked is a bit outside the centre of town, so first of all we had to walk towards it.
We could see the walls of the old town in the distance as we walked past the city's main beach.
We followed a lovely walkway, lined with palm trees.
As we got closer we could see how extensive the walls were. And make out the minaret of a mosque behind.
Rhodes is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe and the fortifications here are really impressive.
They were built by the Knights Hospitaller, a medieval military order who settled in Rhodes on their way back from the Crusades.
The Knights lived on Rhodes for a couple of centuries, departing in 1523 when the island was conquered by the Ottomans.
The fortifications they left behind are amazing.
As you might imagine, Rhodes is a very popular tourist destination and the small streets of the old town are normally really busy. We'd made an early start and were walking around not long after 9am, which meant it was still comparatively quiet.
We were able to wander down the streets and admire the buildings without too many other people in the way.
The old town is packed with restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops, most of which were still in the process of setting up.
We found the Suleymaniye mosque, which was the first mosque built by the Ottomans after their conquest of Rhodes.
It's been rebuilt several times since then, having suffered damage from earthquakes.
The mosque is not far from the main castle: the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes.
This was the headquarters of the Knights, originally built in the early 14th century.
It's such an impressive castle!
From there we wandered through more little squares.
Every so often we'd come across a pretty fountain...
...or a view of the sea.
We found a second mosque too.
We spent a while walking through a maze of narrow streets to get out of the old town, because I wanted to see what remained of the Acropolis of Rhodes. Unfortunately, once we got within sight of it we could see that what remained was currently completely covered by scaffolding! So we decided to turn around and walk back.
This did give us the opportunity to leave and re-enter the walled part of the city at two different points though, seeing even more of the fortifications.
In some places there's a large moat between the walls, which today has paths where you can stroll around.
From the edge of the walls there were some great views of the towers and turrets within the city...
...as well as of the main castle itself.
We'd been walking around for about three hours by this point and were extremely hot, plus Tim had an online exam to sit in the afternoon, so we decided to walk back to the port to collect the car and drive back to Faliraki.
I had a very relaxing afternoon making the most of the pool and sun-loungers while Tim did his exam.