by Melissa Brunner
When you sail up to Rhodes, probably the first thing you notice is the great stone wall surrounding the city. That is the “Old Town,” the place where knights once roamed the streets. There is now a new, modern section, too, but it is Old Town Rhodes that captures the imaginations of tourists.
Today’s Old Town is lined with shops, filled with touristy trinkets, t-shirts and art. But as you wander the cobblestone streets, you’ll also find a turret here, a castle there. The “Street of the Knights” is a bit of a respite from the shops. It leads to the Palace of the Grand Master, and its many inns were once home to the Knights of St. John. Today, they house municipal and other offices.
In Rhodes, as with many of the towns we’ve visited, I’m struck by how they’ve preserved these structures from centuries ago. You can see how important their history is to the people, and they’re happy to share with you the legends and myths – and the many versions in which they exist. At the same time, they’re embracing the future. It is an interesting blend to be checking your email on a high-speed connection while admiring the medieval architecture! Plus, you’ll see nods to green technology and conservation.