Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Old Rhodes Town

I'm a bit late posting this, our holiday was in June, but better late than never!

My favourite part of Rhodes is the Old Town, Palia Poli. It's a World Heritage site and it's a fantastic historic place to visit, full of atmosphere.

My photos are in no particular order here, just as I posted them. They should enlarge if you click them, but who knows what mood Blogger is in!

You can enter through about ten different gates around the 4 kms of defensive walls built by The Knights of St John mainly as a defence against threats of Turkish invasion in the 1450s.

The dry moat surrounds the Old Town and for many years it was strewn with rubbish but now most of it is landscaped and is a pleasant place to walk. There are also stone missiles piled up there!

One of the Gates into Old Rhodes Town

This gate on the north east side of the Old Town leads from Mandraki Harbour. It's a very busy one, always lots of cars.

Mandraki Harbour

Inside this medieval city there's a mix of Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Moorish buildings in a medieval warren of streets, lanes, alleyways and courtyards.

One of my favourite streets it the Ippoton, Street of the Knights. You can see it through the arch on the photo below.

Archway leading to the Street of the Knights

It's a lovely cobbled street restored by the Italians and now occupied by municipal and cultural organisations. The Knights were organised by country of origin and by their language into national groups called Tongues. Each Tongue had its own "Inn" where the knights lived and you can still see the coats of arms above the doorways.

It's a very sedate street now probably nothing like the medieval one that would have been teeming with life. It's also hard on the feet walking on those cobbles in hot weather, best to use the path if you can.

Ippoton - The Street of the Knights

The Palace of the Grand Masters was the lavish home of the leaders of the crusades. It was used as a prison when the Turks took over, after that it fell into ruins and was destroyed by an explosion in 1856.

Palace of the Grand Masters

Archway in the Palace of the Grand Masters

I took this picture of one of the many canons in the Palace of the Grand Masters. It had a British coat of arms but it was from 19th Century.

Looking over the walls from the Palace of the Grand Masters

Looking Through the Koskinou Gate

The Church of Saint John was also destroyed by the explosion that wrecked the Palace of the Grand Masters. You can recognise the totally different Italian style and it's now under reconstruction. The photo below shows I really need a wide angle lens to do it justice.


Church of Saint John

I'm pretty sure this is the Mosque of Suleiman but wouldn't swear to it.
I'll check in September!

I can't remember which church this was. There's lots!

Ruins of Temple of Aphrodite

These date from the 3rd century BC, one of the few ancient remains to be found in the Old Town.

Some ruins!

Now it would be nice if they would provide some information about what these ruins are. The only sign around shown in the photo below, says Byzantine Fortifications but that refers to the walls in the photo below!

Byzantine Fortifications

One of the many archways

Just take a look at this weathering!

There are so many parts of the Old Town in the process of renovation and you can just wander about quite safely along the back streets snapping away.

A typical little back street courtyard

How about renovating this?

or maybe this?

Here's a place that's well on the way to being completed. It has a sort of Italian look about this with the wooden shutters and balcony.

That drooping wire has me a bit worried! What health and safety regs are being broken there?

The street below is Sokratous Street, the main shopping street in the Old Town. Tacky as you'll find anywhere but absolutely charming! I love it.

Normally on a Sunday at the end of May it's absolutely heaving. The day we were there it was pretty quiet. A sign of the drop in tourists in May this year.

Sokratous Street

I love this square and fountain, not sure what it's called. If you've seen film, Escape to Athena you'll remember it! It's usually packed but it was quite peaceful the day we were there.

I really like this square, there are lots of restaurants and cafes here too. No water in the fountain though!

I love this walk along past numerous cafes and restaurants. The banter from the waiters trying to get you to to eat or drink is wonderful. They always make me laugh. Totally different from the ones who hassle you in some countries. If you click on the photo you can see a dog lying in front of a cafe and the suit of armour. No it wasn't dead, just relaxing in the heat!

We're going on a Mediterranean cruise for our Ruby wedding anniversary in September. The day we visit Rhodes is on our anniversary so we'll be back in the Old Town again. This time instead of just wandering about and snapping what takes my fancy, I'll be a bit more organised and plan what to see. Then maybe I'll remember the names.

Post 109

Sunday, 19 July 2009

My Latest Fad!

Inspired by Rudee's gorgeous shawl, the idea of knitting one started to grow in my mind. I've always loved shawls and lace knitting but I've never knitted one. My fine lacy knitting has been confined to little baby matinee coats. I always finished them!

I had managed to get over my urges to buy wool, and lots of it, when all the wool shops around me closed. I bought loads of it and there's still quite a hoard of it in the black hole cupboard under the stairs. Every now and again I get it out, look at it, think what I could do with it, then put virtually everything back. I have knitted quite a bit of it over the years but there's still a lot of guilt about the money just lying there. Yes another one of my guilty pleasures which I thought I had got over.

Now that I've been reading people's blogs about their hoards of fabrics, wools and other stuff I don't feel quite as bad. They call it a stash. Doesn't sound anything like as bad as my hoard of unused stuff. In fact it sounds a really positive thing.

I'm tempted to get all of it out and display it in my shelving unit in the spare bedroom. It would look quite nice, a bit like a wool shop that I've never had the pleasure of going into for years. There just aren't any here now. Problem is everyone would see it! I say everyone, I really mean my husband. He knows there is quite a lot of stuff in there but as it's spread out and in various bags, it doesn't look so bad. I'll just leave it there!

Have to say I enjoyed browsing about on the Internet looking at all the beautiful lace shawl patterns and the scrumptious wools on the various sites. I got totally absorbed with it looking at the fabulous colours of that lace wool. Main problem was I wanted to feel it.

Eventually I decided to make this one. It's not the mammoth one that Rudee is making but I'm hoping I can manage it. If I do, I get the feeling this may become a habit. Oh the pleasure I got out of looking at the lace wool on all those websites doesn't bear thinking about for too long. It takes all sorts doesn't it!

I got the pattern here from Knitty and really enjoyed reading about how it was designed. It's called an Aeolian shawl and apparently the inspiration came from aeolian erosion in the Mohave desert! Well whatever takes your fancy.

Next I had to research where to get the lace wool. Most Internet suppliers seem to be in the USA but I did find one down in Wales. This is the odd bit. Yes, I know it's a wool website and the idea is you order there, but the colour I wanted was out of stock, so I decided to ring up to have a chat about it.

The lady was really lovely, her two children had just broken up from school and I could hear them chattering in the background. She was really helpful but the shade I wanted, shades of deep blue, won't be available for a few weeks. She did have my second choice, variegated shades of lilacs and blues, so I went with that. I consoled myself with the thought that it might be easier on the eyes to knit the lighter coloured wool! It's an age thing.

What was really surprising was it worked out cheaper than ordering over the website. Weird that!

Now I'm dying to get my hands on the wool, it looks so gorgeous. However I'm dreading my husband's comments if he's here when it's delivered. I'll have to hang around the front door tomorrow!

Just hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew as they say. The pattern is knitted with a circular needle which is not one my favourite things to use. In years gone by I've used them for yokes on fair isle sweaters and was glad to get them finished. The pattern is composed of various charts which I need to print out. Probably easier to keep your place with them than following rows of written instructions. You can mark them at the side to keep a tally of how far you've got. The other thing I've never done is that soaking and blocking of lace. Sounds a bit daunting but I'm up for the challenge. I've also got lots of babysitting to do over the school holidays so maybe knitting will help me keep my sanity if the monsoon weather returns.

In the meantime I'm getting on with my long overdue mailart cross stitch project for Michelle. Got to finish that before I start the shawl.

Can't wait for the Open to finish, it's been on all day and it's near the nail biting end but I have to get off to church now. You'd think I was a golf fan. I'm not, but it's been an interesting afternoon. Will it be Westwood or Watson? I'll find out later.

Post 107

My Singer 338!

Well here it is my very first sewing machine, the one I got for my 21st birthday in 1966! I know it cost my Mam  a lot to buy it for me...