A Travellerspoint blog

All the World's a Stage

sunny 25 °C

Every year from March 1st to October 31st the island of Rhodes puts on a spectacular show for more than two million visitors, but as the summer season nears its end and the final curtain gets set to fall we witness the transformation. Rhodes is still putting on a performance every day, but the audience is thin and some of the actors are working hard to squeeze the last hoorah from their lines. The quayside barkers who have been whipping up the crowds to take in the expensive aqua show aboard a fleet of speedboats, ferries and fishing boats, have abandoned their booths but will happily grab a few mites from any stragglers...
Most of the stars of the summer's 'Aqua Spectacular' have already left and are brushing up their act ready for their winter appearance in the Indian Ocean or the Caribbean, but we still got to see some of their superyachts in the harbour, and there was excitement as the daily ferry arrived from Athens...
The restaurant owners surrounding the mainstage within the ancient city play chicken with each other as they drop their prices by the minute to clear their stock before the shutters close and the season wraps up. Lunch for 2 euros and a beer for another 1.50 as we sit under the orange, olive and palm trees listening to the bouzoukis of Mikis Theodorakis and the songs of Nana Mouskouri and Melina Mercouri...Oh, how we miss our 50 dollar lunches in the rain in Norway! But now it's November; the auditorium doors are shut; the curtains are coming down...
However, the spotlight of the sun still brightly illuminates the stage during the day and a few of the actors hang around to take a final bow. With the main show over there are plenty of empty front row seats with unobstructed views of the 14th century Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller...
This fortified palace was later refurbished as the summer home of the Italian King Vittorio Emanuele III, followed by the fascist dictator, Mussolini, and it is easy to imagine it as the setting for a grand opera by Puccini or Verdi...
The palace's many stages are inlaid with ancient mosaics, all brought from third century Roman villas on the island of Kos in the 1930s, to entertain the king and his illustrious guests...
Now, with the show over we are free to wander through the labyrinthine scenery of Ancient Greece and marvel at backdrops that were first painted several hundred years before North America even existed on a map...
By being in Rhodes for this year's final performances we got the best seats (and beds) at knock down prices. There were no line-ups at the loos and no crush at the bar during our many intermissions. But we came to see the theatre not the show. We were happy to pull back the curtains and look into the dressing rooms We came to see the scenery and the props of Rhodes city and we loved it - although the local souvenir sellers weren't so happy...
The lights and heating are still on so now we are heading out to explore the rest of the island. Next stop – Haraki, on the east coast.

Posted by Hawkson 06:42 Archived in Greece

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A Blissful sky for sure! Exact opposite on Gabriola this morning--dark, cold and wet.

by R and B

Back home. Wish Jersey was enjoying some Rhodes sunshine. Noticed some Turkish lamps in one of your photos.
Enjoy the rest of the island.

by Christine Lloyd

Best time to be there from the sound of it. So lovely.

by Sue Fitzwison

Always enjoy the mosaic photos. At 25 C you are well above the 20C in Japan. And that feels hot. Great weather in Rhodes for dining outdoors.

by Tom

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