World Sketches from Our Friends

The City of Rhodes:The Cobble Streets of the Southern Island


If you stepped into the old city of Rhodes, you would know it even if your eyes were closed. The streets of the old city are paved not with asphalt, but with cobbles. The feeling of rugged cobbles can be felt even through the soles of your shoes

I walked up the Street of Knights and entered the Palace of the Grand Master. Though they call it a palace, it was actually a fortress. The thick stonewalls shut off the noise and the heat of outside. In spite of the lack of furniture, the rooms did not look bleak. Perhaps it was because of the mosaic stones decorating the floors. The stones, as tiny as a little finger-nail, picture a female with long hair, waves, and dolphins. The patterns of mosaics change in each room, but in every room, there are statues of angels holding up candles. The owners of the palace were the Knights of St. John who fought as crusaders long ago.

When I exited the palace, the dazzling sunlight blinded me for a moment. The alleys of the old city were complicated like a maze, and I lost my way after walking only a few minutes. I went on to find myself in the middle of the plaza with a pretty fountain, and then I was back on the alley where I started. An assistant of a souvenir shop called out in Japanese on one occasion, and the sound of a washing machine was heard through an opened door on another occasion. It did not seem that the door was left opened to take care of the cats so that they could go in and out freely. The temperament of the inhabitants seemed to be easy and open. On the white steps down the alley, there was a forgotten tray filled with candies for the tourists.

I rambled into the lace shop and bought the napkins in bulk as eagerly recommended by the assistant. The lace was one of the most popular Greek souvenirs, but I was a little concerned about wasting money so soon after my arrival. "Jeepers," I moaned, and I looked up into the sky and caught the sight of green vines lying over the street like an arcade. The greenery of this city was unexpectedly rich. The branches of big trees and the wisteria trellis were used as the roofs of the cafes. Moreover, the modest vegetation was diligently planted at the entrances or in the courtyards of the houses. The flowers blooming in summer were the hibiscuses, the oleanders and the morning glories. In other seasons, other flowers would be in full bloom.

I drank water from a bottle, and headed for the new city paved with asphalt.


proofreading by Ken Shellberg

From the Author (from_calypso@hotmail.com)

Hi, I'm Calypso. My home is a small island in Aegean Sea. In the night, listening to the sound of waves, I fall into a deep sleep and dream. In most of my dreams, I'm working as a UNIX engineer, but sometimes I'm on a trip. A flower which I've never seen before, a town which softens my mind every time. I sketch those trip scenes and deliver them to this site. I would be happy if my sketches could delight someone.

Related Websites
Palace of Grand Master(English)

Rhodes:The World Heritage Site(Japanese)