Outside of the Palace we found Captain Hook. Elora always likes to give the performing street artists some money, bu she was a little worried because Captain Hook is a bad guy. So we told her this was a nice Captain and that cheered her up. She ran away the instant she dropped the coins, but he held out his hand and bowed to her so she carefully shook his hand.
Walking out of the palace we went down the Avenue of the Knights, a nice narrow street with castle like structures on both sides. The city is filled with streets like this, many of them crowded with shops because commerce runs deep in Greek history.
This courtyard was just the entry way to some people's private apartments. Not bad!
It's only fitting the Greeks, the original traders, would team up with the Chinese, the modern suppliers of all things cheap. Here we are in one of many painting shops selling oil on canvas (no inkjet prints) paintings. We bought a few pictures, and during haggling with the shop owner I (Chris) pointed out that these paintings come from China so they can make a better price. The first shop owners' eyes shifted back and forth and made up some lame story about how that's not true and he visits the artists in their home and buys them in bulk. The second shop owner I haggled with said, "Ya so what? It's still nice." She had me there... and wouldn't bugde on price, so I convinced her to throw in a free little painting instead.
It's ironic that the Chinese are even stealing the jobs of homeless street artists...
Out in the harbor there were several boats selling sea shells. These were huge sea shells and the prices were all very cheap (China?), some of the huge watermelon size conches were only 15 or 20 Euro. We wanted to buy some, but just couldn't figure out what to do with them.
On the way out of the city we found a very small beach with smooth sand and crystal clear warm water overlooking part of the castle. It was a nice opportunity to cool off after pushing the stroller around those uneven stone streets for several hours.
It took Elora a little warming up to, but in the end she resorted right back to her game of chasing the tide and runing away from it when it chased her.
Ollie was having a great time splashing his feet in the clear water. We let both kids play in the water so much that they were covered in sand. And that day we didn't have any towels with us. Somehow, we managed to get the kids all dried off and clean from most sand. But it took several attempts and more than a few tears.
Finally, once we got back to the hotel we showed Elora a towel we bought for her while she fell asleep in the stroller. She is enthralled with the Colossus of Rhodes story, that we tell like this... 2300 years ago, King Demetrios "the Besieger" invaded the island of Rhodes and laid siege to the city. The city defeated his army and Demetrios left behind all his weapons and siege towers. The Greeks, being merchantmen, sold all the weapons for the modern equivilant of $300million. They used the money to commision a 100 foot tall bronze statue overlooking the harbor. It took 12 years to build and stood for about 30 until there was a large earthquake, which sent it crumbling to the ground. Where it lay for another few hundred years until a merchantman bought it and supposedly carried it away on 900 camels. There is some debate over the exact location and if it ever really stood "over" the harbor as depicted. But who really cares anyway...
Elora loves this story and tells it to her Dirty Teddy often. Another interesting fact, the Colossus picture on the towel, which is the sun god Helios was the model for the Statue of Liberty. So maybe the sneaky French were hoping the modern day American Colossus would tumble to the ground too!