April 25, 2009

A flaming Baked Alaska parade

Day three aboard the Aquamarine, we docked for the day at the "Island of Roses" aka Rhodes. We walked around the stone walls of the Old Town, and entered through one of the gates to the medieval Street of the Knights that lead directly to the Palace of the Grand Masters. It's called the Street of the Knights because it was lined with Inns where the Knights would meet. When I told Laura, Rachel, and Danielle to act knightly, this is what I got:

Otherwise known as confusion

We checked out the Palace - the seat of the 19 Grand Masters. Built in the 14th century, it was blown up by an accidental explosion in 1856... whoops! The Italians restored the Palace in the 1930s.

Palace of the Grand Masters

Inside, there were exhibitions of Medieval and Ancient Rhodes. This was where I learned that the great Colossus of Rhodes was actually believed to have stood on the site where the Palace is now, which was thought to have once been the Temple of Apollo. Of course, literary romantics like to depict the 130-foot tall man straddling the entrance to Mandraki harbor, and ships with long wooden masts sailing between his legs... The English Majors and Masters that we are, couldn't help but pick up on that phallic symbolism. But thanks, Laura, for saying it out loud in the exhibition. No worries, no one heard you over the maniacal laughter of the little boy at random moments of complete silence in the museum. Even though the Colossus probably never stood at the harbor entrance to Rhodes Town, we still all went to that spot and posed as the one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World:  

The result was kinda awkward

We snapped a picture of the ruined remains of the Temple of Aphrodite and then proceeded to take about a million pictures of the ocean. It was such a clear fantastic bluish-green: like an electric azure and jade that sparkled with flecks of champagne silver. It also just so happened that every day that the four of us got dressed, we seemed to be completely, yet unintentionally, color-coordinated. It was quite an impressive feat to do it day after day with four separate wardrobes. So our Wednesday's shades of pink and purple looked fantastic against the blue/green ocean and made for a fun photo shoot. 

Rhodes, Greece

Back on the ship we enjoyed a free lunch on the deck. Rachel and I posed, in our matching pink dresses for our Coca-Cola ad. I managed to spill coke all over Rachel's and my meal. Coke-soaked pizza and cake are surprisingly good. It was ironic, that after eating that horrendous mix, I threw a fit when Rachel sat back down and put her hot dog on top of her cake, for lack of another plate. Somehow icing on a hotdog does not sound enticing.  

The new Coke ad
That afternoon we relaxed on Elli Beach and soaked up the sunshine. It was a pebble beach, which was not the most fun to walk on. There was an old Greek man sweeping the sand-pebbles off of the concrete sidewalk behind us. I kid you not when I say that he swept the same five-foot stretch of sidewalk for a good 45 minutes. I wasn't sure if he was senile or was just being extremely thorough. Either way, it was excellent work ethic. On his resume, under special skills, it now reads: Able to strip down concrete with a broom. Even though the water was frigid - we still went in. But we didn't go cliff diving. Did you know you have to swim thirty meters just to get to the platform???

Elli Beach

Even our bathing suits matched - it's a sickness

There was a special evening planned for us back on board. It was a formal night with free cocktails and a handshake and photo with the captain of our ship. I still don't find it coincidental that the one evening our Captain was drinking booze with the guests for two+ hours at the stern, that the ship was jumping all over the water. Get that laundry boy off of the helm and let the captain steer us out of this rocky mess!
Formal night - you can't tell, but my stomach's incredibly queasy from the rocking

"Friends share their drinks with friends, otherwise friends will steal sips of friends' drinks when they get up to use the WC, especially if that drink has some combination of pineapple juice and rum in it..." -A proverb translated from the Original Greek

At dinner, our waiter claimed that we could not order dessert because Dan didn't finish his the night before. Way to go Dan, way to ruin it for all of us! ...Surprise! They wouldn't deprive us of dessert - they turned off all the lights and marched around the dining room with platters of Baked Alaska that were still flambe-ing. And if that weren't enough, they sang and danced too, to La Bamba if I remember correctly. A French cake, on Greek waters, while singing a Mexican tune... 
The show that evening was Broadway Hits and our buddy Ivan wore the most amazing shiny gold pants and purple velour suit jacket. We stopped by the Disco that night, briefly. All the 16-year-olds were grinding on the floor. I felt super old.  

Beauty and the Beast Ivan

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