I have written seven books about the history of places I have travelled to.
I travel because my own father always said he would travel after he’d retired, but he never got the chance because he died from cancer when he was 49. I travel for him when I go to places as well as for myself.
If you are interested in history and / or travel then you should check out these books. Please bear in mind the books are travelogues rather than travel guides and so cover the places I visited and the experiences I had.
This book keeps it simple and covers nine Greek Islands: Rhodes, Symi, Patmos, Samos, Syros, Paros, Tinos, Delos, and Mykonos. They are all different and all lovely.
This is an excerpt on Rhodes.
Visiting the old town of Rhodes is a memorable experience as there are historical sights from different eras rubbing shoulders with each other at every turn. Most of the old town is medieval and was built in the 14th Century by the Knights Hospitaller. The old town became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988 and is an incredibly popular place to visit. Indeed, when a cruise ship arrives in the harbour, avoid the main arterial streets, Sokratous and Ippoton, and head south into the warren of cobbled alleys where there are fewer shops and restaurants, and discover the many interesting sights of this area, not all of which are mentioned in guidebooks.
Starting in the north-west of the Old Town, the first major sight the visitor comes across is the Palace of the Grand Masters, which was rebuilt by the Italians after an ammunition explosion destroyed the original building in 1856. The idea was that the reconstructed Palace would be an ideal place for Mussolini to spend time during the summer, but he never came near the place. The outside appearance is true to the original building, as authentic medieval plans were used in the reconstruction, but the same can’t be said for the inside, which was designed to make a Fascist dictator feel at home.
In front of the restored palace, the Street of the Knights heads due eastwards towards the sea. Known as Ippoton, this street housed several of the Inns where the Knights were housed, based on their ethnic and linguistic background. Knights from Provence were based at the Inn of Provence on Ippoton. Also housed on Ippoton were Knights from France at the Inn of France. The Inn of The Auvergne and the Inn of England are found on the street called Appelou, which intersects with Ippoton at the Archaeological Museum.
This Museum is housed in an airy building, formerly the Knight’s Hospital. It’s not hard to like a museum where the staff have gone to the trouble of stacking the cannon balls into pyramids. The main objects of interest, for me at least, mostly dated from the 6th-Century BC. Faience vases in the form of hedgehogs, tweezers and cheese graters, terracotta donkeys, and a faience pendant of a lion, no bigger than a thumbnail. Also of great interest were objects from nearby civilisations including figurines of the Egyptian gods Bes, Thoth, and Horus looking like Aztec gods, bedecked as they were with feathers.