I am now in the beautiful city of Rhodes on the island of Rhodes, Greece. I arrived to my hotel yesterday, Tuesday, at 2:30 pm local time (5:00 am Mountain Standard Time). It felt pretty good considering I left my home in Colorado on Monday morning at 8:00 am.
I flew from Denver, Colorado to Montreal Canada. That flight was about 3:30 long. I had to go through customs in Montreal, pick up my baggage and go through the flight check-in process for a second time. With nearly zero layover time, I jumped on a plane to Athens, Greece. The Montreal to Athens flight was 9:00.
My luggage was checked from Athens to Rhodes, so I only needed to go through immigration. The flight from Athens to Rhodes was easy, only about an hour. My total "up" time, from real bed to real bed was 30 hours.
As I was going through the travel process, I couldn't help but think of the athletes that were traveling from all parts of the world to race in Rhodes. Most of them have learned to travel well. This means learning to sleep and eat while traveling across multiple time zones. Then, they must deliver a top-shelf race performance.
In my last blog, I mentioned my travel was to support the ITU BG Sport Development Team. One of the athletes, Lisa Norden was here when I arrived and the remaining athletes are arriving today, tomorrow and one on Friday.
Here are the athletes racing on Team BG:
Lisa Norden (Sweden)
Flora Duffy (Bermuda)
Fabiola Corona (Mexico)
Yuliya Yelistratova (Ukraine)
Mari Rabie (South Africa)
Dan Alterman (Israel)
Zvonko Cubric (Croatia)
Leonardo Chacon (Costa Rica)
Javier Cuevas (Dominican Republic)
As the team continues to arrive, I will post photos of the athletes.
In the mean time, the photo at the beginning of the blog shows one of the entrances to the "old town" of Rhodes that is literally enclosed by the stone walls. Part of the bike course goes around these hand-built, historic walls.
Within the city walls are shops and several historical sites. The first thing that grabbed my attention when I entered the old city was a gigantic stone ball. As I walked through the first courtyard, I saw more individual stones and piles of stones. The photo at the end of the column shows a pile of stones next to part of an old weapon. I'm assuming the weapon was a type of cannon, but I will need to confirm. I have seen the term "bombard" (a type of late medieval siege weapon) used in some of the literature, but I don't know the difference between a bombard and a cannon .
As the story goes, bombards were used to launch 260 kg (572 pound) stone balls some 100 to 200 meters (110 to 219 yards) to defend the city against attackers.
Looking at the defense weapons and the architecture, I am just amazed at the human labor it took to manufacture 500+ pound stone balls and to assemble walls around a city. The chasm of differences between the old world and the current era is mind boggling. Imagine, if you will, what life was like then.
If you would have told them, that you arrived on a "jet" that flew across the clouds and air from a land called USA to their island, what do you think they would have said to you?