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Observatories that I have visited:
Hipparchos Astronomy Cafe, Rhodes


A visit to Rhodes island

In April 2019 we had one week vacation at Rhodes, an island of Greece. One week before we go I found that there is a private observatory at that island, the Hipparchos Astronomy Cafe. A place where you can stay and rent astronomy equipment. We had already booked our room in Rhodes town, but this place was just 10 kilometers south of Rhodes Town. Maybe we could go by bus and visit the place, we at least planned to do so. Down at Rhodes we found it was very easy to get to this observatory.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

Here we are on the bus from Rhodes Town and have just reached Faliraki. The bus driver explained for us that the end station is in the center of Faliraki close to the beach.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

Here we get of the bus, at the map we studied earlier we saw that there was a 2 km walk from here to the observatory. We didn't call the owner before because we were not sure that we come all the way to the observatory.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

We didn't take the shortest way, we followed the beautiful beach the first part.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

This is the old part of Faliraki and its harbor with its fishing boats.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

After the harbor we went up in the village and saw this sign about the observatory, we was on the right way.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

A steep road led us up to the hill.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

Halfway up we had this view over Faliraki.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

This was not a long walk and now we had the observatory in front of us, will it be open?


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

No it was closed, but anyway we thought that we could have a outside view of it. When we come closer to the gate there were a man and a woman sitting there, they asked if we want to come in, of course we were. It was the owner Stergos and his wife who sit there. They use the summer to repair and rebuilding the observatory site. Busy but still they offer us a guided tour at the site.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

The observatory has also a park designed of the owners, here is the Seven Sisters or Pleiades, a star constellation and an open star cluster.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

A view of the two observatories. It's very nice up here.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

Here I check the time with the solar clock, it says a quarter past twelve. You must stand at correct position of the white foundation, here I stand at the April mark. The clock doesn't work during the night.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

The big doom, what exiting things 's inside here I wonder.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

Stergos explain that here you find the 11" Schmidt Cassegrain telescope. It's mounted on a EQ6 mount.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

The doom is if his own construction, a garage door motor control the hatch. See the bent rack and pinion rod, the orange bar. Here is space for up to fiften people when they have guided tours.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

It can be very windy up here, the building that rotate to follow the stars is looked with these black L-shaped bars that are installed around the building. When not in use there are also other straps that look the building safely to the ground.


The Raven and the Owl observatory, Malta

To rotate the the building there is another motor that operate on this bent rack and pinion rod, it follow the building all around.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

It's not only that you can rent telescopes and other equipment here, you can also stay here. They can offer six rooms, double rooms and studios.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

I forgot the use of this platform, but it had something to do with orientation of stars and the sizes of them.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

Here is the smaller observatory building.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

Even if it's smaller it will hold a bigger telescope, a 14" Schmidt Cassegrain. There is no need to be room for people here because it's remote controlled.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

You don't have be a fanatic astronomer to love this place.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

The Mediterranean Sea just outside.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

Balcony view from the double room.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

Just around the corner is the Anthony Quinn beach, it was very steep down here and it started to rain so we stopped here.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

Back to the observatory and we said goodbye to Stergos and his wife and started our journey back home to Rhodes Town.


A visit to Astronomy Cafe in Rhodes Faliraki, 2019

On the way back we walked out on the hill's ridge to have a view of Faliraki. We took the road in the center of the photo up to the main road and its bus stop.

Both I and Gunilla felt this was a wonderful place, not only for astronomy observations. And as Stergos said, it's not the darkest place but a place where you can bring your family with you. For us who live in Sweden it's both very easy and cheap to go to Rhodes. We hope to come down once more and live here for a week and doing astro photographing.

There are big Dobson, Refractors, mounts, piers etc to rent, check his homepage below for details.

  • Here is a link to Astronomy Cafe with deeper information:

    Astronomy Cafe
    (Hipparchos, Astronomy Cafe)

Thanks for the guided tour !
Lars and Gunilla

Here you find the full Rhodes travel story.

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