RHODES, Greece (NNS) -- Sailors from USS Barry (DDG 52) recently enjoyed the opportunity to unwind and soak up some Greek culture during a port visit to Rhodes, Greece, May 5-11.
Crew members used the port visit to not only relax and enjoy time ashore, but to learn about the local culture and history.
Many Sailors chose to participate in tours organized by Barry's Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) team. Tour options included an all-day excursion around the island, a walking tour of the Old and New Town, and a visit to the ancient town of Lindos.
"The donkey ride in Lindos was probably the highlight of my visit," said Operations Specialist 2nd Class Ciria Stewart. "We started out in the main square and then rode the donkeys all the way up the mountain to the acropolis. It was so fun and such a beautiful site."
"One of the favorite parts of my job is being able to see how much enjoyment people get out of touring around my country," said Elena Papadopoulos, a Greek guide who led the island excursion tour. "Tourism in the number one industry in Rhodes, and we take a lot of pride in making our guests satisfied."
Sailors were also able to purchase unique gifts for their family and friends back home.
"I bought a couple different bottles of the local spirits," said Gas Turbine System Technician (Mechanical) 1st Class Avery Chester. "They had a very unique flavored liquor made from seven different spices and herbs. I also bought a bottle of honey liquor made from the local farmers."
"I bought all sorts of souvenirs," said Lt.j.g. Monika Hess, Barry's navigator. "I purchased local spices, a beautiful olive wood cutting board, a hand-crafted backgammon set for my father and matching necklaces for my mom and me. Between Old Town and New Town, they have a little bit of everything."
Barry Sailors also took the time to soak up some sun and enjoy Rhodes' beautiful beaches.
"The water was still a little bit chilly but it was refreshing, and it was nice relaxing on the beach," said Gunner's Mate Seaman Corrine Klister.
"A couple of buddies and I got diver qualified," said Gunner's Mate 3rd Class Andrew Lerner. "This was the best experience I've had on deployment so far. It's just good, clean fun. I always wanted to get my certification, and to be able to share this experience with good friends makes it even better."
Barry is part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, conducting maritime security operations in U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
For more news from USS Bataan (LHD 5), visit www.navy.mil/local/lhd5/.