Island hopping through the Greek islands, it's a dirty job but someone has to do it! We are struggling through this task with our first stop in Rhodes. It remains pretty much the same from visit to visit. This stop was most pleasant with lovely spring weather and reduced tourist crowds. The Old Town is charming and the New Town seems to be growing. We did all of the standard tourist stops to the Avenue of the Knights, the Palace of the Grand Master, the Square for the Jewish Martyrs, and the main Plaka. We ate lots of Greek Salads, Moussaka, and Gyros and loved every mouthful. One memorable sight, near the harbor, was the large dog riding on a motor bike with his owner along the main harbor drive. The dog didn't seem to have any problems balancing on the bike and was even holding on to the handle bars. Wish I could have gotten a photo.
Our one excursion out of Rhodes town took us to the ancient ruins of Lindos. The town was originally settled in 2000 BC and the acropolis ruins are quite spectacular. The present day village is a mass of meandering walkways with an
assortment of shops, cafes, restaurants, and spectacular views of the sea.
Island number two was Karpathos. This is a large island half way between Rhodes and Crete. It is rugged and mountainous. The only easy way to travel between the south and the north part of the island is by a small ferry. We did the trip and visited the small traditional village of Olymbos high up in the mountains. The locals wear traditional embroidered clothing and goat skin boots. They have been isolated for most of this century, but modern civilization and the influx of tourists is quickly changing their ancient way of life.
Hiking to the various ruins and beaches is the main attraction on Karpathos and we have climbed a mountain and visited some ancient ruins. In the town of Arkasa we were able to visit a church from the 500's that still had the mosaic floors in the ruins of the 3 churches that have been built on the site. It was near the beautiful beach of Agios Nikolaos.
On another day we took the bus to Amoopi Beach and spent the day enjoying the sand, sea, and sun. The water is warm
on the top 2 inches and then below that it is nearly icy. This beach has been voted one of the best beaches in the Mediterranean because of its large expanse of sand. It was a lovely place to spend a day.
Tomorrow we are flying back to Rhodes and then will be flying on to another new island, Astipalea. We are hearing lots of good things about it and we're going to check it out.
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