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Published: August 25th 2012
To get ourselves back in the swing of travelling we decide to take a short break to the Greek Islands. Backpack, Lonely Planet guide, Hostelbookers - and we're off!
An Easy Jet special gets us to Rhodes by 10pm but we just miss the bus to town - despite Michael virtually throwing himself under the wheels! We thought they wanted visitors?? So we share a taxi with another couple who coincidentally are heading to the same place; Hotel Anastasia in Rhodes New Town. Thanks LP for a terrific recommendation. This is a large Italian style house kept in great condition by Mihalis and his wife Stefania. We're only there for one night at the start of the trip and then another 2 nights at the end. Mihalis is really helpful with orientation and tips on where to go for dinner etc. and is a fun host inspite of his cynical sense of humour. We head out for a wander down to the harbour and around the new town which is still quite busy - most restaurants staying open until midnight.
Next day, after a great Greek breakfast of yoghurt, honey, nuts and breads/pastries we catch the bus to Lindos.
5 Euros each instead of 50 Euros for a cab!! (Things in Greece are definitely not cheap any more). We stay at Pension Electra - another LP goodie - on the donkey trail to the Acropolis! Beautiful white washed narrow passageways, baggage, and donkeys laden with tourists bigger than the donkey makes for an interesting amble! oh - and dodging the donkey doo until the street cleaner arrives to sweep it up.
Right in the heart of Lindos, and only 10 minutes walk to the beach, Electra is a great place to stay. It has a kitchen and courtyard overlooking the bay available for guests to use and the family are very friendly - sign language always works!
As C has an inflammation in the hips, there's plenty of enforced rest - lazing on the beach and tasting all the fabulous Greek food on roof top restuarants with great views of Lindos - the bays and Acropolis lit up. We do hire a scooter for a day to see around the area; part of our retirement planning - post traveling we can quite see ourselves living in the sun in the Med! It seems to be wedding season
in town & most of them are Irish or English couples with their troops.
Next to Kos and we take the bus back to Rhodes Town and then take a short stroll (we were told) to the ferry; turns out to be a 30 minute route march which is particularly hard on C. Hey ho! At Kos Town we catch the last bus to Kefalos, to stay at Panormitis Studios. The service is awesome. The bus driver drops us right at the bottom of the lane by a shop; the shop owner checks who we are then calls the Studio owner who comes down to meet us. Maria doesn't speak much English but again sign language is the answer.
The studios are in a great position overlooking the bay and in a beautiful smallholding from which we are given a regular supply of goodies - plums, cucumbers, eggs and apricots. All so fresh and delicious. We mainly lunch at "home" - greek salads overlooking the bay from the lovely garden, with the odd Mythos beer or 3.
Kos is a beautiful island, and thanks to the unusually heavy rain they've had (fortunately not while we were there)
it's very green. A short bus ride from where we stay is Paradise beach which is a lovely long sandy stretch so a couple of days lazing there aid C's recovery. Again we hire a scooter for a look around - and for lunch head to a place on the other side of the island that everyone local recommends - Limnionas. It's at the end of a long windy road with a small man made fishing harbour, a lovely enclosed small natural beach and a truely fabulous fish restaurant where most of the locals come. Awesome food & a fantastic experience.
We also take time to spend an evening in Kos Town which is really attractive and full of orange when we were there; Dutch folk in their colours for the European Championships clash with Germany (which they lost).
We find a great little fish restaurant just off the harbour - Fish House Taverna - recommended by a welsh ex pat called David who runs a coffee shop on the square. It's a picture postcard Greek restaurant with great service from Pagona and Olga - and the food is pretty good too. In fact we go there for
our last day in Kos as David has kindly agreed to look after our bags for us while we tour the town and have lunch etc.
Much of the holiday has been spent taking photo's. M's new passion having invested in some good gear and training over the last few months. And the Greek islands are so picturesque it's hard not to. Even C catches the bug!! (She says having spent a fortune on some new camera gear!!). However, M does go slightly OTT when he ends up "stalking" a very striking looking woman with an amazing tattoo on her back. Her minder definitely gave him a wary look! It's Street Photography, he claims!!
And so it's back to Rhodes Town on the Ferry which stops off for 5 minutes at Symi which is a pretty island not far from Rhodes. It's back to Hotel Anastasia as well. We tour the old town over a couple of days as it has so much to enjoy. And it's amazing how much time it takes to get a good photo when there are thousands of tourists in the way!! We find another LP recommended eating place - Niohori - slightly
out of the way from the main drag in the new town but absolutely fabulous food. Mostly meat (they own the butchers) but all cooked by mum.Home cooking at it's best!! We end up there both nights and the final lunchtime it's so good!!
And so like most things in life our journey comes to an end. We spent some time chatting to Mihalis and to the shop owner in Kefalos (who speaks perect English) about the economy and how people feel about the Eurozone in the islands as it's the only topic in the news (or so it seems) in the UK. Generally they seemed pretty fed up with the negative press resulting from the riots; tourism is down and their views seemed to be - we've got ourselves into this mess, we just have to do what's needed to get out of it.
We had a fab time with many fantastic memories and wesome photographs of a beautiful country with lovely people and glorious food and wine of course. Wonder when we'll be back. Not for some time - there's a whole world out there to explore!! Which we've dedicide to do next so watch this
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