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Published: March 28th 2016
We docked in Rhodes late on the morning of Easter Sunday. We were leaving for our tours at midday so the ship put on an all-morning Easter brunch with Easter eggs and everything. It was a nice touch. Arriving in Rhodes was amazing because we were docking in the tourist port that is right at the old city and its medieval walls. Such a nice change to be so close, and we were allowed to walk into town from the ship.
Not that we did that straight away because there was only an hour or so before we had to head off on the excursions for Rhodes. Here we had a choice of what to do – either a tour of the old town and the Grand Master’s palace, or a tour of the Acropolis at Lindos. For me, the choice was easy because we were going to have Monday morning to look around old town anyway. Many people chose not to go to Lindos though because there was quite a bit of walking and a couple of hundred steps.
I had a bit of a debacle in the morning with my cabin though. I got up reasonably early
On top of the Acropolis at Lindos
and headed downstairs to use the internet. By the time I got back, my cabin had been serviced. Normally that would be great but for some reason they had decided that morning was the perfect time to sanitise the shower-heads. So I got back to my room planning to have a shower before heading down to a lecture only to find my shower-head missing. After chasing it up I found out what had happened and was promised it would be back by 10:00am. It wasn’t. I had to keep chasing and it finally arrived back at 11:15am. I could not understand why they did it on a day when we were on the ship and people were having late breakfasts. Everyone would be off the ship all afternoon so why not do it then? It really annoyed me, but I guess if it’s taken that long for me to have a complaint I guess the ship’s not too bad.
At midday we boarded the buses and drove out of Rhodes city. Along the way we passed a restaurant with a mini Colossus which was quite a bit smaller than the original was supposed to have been. The modern town
of Rhodes seemed nice enough though.
It took about an hour to drive to Lindos. Our guide talked the whole way but I must confess I had a bit of a nap along the way – probably because I had been up late doing my previous blog entry. What I did see of the countryside and the coast was very pretty, but Lindos was something else. The Acropolis on the hill looked amazing, as did the mostly white-washed houses of the town below. The location on cliffs over a beautiful blue sea was just sublime.
We arrived at the bus carpark which is on a hill above the town. This meant we had to walk down to the town before heading up to the Acropolis. It was a reasonable hill, but nothing major. Most of the people who had opted for this excursion were the more able-bodied. Not all of them, though and one guy in particular kept asking the guide about coffee shops with free wifi so he could spend all afternoon there. I have no idea why he bothered coming on the excursion at all. Unfortunately there were some others that had clearly not taken any
notice of the fact that there was a decent amount of walking, some of it uphill and on uneven terrain. This meant it took forever for the group to get up to the acropolis but we couldn’t get too far ahead because we had to wait to get our tickets. Although there are some great people on this tour, I am getting pretty over the doddering old ones. I heard someone saying they should group people based on their abilities rather than the completely random selection they seem to have going now. I totally agree!
Once we had the tickets, some of us just took off into the Acropolis. There were some ruins at the top, and the medieval style walls were impressive even if they are reconstructions. However, the real highlight was the view from up there. I’m sure my photos don’t do justice to how majestic the sea and cliffs are. I walked around for a while, taking plenty of pictures. I accidently (honest!) went into a fenced-off area where I could sit on the wall over the cliff. Fortunately, I realised where I was just before I found myself leaning out over the water to get
a better picture.
When I had seen all I could see, and photographed it all at least three times, I headed back down into the town. I bought a couple of souvenirs in the first shop I came too and then headed into the narrow alleyways of Lindos. Besides pedestrians, only bikes and scooters can get through the streets there. It seems like it would be easy to get lost except that most of the twisting alley ways seem to head back to the main square. As I wandered I stumbled upon a couple of fellow passengers who were relaxing with a quenching ale at a nice little tavern. When they invited me to join them, how could I refuse? I did go for a coke instead of a beer but it was a lovely little break. Even though the weather was a touch on the cool side, the walk up to the acropolis with the sun beating down on you will still give you a thirst.
With the thirst dealt with, I continued meandering around the town until it was time to walk up to the bus car park. I don’t know if anybody paid the 5
euros to get a taxi back up, but it wouldn’t surprise me if there were some. One couple were a couple of minutes late getting back to the bus because they had apparently taken the wrong road and headed down to the beach instead. I was quite impressed because as far as I could tell, there was only one road up and it headed from the square to the car park. Some people are just talented.
The trip back to Rhodes was pretty much the exact reverse of the trip down to Lindos. We did stop shortly after leaving Lindos for a quick photo stop at a spot overlooking Lindos though. The view was magnificent and the photos from there probably come closest to conveying how beautiful the place was.
Once back on the ship, I spent a couple of hours in the bar processing my photos. Many people headed straight into town but as I was only going to go in for dinner I decided to leave it until 8. The Greeks tend to eat late so I figured there was no hurry.
When I left the ship and headed into town I was very glad
I had remembered to pack a jacket. The wind off the harbour was bloody freezing! It was nice walking around the old town at night but because I had forgotten to bring my map, I didn’t explore too far. It probably wasn’t a drama though; the old town is not that big. I soon found a tavern that served the lamb meatballs in a tomato sauce that I had loved when I was in Greece last time so I was happy. With my stomach full, I headed back to the ship for a good night’s rest.
Monday morning was a free morning so pretty much everyone was heading into town for a look around and some shopping. This was the most time we had to do so on the trip so far, and it was a great place for it. There were some really nice stuff available, and most of it was great quality instead of the usual cheap souvenir crap. Even though the tourist season hasn’t started yet, most of the shops were open because there were two cruise ships in.
I walked around all morning, alternating between shopping and taking photos. The medieval walls and castle
View of the beach
While walking up to the acropolis at Lindos
were built by the Knights of St. John (also known as the Knights of Rhodes, Knights Hospitaller and to this day, the Knights of Malta) and they are spectacular. I’m pretty sure they’ve been reconstructed though. The town itself is just a real pleasure to walk around. Being a sunny day, it was difficult to photography the walls and narrow streets without harsh shadows but I hope my photos give some idea about how nice it was. I even drank a coke out of a boot-shaped glass – how cool is that?
My main purchase was, of course, a sword. The lady who ran the shop I bought it from was absolutely lovely and couldn’t do enough for me. Although she couldn’t discount the sword, she gave me discounts on everything else and even threw in a couple of freebies. As I bought them pretty early, she held onto them while I continued to look around the town. When I got back at midday to pick them up, she gave me a couple of slices of cake she had made, all wrapped up so I could eat them on the ship this afternoon. Even though I was really happy
with the sword purchase, she made the whole experience even more fantastic.
All good things must come to an end, unfortunately. So I headed back to the ship and we were soon underway, heading for Crete. The wind that was so cold last night has made for quite a bit of movement in the ship as we round the coast and head west. It’s probably the roughest seas we’ve had so far. It’s not all bad, though. It meant the restaurant was pretty quiet at dinner!
I am really keen to come back to Rhodes again some time, without the time pressure of the cruise. It has been a wonderful 24 hours in port. I’m sure the last few stops on this cruise will be pretty good, but it’s going to be hard to top Rhodes!
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