Rhodes – Part Two

So In my last post I left you in Rhodes, Greece, where we were having a fantastic time. The sky was always blue, the sun shining and we would spend a portion of each day swimming in the Mediterranean.

Lindos with the Acropolis above

Lindos with the Acropolis above

If you want to check out what we got up to on the first two days in Rhodes please click here to read Part One first.

Our time in Rhodes went all too quickly, as holidays have a tendency to do. We woke up on the third morning with plans to travel across the island to see Lindos. The drive went without hitch and we stopped along the way in Epta Piges, also known as Seven Springs. The cool thing at the springs was an old water race which cuts 150 meters through a hillside, you can remove your shoes and slosh your way through the tunnel, in the dark without being able to see your hand in front of you. Much giggling ensued after we bumped our way slowly down the tunnel and back out into the autumn coloured forest. The Seven Springs would also a beautiful spot for walking, picnics or families.

A short drive later and we had reached Lindos; picture perfect bays, white houses and the Acropolis atop the hill overlooking it all. We couldn’t wait to get out of the car and check it all out. Lindos is absolutely gorgeous but I can imagine at the height of the tourist season it would be mayhem, in late October when we visited it was calm and easy to navigate. We stopped first of all to eat some lunch (gyros, yum yum) then wandered down the mazes of pebbled streets in the direction of the Acropolis. The little shops that covered every inch of the street sides were full of everything you could image; food of all varieties, desserts, crafts, shoes, clothing, leather goods. You name it as long as some tourists would buy it they would sell it. But on that note I did think that it wasn’t quite as junky as other tourist spots we had seen so far.

There are two ways to get all the way up the hill to the Acropolis; by donkey or by foot. Of course we chose to walk, but the donkeys were very cute to look at along the way. Once you have walked (or ridden) to a plateau at the base of the walls there is a beautiful old frieze of a ship engraved on the wall, and from there it’s what I image used to be a majestic (or daunting if you were the enemy) flight of stairs into the complex itself. This ruins of the Acropolis are exactly what you would think of if someone asked you to close your eyes and imagine an old temple with sandstone pillars, in the sun with the beautiful Mediterranean in the background. The complex seems to have been in a state of restoration for quite some time, you will see in our photos that it has a crane set up and there is a lot of new stonework around. I found the juxtaposition of the crumbling old building and the shiny new stone to be interesting, I could look past it and see the ruin but also see them both together in a restoration of the old temple. The pillars, old or new, were magnificent to look at regardless.

We spent probably an hour at least just wandering around looking into all the corners and nooks. My favourite part was seeing all the old bits of stone with ornate floral carvings and Greek writing on it, still quite obvious even now a long time after it was carved. And of course the view, wow what a view, 180 degrees of blue ocean, and the white washed walls of Lindos below.

Once we had enough of snapping countless photos and exploring we headed back down the hill and back towards the car only stopping for gelato. From the Acropolis we had spied our next swimming spot, around the corner from Lindos a cute as a button little bay called St John’s Bay. It was perfect, no breeze or waves so we splashed our way out to the point where the open water meets the bay and found a spot on the cliff above where people had used as a platform for diving or jumping. Brave as we are it took probably 20 minutes before the first of us flung ourselves off this ledge (it wasn’t me!)  From the water below it looked easily achievable, from above it was probably a good three meter jump, safe enough but still high. Once we had each had a turn, nothing could stop us and we paddled around and jumped off the ledge until we were worn out and the air was cooling for the evening.

The bay we swum in by Lindos

The bay we swum in by Lindos

As it was our last night on Rhodes we decided to visit the next door restaurant again, this time we were the only patrons. This gave us time to get to know our host who in turn asked us questions about ourselves too Again I have to say how amazing the service we received was, and the food…words escape me.

The next morning we reluctantly packed up the car to drive back towards Rhodes Old Town and the port. We stopped along the way at Filermos where there was a large stone cross on the hill, we climbed the tiny internal spiral staircase to the top and looked out over the island. The entertaining part of this stop off were the peacocks which were everywhere, there probably would have been 50 of them just roaming around not particularly caring about the tourists. At one point they all took flight in our direction.  I’m not afraid of birds in any way, but the three of us girls all screeched and hid behind Tom.

We had a few hours to explore Rhodes town before grabbing our packs and heading to the ferry to Marmaris so off we went. Our goal in the Old Town was to find a printer to get our ferry tickets printed and to absorb the feel of the place, we weren’t really interested in the little tourist knick-knack style shops but there were a lot of others too. This was probably the first time we started seeing the knock-off designer goods as well (we had yet to visit the Bazaar in Istanbul). While searching for a cafe with print facilities I got completely distracted by the beautiful macaws that seemed be outside various cafes. I love birds and got suckered into looking at them by a local cafe owner who just wanted us to buy stuff from him, but let us have a turn at holding the macaws as he did so. Once the printer search was completed successfully we checked out our handy map which had been dragged around for the last three days (and chewed by a macaw more recently) and decided to investigate the palace.

The Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes is a medieval castle inside the walls of Rhodes and has been used for many purposes since being built in the 14th century. When we visited it was unfortunately partially under refurbishment so only Tom and I were prepared to pay the fee and check it out. Inside it was beautifully restored with amazing old furniture, sculptures, statues, architecture and mosaics. The mosaics were probably the most interesting as they each had a story and an origin, having each been painstakingly moved into the palace at some point in history. We took our time exploring each room and eventually made our way back out into the sunshine.

The time had come to find where we had parked the car, return it, check in at the port and board the ferry back to Turkey. Overall we had a unforgettable four days in Rhodes but we had further adventure ahead of us, starting with some more transit time, cue the motion sickness pills.

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