Sunday, October 2

Enjoying Rhodes

Stunning courtyard of the Palace of the Grand Masters in Rhodes town, Greece. Built by the Knights Hospitaller, medieval history and tourist spot.
With a past in drama and a lifelong Xena; Warrior Princess fan, I've long had a yen to visit Greece and this summer we finally made it, during August; the hottest possible time of the year! Oh, how would my English Rose, British constitution cope with the heat of Rhodes....?

We were on the Western side of the Island, near the tip of the spear head in Ixia; not the most cultural area but only a cock-stride to Rhodes town where you'll find culture and history on every corner.

The enduring symbol of Rhodes you'll see everywhere (from magnets to tea towels!)  is, of course, the colossus; a giant bronze statue of an Adonis-like warrior standing astride the harbour, Game of Thrones style, as visitors sail between the legs into the city. In actual fact the colossus stood next to the harbour in a Statue of Liberty type pose - without the dress! Although an earthquake destroyed the ancient wonder centuries ago, the harbour is still beautiful and in the same place as its ancient original.

Rhodes town restaurant, ancient storehouses or windmills in the harbour and large clock tower outside the church in ialysoss. Latin tiles in the town and crenelations by night with scooter, classic european scene.

Having never tried Greek cuisine and my long held hatred of olives and bell peppers, I wondered if it would be the food for me. Well, YES! I quickly discovered that the Greeks love meat and frying stuff -- 2 of my favourite things! The best thing I tried were battered and fried Aubergine slices served with Greek yoghurt and honey but we also tried parcels of pork, courgette fritters and some wonderful incarnations of lamb -- all DELICIOUS!

Our beach was a combination of pebbles, strong winds and sizeable waves which made for brilliant entertainment. We watched people of all sizes and ages wobble and limp over the piles of painful pebbles whilst being beaten and buffeted by strong currents sweeping into the beach. Once you made it past this pebbly boundary though, you were rewarded with velvety sand underfoot,  warm turquoise seas and rolling, glittering waves to jump around in under the 30+ degree heat of blazing Greek sunshine - stunning.

Beautiful Greek beach, pebbly beach and turquoise sea. Mediteranean sea in summer. A summer beach holiday in Europe.The Palace of the Grand Masters at night built by the knights hospitallers on the Greek island of Rhodes, in Rhodes town after entering through the ambrose gate.

For just 2euro and 8 minutes, we could hop on a bus and get to Rhodes town where we finally discovered the history we'd heard so much about. The Palace of the Grand Masters provided a dramatic welcome through the Ambrose gate to the mystical walled city beyond; one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe. Narrow, cobbled streets contain centuries-old houses, inns and meeting places of the knights. Once inside the city walls, it was like stepping back in time into a medieval castle, just beautiful.

Narrow alleys, streets and walkways in rhodes town, Greece. Courtyard with a beautiful fountain and crenelations in the ancient, medieval city. Tourist spots and sights worth visiting.

In Rhodes town we explored the Archeological museum; the former hospital of the knights. I found I was more interested in the building's history than the endless relics and monuments, nevertheless the ancient Greek statues, jewellery and mosaics on display were stunning.

Courtyeard of the archealogical museum, Rhodes, Greece. Sites and tourist spots of the greek islands, ancient history.
The courtyard of the archeological museum - a little girl of around 4yrs thought the ancient canon balls were 'dinosaur caca' and got very excited when telling her sister and father!

Giant floor mosaic from Kos, Greece in the archealogical museum in Rhodes town.
These huge mosaics would have been the floor of salons where ancient Greeks would entertain guests and couches would have been positioned around the outside leaving the mosaic free for discussion or entertainers.

The Palace of the Grand Masters was a photographer's dream; archways, crenelations, stone stairways and imposing fireplaces made every angle beautiful.

The Palace of the Grand Masters, Rhodes town, Greek islands. The courtyard with statues in archways.

The other half of the holiday was, of course, relaxing, enjoying cocktails, Greek wine and generally lazing about by the sea or pool. If we'd been more daring we could have joined the windsurfers but I stuck to my Julia Quinn books! With a perfect sea view all the way to the Turkish hills in the distance and a vivid sunset to enjoy each day, it was like a 10 day dream, especially in the evenings.

Greek islandof Rhodes, the beach, meditteranean sea, orange sunset and the white painted trees. Aubergine croquettes and european beer for lunch.
As for the recent troubles that Greece have experienced regarding finances, employment and the immigrant crisis, we didn't see a hint of anything so please don't avoid the Greek islands. Go ahead and enjoy all the hospitality, friendliness and beauty on offer.

I'd love to visit Greece again and maybe next time rise early enough to catch the ferry to Lindos; one of the biggest and most beautiful ancient sites on the island!