Small town with lots of history and beauty
Trip Start May 30, 2010
60Trip End Ongoing
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The small town of Lindos is the second most popular tourist attraction on Rhodes. It is about 50km south of Rhodes Town. After visiting the acropolis complex in Rhodes City I walked east back into town to find a bus stop for Lindos. Easier said than done. I walked and walked and walked before getting to the main highway. There I waited about 45 minutes for a bus to come along and it was only going 10 km further but the driver told me which stop to get off at to catch another bus to Lindos. At the other stop I again had a long wait but the bus arrived and took me the rest of the way. In Greece you have to have plenty of patience since no one is in a hurry unless they are driving and then I can only imagine what they are yelling at the other drivers.
Vehicles aren't allowed in Lindos so the bus stops on a hill above the town. It is a charming, small town with white houses totally dominated by the acropolis complex. There are plenty of donkeys available to help anyone that can't manage the steep hill into town or the steps up to the acropolis. There were a few tourists using them but most people managed fine on their own. The town has these narrow passageways that you navigate lined with cute shops, restaurants and tavernas. The signage was pretty good so I had no trouble finding the ancient theater. Fortunately the 4th century BC theater hasn't been "restored" like many of the other ruins on the island. You can actually see the ancient seats and signs explained the original layout and interesting facts.
From here it was back through the crowded passages of town and then up a ton of steps to the acropolis. Every Greek city seems to have its own acropolis and my theory is that it was to keep the citizens in shape. Most European tourists don't have much trouble but out of shape American tourists would be struggling. The acropolis complex gave a great view of the small town as well as the adjacent harbors and beaches. The complex is quite large with many different structures that had been built over the centuries depending on who controlled the island at the time
The famous Temple of Athena Lindia that stood atop the acropolis was known throughout the Greek world. Gradually fortified during the Roman and Byzantine eras, the acropolis ensured that the ancient city beneath its walls remained occupied, developing in the last few centuries into a scenic whitewashed village complete with narrow cobbled streets (now protected from further development by a government decree). The acropolis had excellent signage in Greek and English so I knew what I was looking at and my guidebook provided further detail.
The acropolis is one of the most spectacular archaelogical sites in Greece; so much so, that the 116m rock has been drawing tourists since antiquity. Built in 348 BC the surviving Temple of Athena Lindia is a tiny building with its end columns and side walls partially reconstructed. It replaced earlier temples dating as far back as the 10th century BC. As the sanctuary grew in importance other buildings were added, the most notable being the formal gateway or Propylaea (407 BC) and a large 42 column, double winged Doric Stoa (208 BC) that formed the entrance to a Monumental Stairway.
Italian excavators attempted a considerable amount of reconstruction when they occupied Rhodes from World War 1 until World War 2. Unfortunately, like that at the Rhodes City acropolis, the overall impression is positive it is one of excess. The amount of tasteless new material, including concrete, made it look more like a fabricated tourist attraction that ancient ruins. Granted some of the reconstruction helps since you can see how things once were but much of it looks so new that it's distracting..
After viewing the ruins I hiked back down the hill to Lindos Beach. The beach club there was quite nice but I opted to walk further out on the rocks where the snorkeling would be better. I went for a swim out in the harbor and around the sea-side of the acropolis looking for a large cave on the cliff below the acropolis. I never saw it but had a nice swim anyway. As usual the afternoon water was rough because of the wind. I was definitely glad to have visited Lindos since it was very impressive between the ruins, pretty town and nice beach. It is very small though and has limited lodging so it was perfect for a daytrip. Fortunately catching a bus back to Rhodes was easy although it was the slow boat to China stopping every couple of miles and then even more often closer to Rhodes City. Made for a long day but very enjoyable.