Athens to Rhodes

Trip Start Mar 18, 2011
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Trip End Apr 02, 2011


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Where I stayed
St. Nikolas Hotel

Flag of Greece  , Dodecanese,
Monday, March 21, 2011

    Today we got up late (9am) and took the train to Sygmata Square again to find a bus.  Most larger cities in Europe have a private bus tour, sometimes a double-decker, that gives commentary as it winds its way through the city over about 60-90 minutes.  Forget the big bus.....we found the Happy Train!  Ha!  Looking more like a relic from Disneyland that took a wrong turn, we jumped on for 6 Euros and spent an hour re-tracing our wanderings from last night through the Plaka district but also discovering new places at the foot of the Acropolis in the large agora region.  It was fun although the weather was overcast, cold and windy.

    Then off to the airport (via Metro which essentially is a free ride -- nobody ever checks to see if your ticket is valid and it never seems to expire).  Susan bought one ticket in 3 days; I was more honourable with two!  The flight to Rhodes took one hour on Aegean Air -- another Star Alliance partner so included in my AeroPlan ticketing at no extra charge.

    I was in Rhodes in 1970 but I remember few details.  I do remember it was a large historical island with lots to see, and lush compared to the other Aegean islands I'd visited back then.  Compared to the bustle of Athens, Rhodes is laid back.

    I was really looking forward to checking into the St Nikolis Hotel.  It's a small family-run hotel located inside the fortified walls of Old Town.  Twenty-one year-old Maria met us at the airport at 4:00pm. She tailgated that BMW so close I thought we were attached by a trailer hitch; man alive.  Nice girl though.  Greek-Danish.  Through one of the 10 gates that access Old Town, she manoeuvred her car through a left turn that I didn't see coming; I just saw the stone wall about a stride in front of the hood ornament.  Then down the cobblestones to the Hotel.  Wow.  Talk about a time warp into the 13th Century.  Our room -- Marie-Anne the hostess showed us three rooms we could pick from -- has an 800 year-old stone arch that leads from the sitting area to the 2nd storey balcony.  Intense.  This is all the work of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem and Rhodes and Malta, Crusaders all, but ultimately whacked by Saladin in the Holy Land if I recall.  We are living in history here.

    We left for a walk around dusk and found a restaurant off a tiny square with cobbled lanes (not wide enough to call them streets) with overhanging buttresses and dim large wrought-iron lamps.  The shuttered shopping stalls are 90% deserted such is the off-season lull but also a statement of tourism in the country.  Anyway, service is fast and the shrimp fresh.  

    Back home in the sequin-covered sack, with a gossamer mosquito net cascading down from the ceiling, we nodded off to thoughts of earlier times.  Is this heaven, or what?


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Comments

Lou Misshula on

Rich and Susan

We are both enjoying your wonderful travel dialogue and fascinating images.. Between you in Greece and our friends Kelly and Arni in Utah, we are wondering what we are doing in rainy Vancouver. Next year for sure.

Travel safe and enjoy your adventures.

Cheers, Lou and Laurie

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