Today we docked on the great island of Rhodes. Rhodes, I know, is famous for creating great scholars and for the Colossus which stood guard over the entrance to its harbor for many years.
Our arrival on Rhodes was dreary but we eventually discovered the hidden beauty. Hint: It was not behind those thick, ancient walls.
We got up around 6:45 and off the ship early-ish but the weather was dreary. It was overcast, dripping a bit and being susceptible to weather-inspired depression, Eli and I wore out quickly. We tried to purchase a day on scooters but Mark was frustrated by the man’s unwillingness to haggle and so we walked one way and the other down the waterfront near where our cruise ship docked. For all we could see of Rhodes, it was an ugly, reeking, gray place. Eventually we came across an entrance to the Old City. These are ancient fortifications which now hold in a million stores selling scarves, carpets and jewelry. We looked and walked and got damp and decided we had to go back onto the ship and read the day away. Not a bad plan.
View over the Aegean.
By the end of lunch, however, the sky was bright and the waiter near the fruit bar so fervently suggested that we go to the beach if we could that we decided to do so. Our karma is running in the right direction for we found a great cabby who haggled with Mark a bit, asked us about our beach preferences: sandy or rocky; small waves or large; windy or less windy? he drove us to the beach that sounded best to us: sandy, not much wind, little waves, umbrellas and chairs for a fee and a kantina. We enjoyed 2 hours there. I slept, Eli read, Martina swam and played with rocks, Mark swam, sunned, picked up rocks and watched the topless women. We shared several bottles of water and we adults enjoyed sharing one huge beer. It was a very relaxing way to spend the afternoon.
The Temple of Apollo on the Acropolis of Rhodes.
Our cab driver, Nikolas, came back and picked us up at the appointed time and he then gave us a brief tour of the island. We saw the place where the Colossus stood, the temple of Apollo on the Acropolis, the neighborhoods where the locals live and the tourist sections with hotels, restaurants and bars. Nikolas’ excellent English and calm, kind nature made the $75 Euro trip and tour a great value for us.
The harbor where the Colossus stood, one foot on either side of the entrance.
By the end of the day Rhodes had taken on a completely different look for our family. No longer dirty and dreary it was beautiful, blue and sunny with a big helping of kindness.
Eli, Me, Mark and Martina in front. We’re sand and salt crusted from the beach. Our driver took the photo for us.