Reflections on Rhodes.

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  I’ve just returned from a week in Rhodes, we booked self catering in a pleasant, albeit in serious need of a refurb’ place called Annixis Apartments in Ixia. The apartments are family run by Glynis and her Greek husband Stematis. (Isn’t that a treatment drug for vertigo?) Anyways, we arrived in Ixia which is only twenty minutes from the airport, at three in the morning absolutely wiped out by a five hour flight. Sensibly prepared we sat on the balcony to our very basic apartment (two plates, two cups which did not match, no toaster, no cutlery etc,) as I uncorked a bottle of wine I’d bought in customs. We watched the sunrise and drank from mugs, which was pretty enjoyable and then slept for several hours. 

There is a small pool at the apartments which happily, remained almost people-less for the whole of our stay. I’d taken my Kindle, loaded with some excellent reading and the last thing I need on holiday, is people. (Bah people humbug.) I spend all day with people so on holiday I like to be alone. Les sat by the pool, doing a newspaper crossword while I read. Bliss. However I do love to get out and about so on the second day we travelled around the island on the Island Tour, by air-conditioned coach which is just as well as the temperature had soared to nearly forty in the sun. There were old people on our coach practically expiring in the heat.

 Rhodes is a picture box pretty island, with lots of lovely old colonial style houses painted mostly white and blue, surrounded by olive groves and Cyprus trees. The countryside is quite verdant owing to a plentiful supply of underground water which, we were reliably informed, you can drink. After two days our morning ablutions had turned a shocking, knock your eye out, nuclear orange and I still don’t know if it was the water!

It is evident all around you that Greece is struggling financially, not only from the tell tale half built houses which scatter the countryside but also the many boarded up, previously thriving shops all over the island. It’s very sad and gives parts of Rhodes an air of neglect.
 
The beach near us, just five minutes walk away was only reachable by crossing one of the most horrendously busy roads I have ever crossed during my entire and varied experiences of travelling. You really do risk your life every time you cross and I’d hate to try it with children, or after indulging in a few beers. It is beyond me why there were no crossings for people as the flow of speeding traffic is constant and all through the night. Not that I minded much since I’m not a huge fan of beach holidays but we did walk down one afternoon, hearts in mouths across that road just so’s Les could tell his mates at work about all the flesh on display. The beach is pebbly and not all that but the sea is lovely, frothy white and a deep azure blue further out.

We also booked a ferry to what the tour guide called an island, Lindos, but which turned out to be an extension of the main island of Rhodes. We were told it would take about an hour to get there, in fact it took three and when we arrived all there is, is a very small beach crammed with hundreds of people which for me is a nightmare. In essence we were trapped so I had to stick it out for the afternoon, watching a lot of men on sun beds sitting upright, ostensibly gazing out to sea, heads bobbing up and down they reminded me of meerkats and gent’s, we already know it isn’t the sea you are gazing at. It baffles me how so many women happily strip off all their clothes in front of hundreds of strangers. I suppose I might consider it if I was being paid, but no, even if I had a fabulous figure which incidentally, I do, I just wouldn’t strip like that. I think it’s weird and quite surreal to be sat next to a naked woman, chatting to me about her hol’s as though we’ve known one another all our lives….. bizarre.

Les liked it. Honestly, that beach was like a still from Tube 8. Hey ho.
 
One night Les went for a walk. He decided to climb a mountain and left at about ten o’clock, with no money and no keys and absented himself for about five hours. This was not entirely unexpected so I let him get on with it, it was after all, our time to do with as we wanted. This was the night I decided to walk down a dark lane and look at the old cottages behind the apartments in the moonlight and then fell over. If you’ve got FB then you will have seen the picture. When I walked back, Les was zuzzing peacefully in bed, he’d got lost which isn’t surprising as said mountain was in reality, about fifteen miles from our pad. What are we like…

On the last day, I returned on my own to Rhodes town where I spent the day wandering around the old part, which is beautiful and steeped in history, then took myself to the far end of the town beach because there was no-one on it and I had the sea to myself. Heavenly.

If you haven’t been to Rhodes, I would recommend it as a great place to visit if you’re not looking for breathtaking beaches and if you enjoy culture, beautiful countryside and ancient architecture, for that there is in abundance. You also need to like the British for there are large communities of ex-pats all over the island.
 
Next year, I intend visiting my mate Helen who lives in New Zealand and next year dear reader…… I will be writing an entirely different tale for you.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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About A night in with Nelly

I have recently been given the all clear having had breast cancer so I am grateful and happy. I work with people who have Alzheimer`s. I am mother to Jess in Europe and Rebecca who lives here. I have five grandchildren. I am an avid writer and have had a number of journalistic articles and two bookettes published. I believe in breathing, smiling and swimming in the ocean. :)

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