Island of the Crusaders – Rhodes

3rd July 2006

I woke up the next day and had a little sleep in and washed my clothes, in the shower again and hung them around the room. I then went down to the concierge desk to collect my ferry tickets to Marmaris in Turkey. I wished I hadn’t slept in. My ferry left at 9am the next day, leaving me with only one day to explore Rhodes, had I known that I would have woken myself up earlier. Again, I cursed Meridian travel for the way this trip had been organised.

I left the hotel and went for a walk around. I walked along the beach front, the beaches all had white sand and colourful beach umbrellas with sun loungers on them, of course with people charging for their use. I walked along and came to an Aquarium and thought yeah why not I’ll give that a go. The Aquarium had some rather nasty looking stuffed sharks and some live sea turtles and not too much else. The whole building seemed to have leaks in it, so I decided to continue on my way.

I walked along the Jetty, noticing all the boats offering rides to Turkey some as low as twenty Euros. Again, I thought to myself, I could have done this myself, it was so easy. I went past the harbour where the Colossus of Rhodes had once stood, there are now two deer standing on either side, I’m not sure what that was supposed to symbolise. I kept walking and eventually found my way into the old town.

I walked up the street of the knights and went to the Palace of the Grand Masters. Medieval Architecture was everywhere, and people were still living in it. I was wonderful to see. The streets were cobble stones and dug into my feet as I walked. I was glad I had worn my boots and not sandals as I had attempted in Rome. The medieval old town is one big marketplace, and replica weapons shops were everywhere. I was very tempted as I love old looking swords and daggers. I went into one shop for a look and the girl working there was from Melbourne, she assured me that she would give me paperwork so I could get a sword home with me. Temptation managed to get the better of me, not once but twice. I had seen the sword I wanted, it was a replica of the sword of the knights of St. John from the Crusade era, but on the same stand I had spied a sword that had “Earl of Huntington” engraved around the hilt. I was meant to have that sword. I couldn’t make a decision, so I bought them both. The swords were very heavy, so I went back to the hotel and had a swim in the hotels bizarre boat shaped swimming pool and a nap and dropped them off.

Rhodes - Crusaders Palace
Rhodes – the Palace of the Grand Masters

A little later I went back to the old town and had something to eat and had a colourful woollen dreadlock put in my hair while sitting in the street and playing with local stray kittens. I strolled around the old town once more and sat down for a while, a rather friendly black cat jumped onto my lap, and I played with him for a while. I was sitting next to the entrance of the old castle, which I had a bit of a poke around in later on. It was getting late, and I returned to my hotel for dinner, this would be my last night in Greece, it would also be my last night on my own. As of tomorrow, I would again be on an organised tour, which was a booth a disappointment and a relief, I couldn’t possibly lug my broken suitcase around anymore and I was relieved to be able to have someone to do it for me.

The next morning, I got up really early, too early for breakfast and hopped in a cab and went down to the jetty. While trying to board my boat, I was slugged with a 40 Euro leaving tax, which I was totally unprepared for and annoyed about. It was the final insult from Meridian, I prayed that Greece and Mediterranean tours would have a decent representative company in Turkey, who was at least half as helpful as the people at South Sinai Tours in Egypt. I grudgingly withdrew 40 Euros from my dwindling spending money and handed it over and lugged my suitcase on board the small ferry. I sat down and did some filming of the city and then the boat took off playing Greek music.

It was nice for a while, but it seemed to be the same song over and over. I decided to put my headphones on. It was a beautiful day. We were only out of range of land for about 10 minutes, and we approached the coast of Turkey, a country I never ever thought I would visit, the coast was very much like that of Greece. Only a wonderfully dark green and less rocky. The whole trip took about 45 minutes, and had been quite pleasant, it was all over too quick for me and that was it I was in Turkey.

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