Trying to catch up on our travel posts. This one is from back in 2012.
I'm not sure why we.....though I think it was I, chose the island of Rhodes. When doing some research, I probably got caught up in Medieval, knights, Grand Masters, a walled city! A young boy's dream. It also seemed like a nice change of pace after Tunisia and Istanbul. All that history was a plus as well. Plus, the Missus loves the Greek Islands.
So we arrived on our flight from Istanbul, through Athens. We'd decided to catch the bus from the airport to Rhodes Town. However, one of the cab drivers...you gotta love Greek cab drivers, they are nuts, offered us a deal to split the fair with another couple. So we ended up catching the taxi. The couple got out at a resort south of Rhodes Town and the driver picked up a passenger outside the Old Town. From there we ended up at the cruise terminal dock, all the while listening to an animated conversation between the driver and the passenger in a language we didn't understand! As the driver dropped the guy off he glanced back and gave us a surprised look. He's been so engrossed in conversation that he forgot all about us! He laughed, shrugged, and told us, "sorry, politics you know...." He ended up taking us back up the road and dropping us off near Saint Catherine's Gate.....he pointed through the gate and said, "that way....." Well, it wasn't quite "that way...." Luckily, we had a map and it wasn't that long a walk as headed past the main square and tourist stops down the charming cobblestone back streets of the Old Town.
If your idea of the Greek Islands are those charming bright white with blue trimmed structures, Rhodes will be a surprise. Here it's brick and stone, a fortress, a moat.....
Eventually we ended up at a small square area and gingerly stepped over the snoring dogs.....
We really wanted to stay in the Old Town, within the walls of the medieval city, and the Hotel Saint Michel seemed to fit the bill. The building is over 700 years old, cozy, and while the rooms are nothing fancy, the place has character to spare.
Also, Chris and Vasso were so accommodating, really making us feel comfortable and at home.
We were lucky enough to get the room we call the "penthouse". It is located at the top of the steep stairs on the roof. While the room was rather small and the wifi really didn't work up here, the place was private, cozy, and had one really big bonus......
We had the entire upper deck area to ourselves. Both the door to the room and the door to the deck had locks...
We were to make great use of the deck over our stay......
We really enjoyed the location of the hotel, it was close to everything, but away from the tourist hustle and bustle.
Settled in, we headed out for dinner. Usually, we're really tired after arriving at a city for the first time. Rhodes really didn't tax us much. Still, we thought we'd take it easy and head to a restaurant I'd read about fairly close by, away from the tourist rush called Laganis.
The Missus loves the tin cups that house wine is served in, so we got the house red which was passable.
She also loves horta, the wild "mountain greens", often a type of chicory, so we ordered that as well.
This version wasn't cooked to death as we're used too. It also needed a good deal more seasoning, but was not bad overall. Sadly, this was the best dish of the meal.
Things went quickly downhill with the Fava Skordalia.
This lacked flavor as well, but even worse, the dip had an unpleasant gritty texture as well.
The beets were nice and sweet but on the hard side.
This had the texture of old tires.
The grilled octopus didn't fare any better......
We were only comforted by the fact that we tend to not choose real well for our initial meal in new cities we visit. I was sure that tomorrow we'd fare much better.
After the meal, we decided to take a walk down the streets of this quieter part of Rhodes Town.
We eventually ended up at Ippokratous Square and the Castellania fountain which is the busiest tourist area of the Old Town, surrounded by shops and restaurants...and tourists of course. Since it was almost evening, most of the day-trippers had left or were in the process of leaving.
Soon, the folks from the cruise ships would be heading back and the place would become pretty quiet. After all the folks in resorts leave it looks like this.
Quite a contrast......
We headed back up the cobble stoned alleyway to the hotel, stopping at the little shop next door. Christos was more then happy to open our bottle of wine and provide some glasses for us. We sat on the patio and heard the horns of the two cruise ships heading out. Soon we toasted as the sun went down in the horizon.
It was a nice sunset, but a few days later we'd see what I can only call an amazing sunset on Rhodes. Things were sure to get better......