A Travellerspoint blog


Rhodes and the Knights of Maltesers


Up incredibly early today for a tour to Lindos and the Acropolis of Athena there that stands on the cliff top. It was worth it and I did not even need to ride Michael Jackson to reach the top. That sounded bad, Michael was a donkey. He was 5 euro to get you half way.

We then went on a walk tour of the ancient walled city of Rhodes. It is the best preserved medieval city in the world and definitely worth seeing. It is a double walled city with two moats that did not contain water but lions and tigers. It was eventually taken by Turkey and the Knights of St John (a religious order that had nothing to do with the crusades) where forced eventually to Malta where they became the Knights of Malta.

We saw St John's Cove where St John allegedly crashed his boat on his way to Patmos to have his revelations.

The most amusing anecdote relates to the Knights hiding all their gun powder in the Grand Palace under the ground when they where forced to flee Rhodes. The Turks added a Minorette to turn the building into a Mosque. Lighting struck the Minorette and blew up the gun powder with all the important turks inside. Funny if you were not in there I guess.

Tonight is Greek night on the ship and Jane has been training for the Greek dancing. I have been competing in the food consumption Olympics and I have given up coke for the second time today. As I typed this I realised that I bought a coke to go to the loo. Old habits die hard.

Actually, I bought the coke after I used the loo at the Newstand across the road. The owner told me it was cheaper. There is nothing like a free toilet stop.

Tomorrow, we got to Patmos by little fishing boat and then to Ephesus the biggest roman ruin in the world. It is in Turkey and all the husbands have been told to prepare for the Turkish Bazaars.

Posted by janeanddan 08:32 Archived in Greece Comments (1)

Sea Diamond to Mykonos

We boarded our ship the Sea Diamond this morning and we were greeted by a new tour guide whose level of fake intensity really got to me as I am running out of steam. She wanted us to all call her mum. No way.

The ship is pretty big and the cabin is alright. The food is absolutely brilliant. 5 courses for lunch and if you like you can have all three mains. Tempting though it is I have been good and only had the five courses. Yes, I did forget the sea sickness tablets so lets hope I do not get to review the meal again.

You could buy an unlimited drinks package for 18 euro per person per day for the three days and some of the couples on our tour decided that was better value than going to Ephesus. We got on the boat by about 11 am and they were refused service by 11.30 am. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie.......

The trip to Mykonos took about 6 hours and our Captain Speedy Gonzales got us there about an hour early. We have all seen the pictures of the white washed walls and the windmills but it is just gorgeous. The wind was up so we did not have seafood in little Venice by the sea but the free meal on the boat was also a more sensible option.

I got the photo of the trip here. The Island has 4 pet pelicans who are huge and pink. They are also friendly. Got a wonderful shot of the pelican in front of once of the beautiful churches.

Jane got some nice earrings and we returned to the ship so I could see the cabaret show. It was a "Journey around the World" it was so daggy it was awesome. Food was fantastic at the buffet and I liberated some nectarines for our visit to Lindos and Rhodes tomorrow.

Posted by janeanddan 08:23 Archived in Greece Comments (2)

Forget the Crispy Creme Franchise - Greece is for Me

sunny 32 °C

I have abandoned my retirement dream of growing fat on a Crispy Creme Franchise to decide that I will die in Greece. You can keep your south of France, this is the place. I love it. Perhaps I should go and live on Corfu as the Gerald Durrell books are awfully good.

There is a lot to love. Olive trees that you just can't kill and the land is so mountainness that there is no lawn to mow. But most importantly, there are 17 greek words for 'later'. They range from shortly to when hell freezes over.

Today we drove from Kalambaka to Athens. We stopped to 'view' the battle of Thermopalaye where Leonidas and the 300 mortals allegedly held back 2 million Spartans in a gorge. Problem was, we did not really get to see it as we were so far away the gorge looked like it was Sydney Harbour. No way 300 men could have held 2 million. Not happy was Jane. Friends with the wookies she is. (Yoda reference talk).

After that, we drove to Mount Parnassus to see the Oracle at Delphi for 2 hours. We were very fortunate that there was a cool breeze although the 3 euro sandwich was like one that you had forgotten in your school bag for three days.

The ruins are also full of feral cats and dogs which is odd. They don't seem to bother people but it is strange to open your ham role and have 23 cats at your feet. No seagulls here.

We really enjoyed the Oracle and the muesum. Jane would have liked to walk all the way to the top to see where they competed in the games in winter in the nude. Ouch. Unfortunately, we ran out of time but I had seen enough.

We then drove to Athens past Marathon and the drive was very fast. Many highways were erected during the olympics and Athens is a far better drive for it.

The Hotel was in the shadow of the Acropolis and it was very central. We cooled in the room and then we wandered around the Greek Plaka for a while before settling in a little court yard to enjoy a three course greek meal looking up at the Acropolis on a spectacular night. The meal ended with the owner bringing out a plastic bottle full of some alcohol which he assured us was better than Ouzo. The two shots warmed us all the way down.

Tomorrow we leave from Piraeus for our three day cruise of the Greek Isles.

Posted by janeanddan 08:13 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

Were the Monk's Secretly South African?


It really is getting very difficult to determine where you are. Time is going fast and my fatigue is building. Keep hearing Peter Allan montages in my mind but then again that often happens at home but he has less sequins.

Today, we left Sofia to travel along the River Struma into Greece. The border crossing was pretty good but it was a 7.15 am start from the Hotel. The greeks are not stupid. There was no foreign exhange to alter my Bulgarian money into something useful like Euros. Perhaps it will be my tip for the tour guide?

In any event, we drove through some magnificent country today to reack Kalambaka in Greece. Of course, there is only one thing to do in Kalambaka which is go to view the six remaining monastries at Meteroa. The tour did not include the trip to the monastries funnily enough. Hmmm, lets squeeze the lemon some more. Nonetheless it was not overly dear to go.

It was fantastic. Monastries on top of huge pillars of rock soaring into the sky. One is amazed at how it was done even now let alone with no roads and only goat tracks. One of the greek kings was so moved by the monks simple life that he abandoned his throne and went to remain their before eventually becoming the chief Abbott. I use Abbott due to my extensive knowledge of the greek orthodox faith.

We went into one of the monastries and as always I was struck by the difficulty for spiritual people when their monastries become tourist haunts. It was odd purchasing a tourist book from a young greek orthodox nun who had just come out to bang a wooden thing to show how the Alarm Clock works.

Dinner was at the hotel and it was fabulous. The hotel really knew how to squeeze you. 18 euro for a 4 euro bottle of greek rose and 4 euro for a coke. There is a perverse pleasure in walking down the road and bringing in your 1.50 euro bottle of coca cola.

It is definitely worth seeing and I don't understand how Roger Moore climbed the Monastries as he was a wuss compared to Sean Connery. I suggest you guys Google for pictures as it is fantastic. Alternatively, hire "for your eyes only' which is possibly Roger Moore's best James Bond although Octopussy sounded ruder.

Tomorrow, Delphi then Athens.

PS: The south african rock climbing reference is for Gavin.

Posted by janeanddan 08:00 Archived in Greece Comments (0)

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