Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Rhodes, 2021 - Back to the Old Town

Kalispera! Blogland can collectively let out a huge sigh of relief, it's the final instalment of our Rhodes adventure. 

An hour after boarding the bus from Lindos we arrived back in Rhodes Town, where we'd decided to spend our final 24 hours. 

Keen to make the most of our last day, we checked into our accommodation (a heritage hotel booked online before we left the UK), deposited our bag and headed straight back out, keen to reacquaint ourselves with the Old Town, although I couldn't resist snapping this gorgeous ormolu mirror and the exquisite chest of drawers on the landing outside our room, featuring brass reliefs of Achilles and bearing what has become the symbol of these strange times, a bottle of hand sanitiser!

After a bit of shopping, my bespoke turquoise necklace (seen HERE) and a cross-body bag for Lord Jon (Rhodes is renowned for its fine quality leather), we headed off to The Museum of Decorative Arts. No photos were allowed but you can see some of the amazing displays of ceramics, needlework, metalware and wood carving HERE. I was a bit disappointed to discover that their celebrated display of women's clothing was undergoing restoration but it is a perfect excuse for a return trip to Rhodes!

The museum is located within the former First Hospital of the Knights, built in honour of the French philosopher, Roger De Pins (1294 - 1365), a member of the Knights of St John. Jon's enjoying a drink from a water fountain, also built by the order, wondering if his 13 x Great grandfather, the Blessed Adrian Fortescue, ever sought refreshment here.

We returned to The Island of Lipsi for al fresco salads, homemade pitta bread, tzatziki and bottles of icy-cold Mythos.

We continued on to the seafront, horrified and mesmerised in equal measure by the monstrous size of the cruise ships docked in Mandraki Harbour. 

We followed the ramparts back into the Old Town, getting lost in a maze of cobbled streets we'd not encountered on our first visit and, for future reference, made a note of some of the gorgeous pensions and hotels tucked away in Medieval alleyways.

As you can see, I had to wear my new turquoise necklace immediately. 

After showers and a siesta back in our tiny room, we poured ourselves a rum, sat on top of the fridge and watched the world go by beneath our window.

We walked back down to the harbour to watch our last rosy-fingered Rhodian sunset before heading back to the Byzantine-era bar kitted out with vintage and upcycled treasure we'd loved on our previous visit, for a Mythos or three.

We returned to Archodiko Dimitri, the roofless restaurant built within a ruin, lined with statues of Greek gods and heroes. The waiters, thrilled to see us again, brought us glasses of mastika, a local spirit made from the sap of an evergreen tree, with a peppermint flavour. The perfect digestif. Yammas!

After dinner we popped into a bar we'd spotted earlier, which had been serving refreshments to thirsty travellers since the 13th Century. 

Back at our room we repacked our bag and had a fitful night's sleep, the nearby nightclub and the rock bar downstairs pumped out music until 4am. Of course, we could have just shut the window but both of us loathe air-conditioning and knew we could catch up with our sleep on the flight home.

Breakfast was taken on the cobbled streets outside a traditional bakery around the corner from Domus, tiny cups of strong Greek coffee and piping hot cheese pies, straight from the wood-fired oven. A procession of locals on their way to work stopped off to fill paper bags with all manner of baked delights.

We walked to New Town, caught a bus to the airport and took our time over frappes in the cafe. The Ryanair homeward flight, just like the outbound one, was bang on time with mask-wearing rigorously imposed throughout. Back at home the lads took around 5 hours to forgive us and haven't left us alone since. 

See you soon!