Thursday, 23 September 2021

And Away!



What with lockdowns, travel restrictions, eye-wateringly expensive Covid tests and a passport no longer recognised by the EU, the trip I was beginning to think would never happen is now within touching distance and we're packed and ready to go.


As we're travelling around on public transport we're keeping the luggage to a minimum, opting for a single 20kg travel bag to fly with. It also saves ££s, too, money which we'd rather spend in Greece. We've got everything in with a few kilos to spare.


Jon's taking six shirts, a long-sleeved top, three pairs of shorts, a hat and a cross-body bag. He's travelling in toffee-coloured shorts and the recently acquired tiger print shirt. With the exception of the mustard shirt, and navy & toffee shorts, everything else was charity shopped.


There's a fringed cotton hammam towel (bought in Crete last year), two pairs of swim shorts, two pairs of sandals and some blue cord Clarks' Originals which he's travelling in.


We're taking bamboo cotton buds, once a day sun protection in factors 40 and 30, Jon's razor, blades and a travel-sized shaving gel, bite cream, a 30x magnifying mirror, my Tangle Teaser, plasters, Lush shampoo and conditioner bars, my razor, painkillers, antiseptic cream, bamboo toothbrushes and toothpaste, insect repellent, soap, nail polish remover wipes, my pills and eye-makeup remover wipes.


I'm taking six dresses, a silk top made from a recycled sari, my maize hat, a straw cross-body bag and my trusty gold leather bag. I'm travelling in the blue silk kaftan and I'll be wearing my hat and carrying the gold bag. With the exception of the olive maxi dress, sari top, gold bag and the hat, everything else is vintage and/or second-hand.


I'm flying in the same outfit as I did last year, even down to my me-made William Morris mask!


I'm taking a fringed cotton hammam towel (also bought in Crete), two bikinis, two pairs of sandals and two pairs of sunglasses. I'm travelling in my Lottas. People always ask me about underwear - something I've never been that bothered about. I wear a pair of decent knickers to travel in as my prosthetic hip always sets off the alarms when we go through security. Although I carry a card to say that I have a bionic hip it's easier just to pull up my dress and show them my scar! 
 

Make-up wise I'm taking two new - and fantastic - discoveries, Maybelline's Brow Extensions and their Colossal Big Shot mascara, Barry M's black waterproof eyeliner pencil and sharpener, Barry M's Matte Me Up in Shocking Pink (discontinued but often available on eBay), Maybelline's Matte Ink in Heroine, Tweezerman tweezers, eyeliner brush, transparent hair bands and grips, lip balm, Lush's Karma solid perfume, Sleek's creme blush in Crimson, metal-free hair bands, Hard as Nails and Barry M's nail paint in Damson (a proper Greek blue).


I'll put my rings, bangles and turquoise bird earrings on once I've gone through security, the two pendants, silver torque, Nepali hair stick and remaining two pairs of earrings are in the travel bag. Also taking, but not pictured: A Indian block printed bedspread, a sewing kit, a manicure set, mobile phones (even I'm having to take one!), a shedload of paperwork (as back-up), books (Jon), Kobo (me), a map, plug adaptors, prescription glasses/sunglasses, masks & sanitiser, camera, various chargers, a torch, a notebook & pen and mozzie plug-ins.

With the house cleaned from top to bottom and the garden tidier than it's been in months, I've spent a lazy day in the sunshine reacquainting myself with Rhodes, rendered even more beautiful by the power of Lawrence Durrell's words. 

As I mentioned in my last post, I've visited the Greek island of Rhodes twice before. The photos below, taken in 1991 on a Club 18 - 30 holiday with a girlfriend, are 30 years old!!! Where did the time go? My naturally blonde hair went over to the dark side many years ago but I'm still the same wide-eyed traveller, giddy with excitement at the prospect of leaving England's shores. I didn't go abroad until I was old enough to pay my own way, my Dad worked overseas and would only entertain holidays in England (or Wales) when I was a child. 

I was 21 when I left the UK for the first time and the beauty of Barcelona simultaneously blew my mind and reduced me to tears. I made a promise to myself there and then that I'd find a way to travel abroad & see more of the world every year for the rest of my life and so far I've managed to do just that. Long may it continue.

Yammas! See you in October!

74 comments:

  1. Have a fabulous time, dear Vix. Have lots of fun & return to us safe & sound... with lots of pictures to share & stories to tell. ~Andrea xoxo

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  2. Have an amazing time and I look forwards to enjoying your photos and adventures upon your returnxx Arilx

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  3. Funny enough I had one of my best italian meals in Rhodes town somewhere in de nineties! Enjoy to the fullest!!

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    1. Thanks, Geja! We didn't try any of the Italian food but the Greek stuff was pretty damn fine! xxxx

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  4. I'm thrilled for you Vix and Lord Jon-You deserve it with keeping us entertained during lockdown-Lots of love xx

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  5. Woo hoo! So excited for you and Jon to be getting away! I love your efficient packing and expert wardrobing for you and Jon. Lawrence Durrell is a wonderful, evocative writer, isn't he? Enjoy your vacay and looking forward to seeing all you pics when you get back.

    Big hugs to you, Vix, and all the best for a fantastic getaway!

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    1. Thanks so much, Sheila! Jon reckoned we'd done the best packing ever, plenty of room in the bag for our few cheeky holiday purchases, too! xxx

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  6. Apart from the hair colour you look exactly the same, Vix!

    I am in awe of your minimalist packing; I always take too much of everything but if I travelled by air I would have to cut it dowb drastically...

    Have the most wonderful time and enjoy yourself!
    xxx

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    1. Thanks, Vronni! I doubt if I'd be as discplined with my packing if we drove somewhere on holiday. xxx

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  7. Can I say how much I enjoyed hearing about someone actually planning travel, right down to the personal care products? While I have envy, I more am feeling hopeful that travel is on the horizon for any of us. I love that you have nail polish in your plans-got to keep those summer toes looking gorgeous. I have found I can travel with much fewer items that I would have a couple decades ago-packing things with double or Triple duty, and if something needs a quick clean, a hand wash and hag will work wonders.

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, Sam! I love seeing other people's holiday packing, too.
      I learnt from a fellow traveller of a semi-permanent nail paint that lasts for 3 weeks without chipping, I shall be hunting that down before our next trip, eliminating the need for nail varnish and remover, every ounce is vital when you're flying on a budget airline! xxx

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  8. Bon Voyage lovely girl and fella. Have a spanokopita on me!xxx

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  9. Have a wonderful, wonderful time!!!!
    xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Diana! It really was wonderful! xxx

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  10. I can't imagine many more fascinating destinations! Up, up and away!

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    1. It was amazing, I don't know where to start on my travel blog posts! xxx

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  11. I'm so glad you made it! Have a wonderful time. Love seeing your packing- it's so disciplined...I always take too much stuff!
    My mum bought CBC and I those same type of Hamman towels for Christmas 2 years ago- I really like them...CBC calls his a table cloth! They are lovely and lightweight!xx

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    1. I was beginning to think that it might be the first time in 33 years that I stayed in the UK for an entire year - phew!
      Thaose hamman towels are brilliant, aren't they? They wash really well and take up hardly any space at all. xxx

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  12. Loved seeing you blonde. You still look just as happy and vivacious now. Have a super time. Lucky you didn’t choose Spain. How do you like flying. I’ve travelled a lot over my long lifetime. I’m fine in a small plane - used to fly them when I was young but airways feel unwell in the long flights. Must be the altitude. Sorry to hear about your hip. Wondered.why you needed pills. Did you have an accident? You certainly don’t let it stop you from having fu. Have a great trip xxx

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    1. Hello, Sally! I can't believe those photos are 30 years old. Where does the time go?
      I don't mind flying at all. To be honest, I'm usually asleep for most of the flight, there's something about hanging around airports that make me really sleepy. I've been omn a couple of scary flights, one where we were struck by lightning and another where the masks came down and we had to use the oxygen as the turbulence was so bad, but neither experience has ever put me off.
      The pills are birth control pills - that's one accident I could do without! xxx

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  13. You're so inspiring, Vix. Yes, long may your travel continue xxxx

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  14. I hope you and Jon have an amazing holiday as always. I admire your packing. Can you one day explain why you bring a bedspread with you? Many thanks and love.

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    1. Thanks,. Marjorie! the bedspread is for when we lie on the beach - beats hefty beach towels! xxx

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  15. Have a super time. Look forward to hearing all about your trip.
    I too am in awe at your minimalist packing. I always take far too much and only wear half of my garments. I never learn tho, I blame being a Girl Guide, Be Prepared and all that! Safe travels.

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    1. Thanks, Carole! I've been known to travel to Goa in the clothes I was wearing with a bikini underneath, a heap of books and I've bought everything else when I've got there! xxx

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  16. Have a wonderful time! We pack everything into backpacks it’s our challenge,! Even the kids clothes go in a trunki it’s a challenge but we do it. Plus there’s washing machines in the hotels we stay at. Take care and be safe!

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    1. Thanks so much, Allie! We did think about hand luggage only but priced up the sun cream in Greece last year and it worked out cheaper to pay for a hold bag and take it with us! xxx

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  17. Take care of my favourite dress Vix! it's going to look fabulous in that sunshine setting, can't wait to see your posts on return. I am a Calypso convert since reading your posts but couldn't get on with the shampoo bars! Love the wrap top, they are so versatile, I have been thinking I should get one for ages - Jon's new shirt is going to turn some heads too. Have fun, Betty x

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    1. The dress had a fabulous return trip to Greece, Betty! A lady even chased me down the runway to tell me how much she loved it!
      Those shampoo bars vary according to the type of water you have, I think. The Lush ones are fine with hard or soft water but others I've tried just won't wash out and leave a horrible residue.
      I didn't need that wrap top in the end as the temperature never dropped below 30°C even at night but they are really useful! xxx

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  18. Enjoy every minute. Looking forward to your blog post when you get back xxxxx

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  19. Have a wonderful time. I can't wait to read all about it. X

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  20. Have a lovely, lovely time. Will look forward to hearing all about it and seeing all your photo's. xx

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  21. minimalistic packing has not to be dull!
    you both take some very beautiful clothes to greece...... love your old photos!!
    have a wonderful time!!!
    xxxxx

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  22. Gosh how long have you waited for this, I bet it's so exciting to be finally about to set off. I hope you both have a wonderful time. xx

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    1. Thanks so much, Sue! Those two weeks fled by and it was utterly wonderful! xxx

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  23. Your ability to pack and travel light is admirable! Of course, it helps if you can be sure of the weather. You both made the perfect choices to allow the necessary variety. I'm so excited for you. Do enjoy every minute! xxx

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    1. You're not wrong there, Ann! I pack more for a weekend at a music festival in the UK! xxx

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  24. Hey Vix, the young Vix would be so proud that you kept your promise to yourself!! You look great in the old pics and you know you look fabulous now too. What a detailed and great packing post love it., your stunning dresses and beautiful jewelry. Don't blame you leaving the adorning with jewelry until you go through security - I have learnt to do just that too. You will savour this trip like no other after the uncrtainy of the past year. Have a wonderful rest and and enjoy!! I only got to spend a day in Rhodes but it had a lovely vibe. Oh I am excited for both of you. Well done also for having the house and garden ship shape to come back to (what is it about holidays that make you think everything has to be done perfectly before you go I am used to be the same anyway here's a big fat hug Shazxx

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    1. Thanks so much, Shaz! Tidying the house and garden makes the dreaded return a lot sweeter, I can tell you!
      Rhodes was wonderful, we loved every minute. It was definitely worth the return trip. xxx

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  25. You are sure to have the most wonderful time exploring. I'm looking forward to seeing the photo and hearing all about it when you get back.

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    1. Thanks, Cherie! It was absolutely wonderful. I'm ploughing through our hundreds of photos trying to decide which ones do Rhodes justice! xxx

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  26. Have a great time in Greece. I'm sure the weather will be lovely, it's still quite warm in the Mediterranean. This is the best part of the year to go on a holiday. It is still summery, but not as crowded. I arrived to Split yesterday and was surprised by how hot it was. There are still a lot of tourists in the city. I felt a bit jealous of them as I was running around trying to fix a paper mishap. There are few things I hate as much as fighting red tape, but somehow I always end up doing it.

    You have some great packing skills. Not that surprised me given your festival trading expertise. I loved the items you packed, your beautiful vintage dresses and that cute straw bag. I like to pack light and I was good at living from my suitcase when I was a flight attendant ages ago. I haven't travelled anywhere by plane since those days so I'm not sure I would be good at it anymore. I packed two big suitcase for Croatia yesterday but I'm staying here for a longer period (one or two months) and I was travelling by car so why not? When travelling by air, it's always best to travel light, those luggage fees are ridiculous. When I worked at airport Split (even longer ago), my colleagues working on check-in would 'forgive' the passengers a few pounds if they could, if there was extra space in someone's else suitcase they could add those few pounds to, to pin it down on someone who travelled light enough (but this depended entirely on how full the flight is, for safety reasons you cannot always get away with it, luggage weight is a factor in how the airplane is loaded and everything is weighted before). Still, I thought it was awful nice of them to go the extra trouble to save money for someone they didn't even know, I'm not sure I'd be that good at calculating these things.

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    1. I didn't except the weather to be quite so glorious, I don't think it dipped much below 30°C, even at night! England's 14°C is a bit of a shock to the system!
      I bet you envied those tourists enjoying a leisurely day whilst you raced around frantically chasing paperwork. I hope it's all sorted now.
      I'm sure I'd be a lot less disciplined with my packing if we were travelling by car. It's good in a way not to be able to take more than a handful of things, I can be dressed and out in minutes rather than endlessly dithering at the huge choice in my wardrobe(s)! xxx

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  27. The closest I've been to Rhodes was watching the Hercules Poirot "Triangle" episode. Loved the clothes/costumes adapted to the 30s; however, I can actually envision myself travelling comfortably in your well-planned, elegant wardrobe. A minimal amount of luggage is the mark of a practiced airline passenger!

    Pre-plague I made only week-end jaunts, making it easier on my back (and budget) to ship the changes FedEx and collect them at the hotel's desk upon arrival. I admit I schlepped them home in hand if the hotel's laundry service was lacking. Which prompts me to ask how you manage -- is everything machine washable?

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    1. Rhoes Town's Art Deco architecture, a legacy from Italian rule, is quite breathtaking. I don't think I've seen that edition of Poirot, I shall have to hunt it down!
      We've never stayed anywhere with a washing machine - if anything needs washing we take it in the shower with us, stamp on it and hang it up to dry where space permits, which elimates the need for an iron (although almost evrywhere we stayed this time had one in the kitchen! xxx

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  28. Happy Travels.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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  29. Hope you have a wonderful time! I really love how you've managed to travel light whilst still keeping your personal style, what a skill.

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  30. You and Jon have your packing down to a fine art - I always take too much stuff. I hope you have a safe, and very enjoyable trip. I'm looking forward to seeing the photos afterwards.

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    1. Thanks, Shelley! Jon reckons it was our best packed holiday ever! xxx

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  31. I expect you are back by now as I am behind on my blog reading again but as ever I marvel at your lightweight packing!
    We never had foreign holidays either as my Dad always said he traveled enough being in the R.A.F visiting family in Germany was as exotic as it got.

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    1. We got back on Friday, a whole fortnight away, just glorious!
      I remember you saying that you'd never had foreign holidays as a child. I'm quite glad I never did now, I doubt if I'd have appreciated them as much as I do as an adult! xxx

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  32. I hope you are enjoying your vacation dear!

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  33. Have a wonderful break! I hope the Rhodian sunsets are every bit as beautiful in reality as they are in the picture you've shared.

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    1. Thanks, Mim! They were even more beautiful than the photo. Durrell was right, Homer must have lived on Rhodes when he wrote of "rosy fingered skies" xxx

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  34. Looking forward to see you back and read about your adventures!.
    You know I love particularly your luggage posts, so enjoying this one too. I've been a light packer all my life but feel out of tune now, as we drived to Portugal last years (and filled the trunk!). I need to recover my traveller mojo!
    So fabulous post!
    besos

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    1. I've just been catching up with your blog posts, Monica! I'm glad you had a wonderful time. xxx

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  35. Oh my gosh, you're going on holiday?? Have the best time!! X

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Lots of love, Vix