Tuesday, 12 May 2009

farewell Cyprus, hello Rhodes

Englısh weddıng a la Rhodes
8th-13th May
After many goodbyes and a huge wash and brush up of the Lysos house we were pushed for time to get to Limassol before our boat set sail. We arrived mid-day the following day, coming into an impressive fortified harbour. It wasn't hard to imagine a colossus standing with legs astride it. The reality is an unspoilt medieaval town full of cobbled alleys, overhanging turkish-style balconies, minarets and churches...and plenty of tourist tat...all surrounded by the most amazing fotfications, dating back to 12-1500AD. We found ourselves a B&B in the centre, in an old ottoman house which, our landlady informed us, used to be a hareem. As all the rooms come off a central large space, and have shuttered windows as well as doors opening on to the centre, this seemed logical.
As usual, we had fallen on our feet. Our Dutch landlady is a character; well plastered by evening, and takes us with her with generous helpings of ouzo. Today we walked around the top of the city walls, and were regailed with stories of the Knights of St John and the Crusades by an eccentric Englishman, Graeme Hope. I say eccentric advisedly. After retiring from the armed forces, he has spent a great deal of time over 5 years mapping the walls, and the tunnels underneath. This involved crawling along miles of tunnel with nothing but a torch and a ball of string. He's alive to tell the tale, and we bought his account of the city seiges in the middle ages, which turne out to be fascinating.
A bus ride to Lindos revealed that much of the coast has been ruined by long strips of very ugly tourist development, and the natural landscape is dry and rocky. We wouldn't really recommend a beach holiday here. The engish tour operators apparently pulled out of Lindos on mass 3 or 4 years ago, and its no not too busy. Whilst sitting on its very beautful beach, we spied an English wedding going on in front of a little white chapel on one side of the bay. These are very common, according to a local, and no doubt will be even more so since the screening of 'Mama Mia'
We will spend another couple of days in Rhodes, and then take a ferry to Kos, a little further North. Meanwhile heres a few pictures

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