Climbing Moss on Holiday (You have no idea how many times we had to take that picture) This year we went on holiday for the first time in 5 years! We decided after our last holiday to Lanzarote that we would try somewhere hot, not just hot but as hot as we could get (for a cheap flight).
After much deliberation we ended up going to Greece – Rhodes to be more precise.
In true form our holiday didn’t go smoothly but things rarely do with us. So we are going to post separate pieces in the next few days highlighting different parts, including food and drink and some of the issues and experiences we had, so stay tuned for more.
But here is a summary to wet your appetite.
We travelled from London Gatwick to Rhodes Island and then on to the resort of of Stegna, so here is what we found there and what we honestly thought of the island.
The main industry of Greece is tourism so everything is geared towards separating the holiday makers and their Euros. Anything from Caricatures to Tour Guides are available the moment you step off the bus. If you take a wander along the marina, to look at the huge house like yacht’s moored there and to where the Colossus of Rhodes once stood (now there are two small goat statues and not a lot else) you come to the packed beach at the tip of the island, with it’s never-ending rows of blue sun umbrellas and grey, dusty sand, it didn’t make us miss our lovely Stegna beach at all.
There is a huge inflation of prices in Rhodes, the umbrellas which are €3 in Stegna, were raised up to €10.
The town of Lindos is one of those whitewashed buildings, steep hilly alleyways and an acropolis on the hilltop, type of place that Greece is famous for.
We took the bus down the coast on the day of the Dormination of the Virgin, a national holiday in Greece, hoping to be engulfed in festivals and holiday spirit, unfortunately the festivities tend to take place after dark when the Greeks can relax and party, we were unable to stay due to the limited bus schedule, so instead we enjoyed the shopping and the warm waters of the coved beach.
We wanted some nightlife so after an attempt (and major failure) at going to Lindos for a night, we headed to Faliraki for a Saturday night.
We sought out a club and soon realised that Faliraki is nothing more than Northern England on any Saturday night but a thousand times hotter. There are tons of loud idiots shouting, fighting, eating kebabs, driving scooters, throwing up and getting so drunk that they will make out with anything that moves and not remembering it the next morning, only to repeat it the next night. I’m sure that can be great and something to wash away your home existence, but it wasn’t for us.
The locals secret this is supposed to be one of the islands great kept secrets. Epta Piges means ‘7 Springs’ and is just that, except what it really is, is a bloody long walk (again) from the bus stop – nearly 4kms, then a steep 500m hill to a car park, a restaurant and right next to the toilet block a small pool of water.
We walked past this and headed out into the woods with all the rest of the tourists in search of the Springs that never run dry. We found a lot of trees, hills, boulders and muddy puddles, but, no springs. We did however find lizards and some massive spiders, that looked pretty deadly! So we headed back only to discover that puddle next to the toilet is the famed 7 springs. There are 7 small streams of water trickling into the pool and that is this great spectacle of Rhodes.
More fun is the tunnel.
Take your shoes off, climb into the cold knee deep water and shuffle road gang style along into the long dark tunnel, heading for the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, some quarter of a mile away.
The tunnel gets so black you cannot see your hand in front of your face, but you can hear the young Spanish girl behind you singing away her fears in a sweet melody from behind you!
At the end is a shallow pool and a lake that is supposed to be a natural, pure, fresh water, but is in fact is an murky mud pool.
The positives are the peacocks all around, there are loads of them all about, plus some ducks and if you are a fish eater then head to the restaurant for Sunday lunch. I’m sure this is what the locals mean when they say it’s a great place, the restaurant was full the whole time we were, there searching for the springs.
|See the springs? No well this is them!|
A long, long walk from the bus stop, along a road lined with big trees, we found Kolympia a row of few expensive shops, a tattoo parlour and a few bars that at 3pm on a Sunday were all playing the Arsenal Match for the British tourists sat about with their pints of Carlsberg and Guinness, trying their best to avoid any of that Greek cultural crap. We found a restaurant and tried to experience a little Greek cuisine, unfortunately we never even got to the beach because of those damned buses again and the idea of that walk back to the bus stop.
The Valley of the Butterflies
We didn’t get there as we would have had to get the 1 bus from Stegna at 7.30am to Rhodes and then the 1 bus a day and it leaves Rhodes at 10.30am. But given everything else it is probably a let down. The English reviews said ‘Boring and you don’t see anything’, where the Europeans were like ‘The long walk through many trees’, but didn’t even mention the butterflies, so there is something to be said there!
Also they aren’t actually butterflies but moths!
Because of time constraints and the lack of vehicle, we didn’t get to see what the west coast had to offer, but from what we had heard about it and from one of our hitch hiking rides, it was cooler, quieter and with big waves and a surfing community. So although it sounded interesting we weren’t so enthusiastic to make the journey and check it out.
- Hire a car in your package it’s cheaper and it’s needed. We went to one of the rent a car places in Stegna, what we quickly learnt is that they quote different prices depending on your nationality and which hotel you are staying in. British were on the top end of the price scale, with German coming a close second.
- (Scooters (motor) aren’t much cheaper and are dangerous, as we saw a number of near misses. Greeks it seems use scooters as target practice, seeing how close they can get without hitting them and trying to make the scooter career off the road.)
- Bicycles – Don’t bother unless you own a Polka Dot jersey from the Tour de France.
- Buses – Long walks from the Bus Stop to the destination they are supposed to go to. The stops are approximately 1km from the location named, with the exception of Rhodes. The time tables are sporadic and hard to find and often the buses are either early or late (so you never know how long you will be waiting)
- Hitch Hiking works! Greeks, Germans and Italians will mostly stop for you and sometimes even take you to the location you are trying to get to. So they can have company and conversation on their journey. However you can just watch the British, honk or stick their middle finger up as they drive past. Obviously just be cautious and avoid anything you feel uncomfortable with.