Marmaris – Rhodes – London

by CameronM Wed, October 08 2003 07:54

We spent the morning wandering the streets and waterfront of Marmaris before heading to the harbour for the one-hour ferry crossing back to Rhodes. As we had to fill in the rest of the day and a large potion of the night until our flight out at 1am, we wandered the familiar streets of the Old Town.

After dinner, we boarded a bus headed to the airport. As fate would have it, there was a taxi strike, so the local bus was the only viable alternative. This worked out well anyway, as it was significantly cheaper and took the scenic route, which helped kill some time. Sadly, we still arrived at the airport four-hours early. We had planned our expenditure almost perfectly, I only had €4 left and since we where heading back to the UK I wouldn’t have to worry about trying to change it back to £’s.

I had no time to recover from my travels, as I had organised to start work at Manhattan Toy the day I got back. Suffice to say that after travelling all night I was a little tired for my first day’s induction.

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Greece | Turkey | UK

Turkey via Rhodes and Kos

by CameronM Fri, September 26 2003 05:33

Kos was a smaller version of Rhodes, with fewer tourists, but an overload of night clubs, filled with young Brits. Like Rhodes, the city contains ruins of an old castle, however it is much smaller and more a museum piece than the lively Old City of Rhodes. The castle provided exceptional views of the harbour and nearby Turkey, as well as a large collection of coins dating back to Roman days.


 
After only one night in Kos, but with many Euros leaving our wallets, we were keen to board the ferry for the hour long trip to Bodrum, a coastal resort town in Turkey. We were among only a handful of travellers in the ferry, which was crowded with day trippers concluding an organised tour of Kos from Bodrum.

After docking, we headed to the small immigration station to get our tourist visa for Turkey. Thankfully, this was a pretty straightforward process and we were soon lugging our backpacks around the streets of Bodrum trying to find somewhere to stay. The ferry terminus is a short distance from town, so after a few wrong turns we eventually found our way to the main town and settled into our accommodation.

Bodrum, known as Halicarnassus in ancient times is a lively resort town located on the coast of Turkey in the Muğla Province. Like many coastal towns, Bodrum had a castle built to help defend the harbour. Bodrum Castle was built by the Crusaders in the early 115th century on the site of several previous strongholds dating back to ancient times.

The castle occupies a commanding position and is visible for just about everywhere in Bodrum. It is also well-preserved and certainly worth a visit.

We met a few other travellers at the hotel who had been in town a couple of days and gave us the full rundown on the nightlife in Bodrum. Apparently Bodrum is host to the world’s largest open air nightclub (or some such accolade) named HALIKARNAS, after the town’s ancient Greek name Halicarnassus.  The nightclub can accommodate thousands of people and has the ever popular foam-party. Although this sounded like an excellent way to do some laundry, Tan and I knew we were a little too old for the trendy clubbing-set, plus we didn’t intend to spend too long in Bodrum.

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Turkey

Planning a trip to Turkey from Rhodes

by CameronM Thu, September 25 2003 05:33

Today we explored the island of Rhodes, well maybe not the whole island, but at least the Old City area. It was amazing. The walls withstood centuries of attempted invasions until the city finally fell during the crusades. They are huge and it's impossible to think that anyone got past them.

The old city streets are narrow, yet the moped riders still motored along with little regard for their own safety, or more likely our safety. The place was filled with the last die-hard tourist, milking every ounce out of the summer, swimming, enjoying the cafe scene and generally having a good time.

After much debating and haggling with travel agents, we decided to head to Turkey via the Greek island of Kos. This was supposed to be a cheaper alternative, although it would mean an extra night in Greece, which was turning out to be quite expensive. The choice paid off however, with a memorable 3 hour ferry trip, when we travelled with Greek islands on our left and Turkey on our right.

We stayed overnight at Alexi’s Pension, where our host Sonya made us feel extremely welcome, which was in stark contrast to our Ouzo drinking host from Rhodes. Sonya was even able to provide a guide to ‘good places to eat’ and I don’t think any of the proprietors were her relatives.

Armed with Sonya’s advice and a hand-written map, Tan and I went out to explore the culinary delights of Kos. The meal was nice and for the first time in Greece I felt that we were paying the same price as the locals. It is always nice to see locals dining at the same restaurant as you and getting the same menu – albeit in Greek instead of English.

The only detraction to an otherwise pleasant meal was my own fault. Having sampled Retsina, the resinated wine (resin-flavoured wine) produced in Greece, when I worked for a firm of Architects I had expected the local variety to be somewhat improved. I was however disappointed to discover that even here is Greece, Retsina still tastes like Mentholated Spirits. I guess I won’t be buying a bottle duty-free!

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Greece

Planning a trip to Turkey from Rhodes

by CameronM Thu, September 25 2003 05:26

Today we explored the island of Rhodes, well maybe not the whole island, but at least the Old City area. It was amazing. The walls withstood centuries of attempted invasions until the city finally fell during the crusades. They are huge and it's impossible to think that anyone got past them.

The old city streets are narrow, yet the moped riders still motored along with little regard for their own safety, or more likely our safety. The place was filled with the last die-hard tourist, milking every ounce out of the summer, swimming, enjoying the cafe scene and generally having a good time.

After much debating and haggling with travel agents, we decided to head to Turkey via the Greek island of Kos. This was supposed to be a cheaper alternative, although it would mean an extra night in Greece, which was turning out to be quite expensive. The choice paid off however, with a memorable 3 hour ferry trip, when we travelled with Greek islands on our left and Turkey on our right.

We stayed overnight at Alexi’s Pension, where our host Sonya made us feel extremely welcome, which was in stark contrast to our Ouzo drinking host from Rhodes. Sonya was even able to provide a guide to ‘good places to eat’ and I don’t think any of the proprietors were her relatives.

Armed with Sonya’s advice and a hand-written map, Tan and I went out to explore the culinary delights of Kos. The meal was nice and for the first time in Greece I felt that we were paying the same price as the locals. It is always nice to see locals dining at the same restaurant as you and getting the same menu – albeit in Greek instead of English.

The only detraction to an otherwise pleasant meal was my own fault. Having sampled Retsina, the resinated wine (resin-flavoured wine) produced in Greece, when I worked for a firm of Architects I had expected the local variety to be somewhat improved. I was however disappointed to discover that even here is Greece, Retsina still tastes like Mentholated Spirits. I guess I won’t be buying a bottle duty-free!

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Greece

London to Rhodes, Greece

by CameronM Wed, September 24 2003 05:23

The Gatwick Express whisked us from London's Victoria station to Gatwick Airport for our early morning flight to the island of Rhodes in Greece. Unfortunately once on board the plane we didn't whisk anywhere for an hour or so. I started to worry when the captain explained that they were having difficulty storing the fuel required for the flight!!! Surely my backpack didn't weigh that much that they needed more fuel than was usual? I think this was merely a story to cover up the fact that after a night on the town the pilots had forgotten how to fly and were getting last minute tips from the ground grew on how to take off.

After a relatively short flight – well you need to remember that I am used to the 24-hour trip from Australia – we arrived in Rhodes and caught a taxi to the Old City and wandered the streets for a short time before deciding where to stay. We had planned to stay at a local backpackers, but upon arrival we found that there were no staff in sight and were told by one of the residents that we shouldn’t expect them anytime soon. Thank Lonely Planet for that great reference – maybe next time you should actually send someone to Rhodes to check your facts.

We ended staying at a Pension – which is basically the same as a B&B with the family living downstairs and a small number of bedrooms upstairs. The accommodation was clean and well located, although the proprietor neglected to mention that he and some visiting relatives were planning an Ouzo drinking binge, complete with late night ranting. Welcome to Greece!

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Greece | UK