Saturday, 13 September 2008

Off to Rhodes ... Sept 2008

06 Sept 2008

***Neil, Barbara & Mark on one of the old town walls in Rhodes with the med in the background***Well they did order 2 large beers!!!!***Checking out the boutiques in Rhodes old town***Neil and Barbara in the main square***

With Neil and Barbara having been in Turkey now for 2 nights we decided they needed a change of culture so time for a quick dip into Greece with a trip down to Rhodes. It’s less than 30 miles south of Marmaris so makes for a good spot to top up on all those yummy Greek delicacies, pork products and much much cheaper alcohol. We left with light winds and motored further west along the Turkish coastline in flat seas until the wind started to pick up. We then headed south towards Rhodes at a slightly kinder angle but still had the strengthening afternoon meltimi pretty much on the nose for most of the trip but with seas under 1m so comfortable enough. Down came the Turkish flag as we closed in on Rhodes and up went the Greek one. Because this was a one night stopover we stayed outside the main harbour areas and anchored off a small beach just 20 minutes walk from Rhodes Old Town.

Again we had the anchorage to ourselves, it was a short dinghy ride ashore and we left the dinghy safely on the beach while we set off to explore.
The walk into town went through the “car repairs” area and we started to question if this had been a good idea. Once we hit the main harbour area – jam packed with 4 cruise ships and found an entrance through the old city walls a new world opened up in front of us. Rhodes town has been around since 408BC, with plenty of wars and sieges to add colour to its history.

The magnificent walled old town has been beautifully restored and is very well maintained. The shopping/eating area is a “cruise ship passengers” emporium of upmarket ‘designer label’ boutiques, craft shops, galleries, duty free shops, restaurants and cafes, and with the passengers of 4 cruise ships packed onto the narrow streets it was very very busy, but this didn’t detract at all from its charm. We had a great walk around through the alleys and around the wall then stopped for a drink on a roof top terrace where the boys had a foot of beer each at inflated cruise ship prices (or are we just used to Turkish prices now).

We enjoyed a traditional mix of Greek food in a lovely courtyard setting for dinner and ambled back through the rather seedy car repairs area to Balvenie. We never really like leaving her in an anchorage alone with the dinghy on the beach, but both were just where they should be when we got back. Back onboard we cracked open a bottle of Balvenie Doublewood 15 year old Scotch, that Neil and Barbara had spotted ashore and kindly bought for us and ended the excellent evening with a nightcap.
Anchorage info: 36.25.60N 28.14.20E 6m shallows up slowly, sandy bottom off beach. Possiblity of anchoring inside breakwater (unfinished marina?) just north. Over 20knts daytime, around 15knts overnight but comfortable and calm water. Bali Hai advised ok snorkelling off shoal area by breakwater but we didn't investigate
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