In the thin dawn light, I showered and dressed. We bid farewell to the Anemone hotel and we were off to the ferry bound for Rhodes. There was some confusion about the departure time and breakfast was cut short. Our driver took us to the dock. There seemed to be some confusion about the ship as well. We thought we were signed up for the catamaran –hydrofoil maybe and we are going to board a slow old ferry. First, we had to pass through passport control and security; after all, we are going into Greece. On the ferry, the crossing will take two hours as opposed to one. Oh well.
The water is dark green, the day a little hazy, but sunny, I can’t help but wonder if the haze is volcano ash already drifting toward Turkey or sea mist, or Saharan red dust. I found a nice porter to drag all of our bags for us, 5 now, through security, the duty free shops, and on board. In Turkey, people are happy and so gracious and the tip amount is up to you. The ferry got underway and the breeze turned chilly.
We passed through the entrance to Mar Maris harbor, passed the yachts and pleasure boats, the ferry chugged on past the craggy hills descending straight down into the waters edge. The two hours passed quickly and soon Rhodes harbor became visible. The Colossus, destroyed in some war, no longer dominates the harbor. A wall, like in Jerusalem, surrounds the old city and the harbor is guarded by circular forts.
We had to drag our own bags into security and passport control, no smiling porters here in Greece. Greece while beautiful and friendly is on the dole and on the EU and it’s a whole different atmosphere here. We found a taxi driver and he started to drive us to our hotel. Much to our dismay since we changed our schedule, apparently, a hotel in the old city was not available, and we are booked in some resort place on the coast in the next town down, not far- 10 minutes by car, but not walking distance. Oh Well. We dropped our bags and called another taxi to take us back into town. Um 10 Euros each way…..
The old city is fantastic. Cobblestone streets, alleys, narrow winding streets, cafes, ice cream, and shops make this a tourist dream town. It is all walkable and Jewish people are a large part of the history of Rhodes. People know our family name here. We shopped and ate until we were ready to drop. They make frappes, foamed up espresso, sugar and ice, no milk, wonderful. Then we walked out of the old city to next part of town and walked some more. Across from the taxi station, we stopped in a cookie store. The lady said she bakes with oil and everything looked and smelled like our Sephardic cookies, sweet or savory. I am ready to drop, time to go back to the hotel and rest up for tomorrow. We crossed the street to the taxi station and found a driver. Dinner was included at the hotel.