The Greek Island
I woke up very early for my flight from Athens to Rhodes. So early, in fact, that the Athens metro was not yet running. Instead I took a quick Uber to the bus stop for the airport express bus that runs all day and night. It was a pretty quick ride to the airport. I grabbed a quick snack to eat and then boarded my flight. It only took about an hour to arrive in Rhodes, Greece.
The airport was tiny and definitely not very busy in the middle of the winter. There was a bus stop to take the bus into the center of town right outside. The bus must have just picked up right after my plane landed, which doesn't seem like very good planning, because it took about an hour for the next bus to arrive. The ride into town took about twenty minutes, and my walk from the bus stop to Spirit of the Knights Boutique Hotel was about ten minutes. Walking into town was pretty cool because you basically enter an old gated city that looks like a giant fortress. Once inside all of the buildings are very old and unique. It was quite the welcome to Rhodes!
When I arrived I was greeted by Lena who made me a fantastic welcome breakfast. I really appreciated it and was blown away by Spirit of the Knights from the very beginning. It felt like staying inside of a castle! It was very grand but also very unique. My room was fantastic. It had a sitting room with a very comfortable lounge area that was really enjoyable to work in. I also loved the shared sitting room outside of my room: it felt like something straight out of the Middle Ages. I cannot thank Spirit of the Knights Boutique Hotel enough for sponsoring the next two nights of my trip! After having woken up at 4am I was very tired and decided to take a nap before starting my day. I apparently needed it as I slept for almost four hours. When I woke up I set out to see the city.
Rhodes is a tiny Greek island with major medieval roots. What was immediately noticeable, even on my first walk through the city, was how empty it was. I felt like the only tourist on the whole island! Most restaurants were closed and I was basically the only person walking around. My first stop was the Medieval Clock Tower in the center of town. It was closed for the season so I was unable to climb up it. From there I headed to the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. This is the main attraction in the city of Rhodes and for good reason - it looks amazing! Unfortunately it closes early during the off season so I would have had very little time to walk around, so I decided to come back tomorrow. I continued my walk by just walking around inside of the Old Town Castle. I found an area where I could climb up on top of the walls which was really cool as you could see out towards the water but also back towards the city.
My next stop was to walk out to the Fort of St. Nicholas. It’s an old fort that is closed to the public year round, but sits out by itself in the middle of the water. I enjoyed walking too it as I was almost surrounded by water and there were really cool old windmills along the walk. It was also on this walk that I realized how bad the feral cat problem is in Rhodes. I had noticed quite a few so far, but there were literally hundreds along this walk. They were laying in rocks along the water and someone even set up a shelter for them to sleep under. Sure they were cute, but it was crazy! I have never seen so many cats before. After walking to the fort I then walked back around the Mandraki Port that it sits on, including past Ekklisia Evaggelismos church.
After finishing up the main highlights in the center of the city I began my walk out towards my last two stops of the day: the Acropolis of Rhodes and the Ancient Olympic Stadium. It took about thirty minutes from the center of the city and was an interesting walk as it went through neighborhoods. I arrived at the Ancient Olympic Stadium first. It was not nearly as impressive as the one in Athens, but was still really cool to see! I then walked up a steep hill to visit the Acropolis of Rhodes. Once again it was less impressive than Athens, but the views were insane! I could what felt like the entire city. After I finished walking around I crossed the street to look out at the water on the other side and boy, was it spectacular. It was one of the most impressive views that I have ever seen - it truly was just a stunning sight to take in.
I was able to enjoy this view for aa few minutes on my walk back towards town. After another thirty minute walk I headed back to the hotel where I met Duncan. He was so nice and very helpful with anything that I needed! I went back to my room for a bit and then went out for dinner. Duncan recommended literally the only restaurant that was open within the old city so I didn’t have too many options, but it turned out great! It was a cute little Greek food place and I had kebabs that were quite tasty. After the five minute walk back to the hotel I headed back to my room to work and try to get a good night of sleep. Tomorrow I will venture out of the city of Rhodes and head to visit Lindos!
90 countries down, 106 to go.
Read about my first day in Greece here.
Read about my third day in Greece here.
To learn more about Spirit of the Knights Boutique Hotel click here.