Country #90

Country #90 - Greece Day 3

The Other Acropolis

When I woke up this morning I felt very rested and had another great breakfast at Spirit of the Knights Boutique Hotel. My first stop of the day was the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. It was quite the place! The palace dates back to the 14th century and it was amazing just how grand it was. I really enjoyed walking through, especially as I was the only person inside at the time. It makes sense that this is the main sight in Rhodes as it really is quite the spectacle.


After finishing the palace I made my way to the bus stop to head out for my main stop of the day. While the island is called Rhodes, and the main town on the island is also called Rhodes, there are actually other cities on the island. Today I am visiting the town of Lindos. I decided to come to Rhodes because my younger brother actually visited this summer and said that Lindos was his favorite part of his trip through Europe, so I had to come and see for myself! The bus ride took about an hour. It was pretty bizarre, though, because multiple groups of school aged children kept getting on and off with their backpacks on in the middle of the day. I couldn’t quite figure it out, but at one point it seemed like an entire class of middle school aged kids were on the bus.

When I arrived in Lindos I walked around the very small city on my way to the Lindos Acropolis. On my walk I stopped by the small, but picturesque, Church of Panagia. The walk up to the Acropolis took about twenty minutes. At the top was a massive ancient structure similar to the Parthenon in Athens. The entire Acropolis area was very large and included many different things to see. The best part, though, was the incredible views offered from the top out over the island. You could not only see Lindos and the beautiful Lindos beach, but also the countryside and the water that stretched as far as the eye could see. While I was walking around the Lindos Acropolis I had a cat following me pretty much the entire time which was both adorable and very entertaining. The Lindos Acropolis was stunning not only in the actual Acropolis itself, but the indescribable views of the beautiful Greek island. It was definitely worth the visit!

After finishing my time at the Acropolis I made my way back to the bus stop for the hour ride back to Rhodes. When I got back I spent a little while walking around the moat that surrounds the gates of the city. I then made my way back to the hotel where I rested for a bit before going to get dinner with Lena! She had suggested it since I was eating by myself and I was more than happy to get to know her over dinner. We went to a really cool little spot located in the new part of the city which, contrary to the old city, was actually open for business. We had a great time at dinner! I really enjoyed learning about her time spent in Rhodes, the US, and talking with her about Russia (where she is originally from) as well. I had a special Greek version of lamb for dinner. I don’t normally eat lamb but Lena said it was the best thing on the menu so I gave it a shot - and she wasn’t wrong! It was so tasty and quite filling. We also had a great cheese dish to start with that was awesome. It tasted a bit like a Greek version of queso! I had a great time at dinner and am so glad that she suggested it.

After dinner Lena drove me back to the hotel where I told her goodbye and then headed back to my room for the night. I have an early and long day of travel to Malta tomorrow so I went to sleep as early as I could. I have had an amazing time on Rhodes and am so glad I was finally able to explore Greece over the past few days!

90 countries down, 106 to go.

Read about my second day in Greece here.

To learn more about Spirit of the Knights Boutique Hotel click here.

Country #90 - Greece Day 2

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.

Country #90 - Greece Day 1

The Acropolis

I woke up a little later than I had planned but still got a pretty early start on the day. My first stop was, of course, the Acropolis! On my walk there I stopped by Areopagus Hill (also known as Mars Hill) to get a great view of both Athens and the Acropolis. I then bought my ticket and headed inside the gates. There is so much to see inside of the Acropolis that it was easy to spend hours there.


My first stop was the Theater of Dionysus and to walk around the bottom of that side of the hill. The theater was really interesting, as were the other ruins in that area. The Odeon of Herodes Atticus, which was honestly cooler than the Theater of Dionysus I thought! After finishing my walk around the base of the acropolis I headed uphill with my first stop being the Temple of Athena Nike. From there I visited the Erechtheion, and then, most importantly, the Parthenon! It was amazing to see the Parthenon in person. I was really glad to see that the scaffolding wasn’t too bad as when my brother visited last summer it was supposedly covered. Having been to the full scale Parthenon replica in Nashville (if you are looking for a fun tourist stop in Nashville I highly recommend going inside) it made it even cooler to see the real thing. I made sure to take plenty of pictures and then started to make my way to exit the Acropolis.


I walked just a few minutes from the Acropolis exit to the Acropolis muesum. It is a very modern building as the museum only opened in 2009. It was so cool! Not only did the museum offer amazing views of the Acropolis itself, but I learned and saw so much inside. I read a lot about the origins and lifespan of the Acropolis, and there were tons of artifacts from the Acropolis. My favorite part was the area about the Parthenon, which housed many of the stones and sculptures that used to line the top of the structure.


After the museum I walked around the city for a bit. I walked by a few sites that were close by, including Hadrian's Arch (which is literally just on the side of the road), the Temple of Olympian Zeus (which you can see entirely from the gate without paying the entrance fee), and Syntagma Square / the Hellenic Parliament. There were guards outside of the Hellenic Parliament guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier which was interesting to watch. I continued my walk to head to get some much needed lunch. I found a spot that was supposed to be cheap and good, called Falafellas. It was right by my hotel so I took it back to my room and ate it on my balcony as the restaurant was entirely to-go. It was tasty but I discovered that I don’t love falaffel. I’m glad I gave it a try, though!


After lunch I walked through the Monastiraki Flea Market to see if a few other archeological sites were open. Unfortunately most everything ended up closing at 3pm during the winter, but it was okay because I at least had a good view of them earlier from my walk up to the Acropolis. By this point it was about 4pm and I had about an hour until attractions would start to close, so I decided to make the Panathenaic Stadium my last outdoor visit of the day. I also got very well aquainted with Athens’ public transportation over the next few hours. I took the metro and then a bus th the Panathenaic Stadium, which was so cool! It is the first Olympic Stadium of the modern iteration of the games, which actually includes games held all the way back to 1896! The stadium’s history goes back much further, though, as it was built as a racecourse in 330BC. I enjoyed being able to walk all around it and even inside of it. Unfortunately the gift shop was closed or I definitely would have bought some Olympic gear given my love for the games (side note, I was so pumped for the Winter Olympics and watched every night!!!).


After enjoying the stadium I took the bus to the National Archaeological Museum which was thankfully open until 8pm on Mondays. Most places are usually closed on Monday so this was quite the nice surprise. I really enjoyed it as there were so many more Artifacts from all around Greece, and it was a great way to spend a few hours inside out of the cold. Yes it’s Greece so it shouldn’t be very cold, but it is also January so it got pretty chilly at night. After the museum I made my way to eat dinner at a place called Lithos Tavern Restaurant. It was very near to my hotel and in a great area called Plaka. On my walk there I walked down a street that was filled with Christmas stores and was entirely Christmas oriented so that was a bit bizarre. I had a gread dinner that included kebabs, pita, and a free fruit plate for desert that I really appreciated! It was a very nice little spot and I really enjoyed it as a great end to my day in Athens.


After dinner I headed back to my hotel and went to sleep pretty quick to get ready for my very early flight to Rhodes, Greece tomorrow. I really enjoyed Athens and am so glad that I finally made it here, but I’m very excited to spend the next two days on an island!

90 countries down, 106 to go.

Read about my second day in Greece here.

To learn more about Attalos Hotel click here.