Rhodes, Greece

This is the largest of the Dodecanese and is the number one package destination of the group. With uninterrupted sandy beaches and 300 days of sunshine it is not hard to see why. However, beaches and sunshine are not its only attractions.

This island has a rich history as you would expect for somewhere in Greece. Other than the ancient Greek ruins, the Romans, Crusaders and Ottomans have all left their mark.

Rhodes is a beautiful island with unspoilt villages, mountains and forests in the interior. The World Heritage-listed old town of Rhodes is the largest inhabited medieval town in Europe, and its mighty fortifications are the finest surviving example of defensive architecture of the time.

Rhodes City has an impeccable pedigree - in 408 BC it was planned by the architect Hippodamos, who came to be regarded as the father of town planning. Today its heart is the old town - a mesh of Byzantine, Turkish and Latin architecture, with labyrinthine alleyways and bustling squares - enclosed within massive walls.



5 Jun 1995 - Rhodes (Ixia and Falaraki), Greece

It was just after my final exams at University so by digging into an overdraft it was decided to go to Rhodes for a week of "relaxation". We were staying in Ixia which isn't quite as lively as Faliraki, the place for Brits ie. geared to drinking and late loud clubs - but it was cheap.

Thankfully, Rhodes isn't the kind of place that only accommodates drinking as Rhodes Town is an excellent place to go to if you are interested in walking through 700 year old streets. Surprisingly, the old town contained within the medieval fortifications had areas that were deserted of people so it was great to explore without the bustle of the crowds. Obviously though some areas had the tourists and plenty of tacky souvenir shops.

One enduring memory was me burning my chest on the second day because I fell asleep in the sun while Pat and Frazer watched. Will "wan" Hassan also joined us on this trip but he was staying in Faliraki which was convenient for Pat, Frazer and myself. Like a fool, Will elected to bring his missus. When we were clubbing and she went off to the toilet or the bar Will instantly became a man unleashed for his 5 minutes of freedom. Seeing him slinking up to girls here and there for a quick chat before Anna came back was a frequent sight - "Hey look at me, I'm still my own man..."

One of the funniest memories I have was of the night when Patrick poured iodine over Frazers face while he was asleep. As you may know, iodine stains the skin a deep brown. Thing is, Patrick was careless pouring out the liquid and left it form a pool in Frazers eye which wasn't fully shut.. At the sight of this I ran into my bedroom in fear of Frazer's reaction closely followed by Pat. Approximately 20 seconds later dim moans could be heard from Frazer's room. The volume of these moans rapidly increased and moans soon became cries and screams. It doesn't have to be said but me and Pat found this incredibly funny and had us rolling with laughter. However, there was a serious side to this and we worried (Patrick even more so as it was him who committed the vile act) whether this would damage Frazer's eye.

While we were in our room wondering what to do Frazer was in the bathroom dousing his eye with water me and Pat decided we had better see how he is and take whatever he wanted to do to us. Retaliation was the last thing on Frazer's mind though as kept crying and pouring water into his eye.

As it became apparent that he was undamaged and the pain was decreasing, "Are you OK, Frase?", was enough to bring tears of laughter back to my eyes. Trying to keep a straight face while expressing concern was difficult and became impossible when Frazer's brown stained face looked at me. Good on yer Fraser, you gave us all a real laugh that night!
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