The island of Rhodes, Greece sits off the coast of neighboring Turkey and is a 90 minute ferry ride from nearby Fethiye. Well, at least under ideal conditions – those that don’t involve late departures due to Turkish captains who haven’t finished their morning tea or mysterious mechanical problems that tend to slow the ferry to (surprisingly) fuel efficient speeds. A day trip from Fethiye is about 60 Euro (or 100 for longer the round-trips) to the concrete coast that reflects off the bright blue waters of the southern Aegean Sea.
Rhodes looks deceptively calm and quiet from its harbor. A walk beyond immediate vicinity of the docks reveals what I can describe as a Norwegian resort on crack, or some other radically mind-altering drug. (There are so many Scandinavians on the island I couldn’t help but think the Vikings didn’t vanish over a thousands years ago but found Rhodes and decided to stay instead.) Rhodes is an efficient tourism machine with the streets designed to move you from tourist site to shopping center while expanding your waistline with moussaka and thinning your wallet rapidly at the same time.
This 1,400 square kilometer island was an important key to the shipping lanes in the Aegean, heavily fortified to protect itself against invading army after army. In honor of an important victory against a failed siege in 305 BC, the Greeks erected the Colossus of Rhodes – one the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – though you won’t be able to see it. All that marks the remains of the 30 meter tall statue of Greek god Helios are two pillars, one visible in the photo above or both seen to the right below.
The Colossus of Rhodes was destroyed 56 years after it was completed by an earthquake, the remains buried, then looted from the sea in years since. The Colossus remains taken most likely by – not Vikings – but Arab conquerors around 650 BC. The Vikings did actually make it to Rhodes from Sweden, though not until the early 11 century.
You can see more of Rhodes in my gallery here.
I would have loved to visit Greece- but was turned away due to my Singapore passport (this was MANY years ago)- when I attempted to get a visa for Greece (as they required) at the Greek Embassy they said I had to have gotten the visa from Singapore prior to my travels- I wonder if things have changed now. Maybe one day I will return with a visa in my passport 🙂
How was your time in Vancouver- I was very disappointed about missing the opportunity to hear you give your talk. If you are ever back in the area, please do let all of us know. If you get down to Seattle let us know- I’m sure we could get you hooked up with a place to share about your travels!
I’m hoping it would be easier now, perhaps the EU-Schengen rules have eased things considerably.
Vancouver was a wonderful time, I can’t get over how much natural beauty surrounds the immediate city. Too bad we didn’t get to meet up but I’ll definitely let you know if I make it to Seattle. It’s easily my favorite city in the US and sad I missed it while I was right in the area. It can’t stay off my path for too long though!
Ha ha, love your little description of Rhodes in the separate box. There were more Brits when we went but I just couldn’t get my head round how crowded it was. Fethiye would be so grateful for about 1% of those visitors.
I was reminded how cold and cloudy it can be in northern Europe and England, everyone was wearing next to nothing in the 22C “heat” 🙂 Though I’ll never forget the British lady sitting behind me in the ferry as we pulled up to Rhodes say, looking out the window,
“wow, Fethiye just has a much more beautiful coastline.” Something along those lines.
That should be Fethiye’s tourism slogan…I can hear it now 😛
Funny, but I never thought about Greece as having such turquoise colored water. The only place I’ve been on the Mediterranean is Spain and the water was a deep azure blue. Lover that turquoise color water – reminds me of the Caribbean.
It was such a bright blue in Rhodes, which is fairly common, especially along coasts on the Aegean. Personally I think the water colors and beaches in general are nice nicer there than along the generally deeper waters of the Mediterranean.
These views are deceptively peaceful, there are almost as many tourists as cats, but enjoyed my time there sight seeing on a hired mountain bike.
Absolutely true – in town (or even a block behind the harbor) it’s *packed* with people, even in April when I was there.
Love the photo – I miss that part of the world! 😉
Thanks! Hopefully you’ll be back soon 🙂
I saw the Collosus of Rhodes… in a cartoon show.. if that counts. 😛
I’d say absolutely it does. Maybe he went on to a career in acting or voice-overs? 😉
Lovely pictures, the place must be amazing. Never been to Greece, looking forward to it though..
The water was incredible – it just grabs your eyes making it hard to let go. Any Greece travel plans coming up soon?