Showing posts with label Greek ferries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greek ferries. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Who would go to Italy in summer?

We knew better. But we did it anyway. We went to Italy the end of June.

It is hot in Italy in the summer. And it's crowded with tourists. Hotel prices are at all-time highs. Who would want to go to Italy in the summer, we've asked ourselves time and time again over the years.

Tourists in Florence Italy - early morning

And then two weeks ago we took off to see first-hand if Italy was as hot and crowded as we believed it to be in the summer!

Actually, Italy wasn't our first destination of choice. We'd booked a trip to Jordan's Wadi Rum. It was to be my 'birthday trip' (a bit early) and a celebration of our late June anniversary. Luxury camping in the desert - what a trip, it would be! 

But then we came to our senses: staying in a tent in the desert the end of June probably wasn't going to be the wisest nor most pleasant of travel experiences. We started having visions of headlines about an elderly (aka 'crazy old coots') American couple dying of heat strokes. Then we cancelled the trip.

Italian vineyard as seen from a train

The Scout went to work and mapped out a more reasonable week-long getaway than the Jordanian desert: 

We'd fly from Kalamata to Bergamo, in northern Italy. Then take a bus to Milan, catch a train to Florence, spend a few days there, then another train to the southern port city of Bari. From it, we'd sail a Greek ferry back to Patras, a port city in the north of the Peloponnese and then take a bus to Kalamata where we'd left our car at the airport. Leave Monday, returning the following Monday.

Sometimes it works. . .

Row one Ryan Air - leg room aplenty!

It is a snap flying out of Kalamata's small, well-worn airport, located just over an hour's drive away from our home in the rural Mani. With reservations at the parking lot next to the airport (and a daily rate of three euros), the trip began without a hitch.

Loading the bus to Milan at Bergano - tourists aplenty!

Ryan Air, one of Europe's low-cost airlines, got us to Bergamo for a ridiculously low 125 euros a ticket (which included an additional fee for an upgraded seat with extra leg room and a checked bag). Bergamo's airport was modern and easy to navigate. Collecting our bags and buying bus tickets to Milan - all a snap. The bus stopped at the Milan train station, what could be easier?

Those best laid plans. . .

Italian high speed trains - usually on time

We'd had an unfortunate experience with buying Italian train tickets in advance on an earlier trip there this year. Our flight had been delayed, we missed the window for changing tickets, and didn't make the train either. We ended up paying a high price for a taxi to get us to our intended destination. This time we wouldn't risk a late plane. . .we planned to book the train tickets while on that bus heading to the train station. There are many trains a day, plenty of choices. . .or so we thought.

The Scout watches the estimated time of arrival screen 

It was a good plan until all the fast trains showed, 'sold out'. . .for all seats all but the 400-euro Executive Class. Yes, Italy was apparently full of tourists just like we had suspected, and they'd filled the trains.  We finally booked a cheaper 'bucket run' option that had us stopping in Bologna, and changing trains at the first Florence station to board a different train that would take us the remaining five minutes to the city's main station. 

Italian countryside from our train

But our train out of Milan was delayed by a few minutes. . .just enough minutes to require us to grab our bags and run through that first Florence station, up a flight of stairs and fling ourselves unceremoniously into the second train with about a minute to spare before the doors shut. Panting and sweaty, but we were aboard the train that would take us the last five minutes of the multi-hour journey.   

You want to go where?

Streets are narrow in Oltrarno 

Finally, far later than we originally had planned, we loaded ourselves and bags into one of taxicabs at the main train station, breathing a sigh of relief at finally being in Florence.  I handed the cab driver the slip of paper with the hotel name and address. 

"I don't know this place," he snapped, adding, "And I don't know this street."

Luckily our Greek phone works throughout the European Union so I placed a call to the hotel. He got us there after chatting with the hotel, but I couldn't help feeling that he was as tired of tourists as we were of traveling!

Fabulous but Frantic Florence

Oltrarno late at night was free of tourists

Florence may well be our favorite city in Italy. We had again chosen to stay in the city's Oltrarno, a place busy by day but delightfully not busy at night. 

The centuries-old mural in our room

We ultimately arrived at the hotel, the San Pier Novello in Oltrarno, a small B and B hotel tucked away on an upper floor of a historic building in Florence's Left Bank. The location was a good one, we were footsteps from the entry of the magnificent Boboli Gardens. 

Lots of space for tourists at Boboli Gardens 

The gardens -visited early in the day to avoid the heat -- were the only tourist site we tackled during our stay. It is so large you seldom saw others. However, the lines at museums and other sites were as long as we had suspected they might be. 

'Molto buono', the finger-to-the-cheek gesture

We celebrated our anniversary at our favorite Oltrarno restaurant, Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco (the white boar) but only because we were willing to arrive at 6:30 - they couldn't otherwise guarantee a table. The waiter (pictured above) suggested a Super Tuscan wine that he described through his gesture as being, 'molto buono' (very good!). It was!

All Aboard for Bari

There is no direct train connecting Florence to Bari. Our trip required a change of trains in Rome.  We had a 15-minute connection time, which is quite manageable because the trains seem to always run on time. Well, always, up until this trip. 

Delays appear in the upper right hand corner of the screen

We'd missed our connection in Rome before we left the Florence train station - our train was 18 minutes late departing. We'd not gone far before they announced the train's arrival would be 45 minutes late. We'd never make the connection. But luckily, it was not our fault, so we stood in a ticket line for nearly an hour in Rome and got ourselves another train leaving two hours later. 

Trenitalia still has a ticket office staffed with real humans 

But then. . .you know what's coming, don't you? That later train got delayed and we arrived in Bari an hour and 15 minutes later than the already later arrival had us getting there. It was dusk, moving into dark by the time we arrived.

One of Bari's commercial buildings at night

And then there were no taxis to be had at the train station. (We learned later you must call for them). We had no idea where the place was that we had rented. It was a highly rated place, Four Rooms, but with no on-site staff other than a maid we bumped into one morning. You let yourself in the building, to the accommodation and finally your room. They communicated by SMS. There was no one to call. 

Finally, we managed to have a taxi driver stop long enough to tell us, 'I could take you. But it is so close you can walk it.'  We did and it was only a matter of a few blocks away. I am not so sure that had I been traveling as a single I would have taken that option in a totally new place that time of night.

Old town Bari was enchanting

We had only one full day in Bari, but we had a good overview of its new pedestrian-friendly commercial area, its old town and its port and seaside. We have vowed to go back to that delightful city. 

Ferry from Bari arrives Patras, Greece 7 a.m.

Next time, however, it won't be in summer. And we won't travel by train if it is anywhere near summer.

 We will travel by ferry to and from Greece, which was one of the high point experiences of this trip.  The ferry left Bari at 1 p.m. and arrived the next morning in Patras, Greece, a port city in the Peloponnese about four hours from Kalamata.  Within an hour and a half of disembarking the ferry, we were on a bus back to Kalamata - that trip, also a great ending to our whirlwind adventure.

Patras to Kalamata - a great ending

Lessons learned. . .we now at least know who doesn't want to go to Italy again in the summer:  us! 

 That is it for this time. We hope your travels are going well.  Having any similar 'best-laid-plans' stories for us? Leave a comment or send us an email if you do!  Until next time, thanks for the time you spent here today!  Wishes for continued safe travels ~

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Kos ~ Where we fell in love. . .

 In love, that is, with a small hotel and the island on which it was built.

Sunrise on the Aegean Sea

The sun was peeking over the horizon as the ferry approached Kos, a Greek island only a stone's throw from Turkey. It wasn't yet 7 a.m. and we'd set off from Athens some 12 hours before.  From the deck we spotted the little charmer that had brought us here: the Albergo Gelsomino.

Albergo Gelsomino sits on the waterfront of Kos Town

The first time we laid eyes on this waterfront was a year ago from another ferry's deck. That ferry, heading to Athens, made a brief stop here in the late evening when darkness made everything look a bit enchanting. It seemed that the waterfront was shared by the remains of an ancient castle, a more modern-looking castle, a church and an architecturally interesting building tucked in between them all. 

It was enough to put it on our 'future's list' and to do some research. We might even need to return to see if it was as charming as it had appeared during that brief stop.

Albergo Gelsomino as seen from the sea

The Scout went to work and found that the small building houses an eight-room hotel. It seemed to fit the description of  'our kind of place' and our trip was planned around a stay in this historic building. 

They need a sign reading, We love Kos.

Little  did we know that when we returned to Kos that we'd have a downright love affair with that small building and the island on which it was built.

Admittedly we've been to many wonderful Greek islands during our decade of travel in Greece, our adopted country. Each has charmed us. But it took less than a couple hours on the island of Kos, to send it to the top of our favorites list and there it has stayed. . .so much so, that we are returning to there to celebrate our upcoming anniversary.

The Albergo Gelsomino

Albergo Gelsomino built for Italian officials

Built in 1928 by the Italian architect Rodolfo Petracco it was originally a guest house for Italian officials. Kos, like most in the Dodecanese chain, has a lengthy history of conquest and occupation. The island belonged to Italy from 1912 until 1945.

Entry and reception area at Albergo Gelsomino

A restoration project some 90 years later and the Albergo opened as a small hotel on Kos Town's beach. Its waterfront location is an easy walk into Kos Town's historic area and to the ferry dock. It overlooks the  Aegean Sea.

Welcome drink at the Albergo

We arrived looking rather disheveled after disembarking the overnight ferry shortly before 7 a.m. Not quite the elegant entrance one might want to make, but staff members made us welcome by inviting us to enjoy the plush patio area. A welcome drink (fresh fruit juices and cherry soda, that tasted as good as it looked) was sipped while they readied our room.  

Albergo Gelsomino - Kos Island

My photos don't do justice to the hotel and its setting. We were in complete sensor overload. No place has so drenched us in 'Mediterranean ambiance' while offering a dash of  Great Gatsby-era  nostalgia. We were reminded of the words of a well- traveled and wise friend who once told us that 'the more you travel, the more it takes to impress you'. We often quote her when something falls short of our expectations, as well as when something 'knocks our socks off', as was the case with the Albergo Gelsomino.

An easy walk to and from the ferry

While singing the praises of the Albergo, I'd be remiss to not mention the food. Our room rate included breakfast. Each day began with a feast. So good was the breakfast that we tried dinner. Dinner was such a culinary joy that we ate there two of our three nights (we made ourselves try some place else one night). They often offer Michelin-starred guest chef dinners here, but frankly their own chef was so good, it felt like a Michelin-starred experience.

Honey-drenched French toast

Kos Island

Lonely Planet guidebook says it best when describing this island of some 33,000 people:

 'Kos is an island of endless surprises and varied treasures.. . .One moment you can be dining in a rustic mountain tavern, the next you find yourself in a busy cosmopolitan cafe - there really is something for everyone.'

More than a million visitors annually come to this island which sports a new airport serving 10 airlines. Ferry passengers arrive daily. While many visitors prefer the island's smaller towns or secluded beach resorts, we liked the city vibes of Kos Town, a city of about 14,000.

A beach - like so many on Kos - is white-sand perfect.

We explored the island by rented car one day and found that the guide book's claim of having some of the finest beaches found in the Dodecanese seemed accurate. The white sand beaches were stunning. But three nights on the island simply wasn't enough time to explore all its historic sites or to visit all of its wineries, and its beaches. We spent hours strolling the tree-lined streets of Old Kos Town, and its bustling harbor area but still have so many bits of history to explore there. We can see why visitors return time and time again.

Kos, a stone's throw from Bodrum

Tracing its history alone could fill several days. The island has been inhabited for so long that its history includes sending 30 ships to the Trojan War.

Hippocrates (460 - 377BC) was born and lived on this island.  A plateia (plaza) near our hotel is said to have been where he taught his students. After his death the Sanctuary of Asclepius and a medical school were built outside Kos Town. There his teachings continued. Today the site is a very popular tourist destination. . . one we didn't make it to during the first trip.  And another reason to return soon!

Morning view from our room at the Albergo

Summer has arrived in Greece - as have the tourists. COVID regulations have been relaxed, travel is much easier these days. So we will be setting off again soon for more island exploration, a return to Kos as well as visiting other Dodecanese islands.  I'll tell you about them in coming weeks - hope you will be back for more Greek 'ferry tales'. Until then safe travels to you and yours ~ and thanks for your time today.

Linking sometime soon with: 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Kastellorizo ~ Greek Island Magic!

Some claim it is the light on this small island of two names that makes it special. Others say it is the location, only a stone's throw from Turkey. For others, it is the history.

For us, it was simply everything! Its location, history, sunlight, architecture, food and filoxenia (hospitality) of the locals that made it special.

So special that I photographed and wrote about it for The Mediterranean Lifestyle Magazine's Aug./Sept. edition. And this week's post will be a short one because I want you to have time to look at the photos and read what I wrote about it there:

Click this link to open the article: Katellorizo/Megisti article

Travel during a time of Covid

Our ferry in Kastellorizo

Kastellorizo was our destination on this our first trip after Greece's six month COVID lockdown had been lifted in mid May. Admittedly, travel to any destination sounded good but this tiny island had been on the bucket list for some time.  And if Covid has taught us anything, it is to not put off into the future anything related to travel, especially those 'must visit' places, like Kastellorizo.

Few visitors here in May

Masks at that time -- and now -- are required in Greece to be worn on all public transportation, indoors in public places and businesses and when in crowded or congested outside areas. The rules haven't really changed that much since Covid changed our ways of living way back in early 2020, although we can go without masks outside now in non-congested places. Still it felt strange to go outside in an unfamiliar territory and not wear a mask. 

The face of travel on a Greek ferry in a time of Covid

Locals assured us that the entire island's population -- everyone  -- had been vaccinated back in February.  The only time we wore masks here was when visiting each of the island's two museums even though we, and the admission's desk clerk, were the only ones in each facility at the time we visited. We dined outside at seaside.

That's it for this week - if you skipped that blue link above, please go back and at least take a look at the photos.  This island is definitely worthy of your consideration as a future destination and the article should make a great armchair getaway!!  Until next week, our wishes for  safe travels to you and yours. Thanks for being with us for this chapter of our Greek 'ferry tales'. . .

Linking sometime soon with:

Through My Lens
Travel Tuesday
Our World Tuesday
My Corner of the World Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday

Friday, July 16, 2021

Another Greek Ferry Tale ~ Destination Crete

The summer sun was uncompromising as we pulled into the line of vehicles waiting to enter the ferry. Often times -- especially on hot and humid afternoons like this -- we wonder why so many people flock to Greece in the summer as shoulder seasons - spring and fall - offer far kinder weather for travel. 

Perhaps, this year the visitors are like we are, making good on a promises made during COVID lockdown to travel again as soon as possible. . . no longer put off trips to some future date. 'Carpe Diem!' we think, even if the sun is baking our brains while we await boarding.

Bound for Crete

This trip in late June, our second 'ferry tale' since Greece reopened to travel in May, was to Crete, the largest and the most populated island in Greece. This ferry took us and our trusty Hi Ho Silver (our Toyota RAV) from Gythio, a town just an hour's drive southeast of us in the Peloponnese to Kissamos, the westernmost port in Crete. 

Our ferry route in red and orange

Often times ferry departure and arrival times are at odd times of the day, such as in the late afternoon and in the middle of the night, as was the case for this trip. Our projected midnight arrival time was actually delayed when one of the semi trucks got high centered on the loading ramp . . .thus we didn't get to our hotel in Chania until 1 a.m. That delayed arrival made us even happier in those wee small hours of the morning that we had brought our car and didn't need to search out a rental car lot along the dark perimeter of the ferry dock. 

Ready to drive a car onto a Greek ferry are you?

But taking a car on a Greek ferry is somewhat 'a trip' in itself - and certainly not for the faint-of-heart or timid driver.  It is especially hair-raising for Americans who are used to having space, lots of personal space. It just isn't that way in Europe. So I must tip my hat to The Scout, who had the duty of driving the car into the ferry.

Drivers wait for cars to move so they can get into their car

The cars are packed so tightly into the belly of the ship that passengers aren't allowed to stay in them when they are driven into the ferry. So The Scout drove the car in and I waited at the ferry entrance for him to emerge. (When we disembarked passengers were allowed to go to the car and wait and thus I was able to take these photos.)  This vessel had a gargantuan loft on which we were parked which required driving down a narrow and steep ramp, 'Tap your brakes! Tap your brakes! Tap your brakes,' the staff shouted as we began our descent.

Tap your brake! and down we went in a blur

Now before I prompt an onslaught of  'unsafe' and 'overloaded' comments, let me assure you that every ferry on which we've ever traveled in Greece with a car has looked this same way. The staff carefully load by vehicle size and destination as these ships often have buses and large semi-tractor trailer rigs filling the center sections. This ferry route operates once a week so they make use of every bit of space.

Inside look at Greek ferries

Our journey was scheduled to be 7.5 hours in length. We could have sat inside at tables in a cavernous restaurant or in airplane type seats in a small airconditioned television area. We, like many others, chose the view seats on the upper exterior deck. The ocean breeze lessened the heat and the canopy provided shade.  This vessel also came without internet so one entertained oneself by reading or sightseeing (or watching Greek television inside). 

Upper deck where every seat has a view. . .

While this was a modern ship, its engine did seem to have mechanical intestinal disturbances which resulted in oil and soot being belched from giant smokestacks making us very cautious in leaning on railings and moving around to different seats.

Soot and oil on passenger benches: don't wear white!

I know I've sung the praises of Greek ferry travel before, but I must again tell you that the Absolute. Best. Part. is:  arriving and departing islands that you might otherwise never have seen as you make your way to your destination.  

This routing took us to the island of Kythira, two hours from Gythio, and then to Antikythera another two hours south.  No matter what the ferry or the island, there is an excitement about approaching land. Once docked, the mad dash and a scramble to load and unload passengers and vehicles always makes for great entertainment. And such was the case in this teeny tiny place. A virtual parade of construction vehicles rumbled off the ship here.

Approaching Potamos, the port in Antikythera 10 p.m.

This route let us see the port shrouded in darkness as well as the way the tiny little place looks in the blazing heat of day. Antikythera reportedly has a year-round population of about 45 and that number can swell to 500 in the summertime.  The island has a medical center, police station, small grocery stores and a helipad.

Approaching Potamos port in Antikythira island at 10 a.m.

Now the larger island of Kythira has perhaps one of the most desolate looking ports we've seen in Greece, but having spent a week here a couple years ago, let me assure you the place also offers charming villages sprinkled about its hillsides and beaches. For a look at Kythira, click this link.

Tourists wait for the ferry at Kythira port

A number of you've written, saying you hope to experience a Greek ferry trip one day. We encourage you to do just that but do keep in mind a few key points: first, weather can impact ferry schedules, up to and including, keeping the ferries from sailing, so make sure your schedule allows for possible delays.  Also check which days the days and how often the ferries sail to places you want to visit. You might be thinking two nights and the ferry may only come once a week. Check arrival and departure times as they could be 2 a.m. in the morning.

Ferries, still our favorite way to visit Greek islands, are conducive to 'slow travel' -- but that doesn't appeal to everyone so pack your patience or book a flight if you can't sit back and relax.

And they aren't the cheapest way to travel either. Our tickets, for a small SUV and two passengers traveling between Gythio and Kissamos cost 150 euros or $177US each way. (Now I have to admit it was great buying things like big jars of Cretan honey and simply putting them in the car, not worrying about fitting them into a suitcase!)

Destination Crete

Crete ahead!

We were gobsmacked to realize that it has been seven years since we spent time in Crete. How had we let that much time slip by without returning to the island where we had actually looked for real estate before settling in the Mani? 

Would Niki still have a bakery in Chora Sfakia on Crete's southern coast? Did they still make those Cretan meat pies at our favorite restaurant in the village? Would Elounda to the east be as charming as we remembered it?

I have Facebook friends on Crete who I've known for years now. It was time to meet as many of them face-to-face as I could. The ferry travels between Gythio and Crete every Wednesday. . .we had a week. in which to travel down Memory Lane. Hope you'll join us next time as we do just that!

Until then, thanks for your time and stay safe!

Linking up soon with:

Through My Lens
Travel Tuesday
Our World Tuesday
My Corner of the World Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday

Friday, June 18, 2021

Rhodes Less Traveled

The plan was to be at the palace when it opened. That way, we reasoned, we'd avoid the lines of tourists waiting to enter.

However, we found that aside from a few staff members keeping an eye on visitors, we were alone in the Palace of the Grand Master, the crowning structure within the walled medieval city of Rhodes on a Friday morning in May.

As we made our way up the enormous empty stairway it really became clear that we were traveling in a Rhodes less traveled.

Alone in a Palace

The last time we visited the Palace, nearly a decade ago, the crush of tourists was so dense I let The Scout blaze us a trail and we walked single file at times as we made our way through the hordes filling this edifice that dates back to the 7th Century.

Empty Courtyard Palace of the Grand Master - Rhodes, Greece 

By the time we completed this recent visit to this massive palace we had encountered fewer than a dozen other tourists. 

Tourists were few in the ancient city

In pre-pandemic years it was normal to have this and other ancient sites within the walled city teeming with tourists. But this year, like last, is turning out to be not quite 'normal' in terms of tourism. Admittedly, our visit here came within a week of Greece re-opening the country to tourism. It will take some time for tourists to return.

Greek Island Hopping

Arriving Kastellorizo - island-hopping in Greece

Rhodes was part of a week-long island hopping adventure that kicked off our travel season in Greece. The ease of travel within Greece is among the many benefits of being expats living in the Peloponnese. We simply drove to Athens' port city, Piraeus, and boarded a ferry. Traveling by ferry is one of our favorite means of exploring Greece.

The far-flung island of Kastellorizo, also known as Megisti, located far south of Rhodes, off the coast of Turkey was our first destination. After three nights there we caught the local ferry that runs between it and Rhodes to finish our week on the larger island. The massive ship carried us between the two islands in 4.5 hours at a cost of 1.5 euros, roughly $1.80  per ticket. 

We had the better part of three days in which to reacquaint ourselves with Rhodes, or Rodos, as it is known here; the largest of the Aegean Sea's Dodecanese islands.


Our focus was within the walled ancient city

Rhodes has a bit of something for every visitor:  the new Rhodes city (begun a mere 500 years ago) offers modern, sleek high-rise resort accommodations, a casino, dozens of dining venues and a plethora of shopping opportunities like found in any large city. Traveling outside the Rhodes metropolitan area one can find beaches and resorts and several small towns offering accommodations and endless dining opportunities.

Our room - Nikos Takis Hotel Rhodes

With only two nights we were content to focus on the history found within Rhodes ancient walled city. The Scout found us a stunning hotel, the Nikos Takis Fashion Boutique Hotel, which put us footsteps between two landmarks representing different periods of island rule: that of the Knights of St. John and the Ottomans.   

Nikos Takis Hotel patio with views to the harbor

Our room, one of eight in the small boutique hotel, opened onto the hotel patio from where we had views of the harbor. The nightly rate also included a full breakfast served in the patio.

Street of the Knights not crowded at all

We wandered about on foot, following narrow streets back and forth, up hill and down. We remembered these streets as being congested on our last visit, The reduced number of tourists rendered them delightfully easy to maneuver. A number of tourist shops and restaurants hadn't yet opened for the season but there were plenty of shopping, eating and drinking opportunities to keep us satiated during our stay. 

It is interesting to note, that while we think of the old walled city, surrounded by a moat, as a tourist destination, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a very real and active neighborhood in the city - home to some 6,000 residents. 

Knights of St. John 

Entry Palace of the Grand Master

While the island's history, like many in the Dodecanese, is a checkerboard with periods of  Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Italian occupation, it seems the fortifications built, modernized and expanded by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem during their occupation dominate the tourists' top 10 favorite places.

Archaeological museum in Knight's hospital

It was in 1309 when the city was sold to the Knights. The Order had been founded in the 12th century to provide care for the poor, sick or injured pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land and the Crusaders.  It soon became a military unit, acquiring large amounts of land. It founded its headquarters in Rhodes. 

Church of Panagia Tou Kastrou

The Knights' hospital houses the Archaeological Museum. It was difficult to decide if the displays or the building itself was 'the best part' of that stop.  The nearby Church of the Panagia Tou Kastrou, with its towering nave, is a performing arts venue. 

We visited the hospital, church and the Palace as part of a package admissions ticket that got us into the three sites for 10 euros each. 

Ottoman Influence 

Mosque of Suleiman the Great from Sissito Restaurant

Our hotel was a short walk from the Palace of the Grand Master to our right and the Mosque of Suleiman the Great to our left.  We also were lucky to have our hotel recommend Sissito, a restaurant serving amazing food in its courtyard at the side of the Mosque. Suleiman the Great had founded a public kitchen in the area where the restaurant now operates and many of the buildings surrounding the restaurant in the complex host cultural activities and art exhibits. 

An Island Escape Artist

Patricia Wilson, and her latest book, Summer in Greece

One of the highpoints of our stay was meeting one of the best 'island escape artists' I know. British expat Patricia Wilson, author of several novels set on Greek islands, lives with her husband on Rhodes. Each of her books, set on a different island, is an entertaining historical novel that highlights a segment of the featured island's history, while providing a bit of contemporary romance and a very good Greek getaway. 

Over a long leisurely lunch, the Wilsons and we talked of expat life in Greece, writing and Greek island adventures. I am trying to convince her the next novel should be based in The Mani!  BTW, the novel in the photo above, Summer in Greece, was just released this spring. I won't give away the plot but if you want a great armchair getaway to Greece this year - this is the book to read.

Rhodes, Greece

I will sign off for this week with a thank you to all of you who took the time to write and let me know that you had received last week's post. The  new email system is working! And a welcome to all the new subscribers as well - several who've reported how easy it was to sign up.

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However you joined us, we are glad you are here and hope to see you back again!  Stay safe ~

Linking soon with the following:

Through My Lens
Travel Tuesday
Our World Tuesday
My Corner of the World Wednesday
Wordless Wednesday


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