How lovely are you?! :) I come back from my holiday to find a whole heap of good wishes for my time away, and not one laced with bitter recriminations about my clear loss of ability when it comes to arranging the weather for you!
All I can say is "Wish you'd been there!" as the weather in Rhodes was stonking (a Lady Greenwood term)! From morning till night the sun shone, temperatures were in the low 40s and the sea breezes were a life saver.
We were actually staying in Tholos – a little village about 40 minutes drive from Rhodes Town, and with a huge pool for the 'young' ones and sea as warm as bathwater – just a tad saltier – everyone was happy :)
The free pool bar was merely incidental when it came to hearty laughter, wide smiles and a general feeling of 'joie de vivre'!! In fact talking of drinking establishments, we went to Rhodes Town one particularly warm evening in a huge vehicle we hired and affectionately called the Venga Bus.
Colin had been there some years before and found this lovely roof terrace bar where they serve every cocktail under the sun, and so that's where we were headed.
Having parked the bus (more like wedged it) between a moped and the harbour wall, we set off into the beautiful walled city. It was like stepping back in time, and best of all, still very Greek with masses of shops, bars and restaurants crammed up every little alleyway. By crikey they know how to entice you in don't they?!
I warded offf the temptation to buy a Greek Urn, only to have my head turned by a rather alluring statue, but I was carried along by 'The Young Ones' in their search for the rooftop bar. Well we found it, and as you can see the cocktails were the size of a small child, and conveniently included our six-a-day quota of fruit! I decided to veer away from my Mohito magic for the night and tried a Hula Hula… my walk on leaving the bar had the same kind of sayshaying gait..!
It wasn't all about alcohol though, as we decided a little bit of Greek history wouldn't go amiss, and rather madly decided to leave at 11am one morning for the ancient town of Lindos. Let me tell you that 42 degrees of heat with a strong breeze blowing is one thing… 44 degrees of still midday heat is something entirely different.
The usual banter in the Venga bus died to a murmur as the air conditioning fought unsuccessfully to cool down the sweating bodies inside, and the air coming in through the open windows was akin to a small hairdryer on full blast. We all piled out – fell out in truth – in the town square, and formed a somewhat straggly line through the little streets that have remained pretty much unchanged since the 15th century.
The architecture is a mixture of Greek Byzantine and Gothic and, apart from pedestrians, they only allow donkeys or mopeds up the narrow walkways. Rather a strange mix of smells from these two modes of transport, and you do have to watch where you walk on occasion, but all that said, still stunning.
Within this maze of pebbled alleys we found our Oasis… a roof top restaurant that had a pool!!! Can you believe it… here am I with the girls (above left) enjoying our desperately needed cool down. Only Colin and I ventured up the steep shiny stone steps (try saying that without your teeth in) to the Acropolis right at the top of the hill. What a view! It was stunning and worth every single step.
The Acropolis and giant temple built next to it were completed in 300 BC, but since then many additional elements had been added including a fortress, which were destroyed, rebuilt, and then left to crumble with disuse over time.
There was some major restoration work carried out between 1912 and 1945 and now the six euro entrance fee goes towards further works to bring this amazing piece of history back to life. Far more rewarding than the five euros we paid for a glass of water on the way down!!
Fun holiday times
So from history to holiday, and the remainder of the week passed in a heat haze of water polo (no horses involved) just loud blokey blokes – including Jack, Sam, Joe, Richard and Danny – climbing trees as a forfeit for not picking up a spoon quickly enough (don't ask but I lost), and the inevitable wearing of holiday glasses… it's a family thing
For me, having all the kids together and spending time as a family was brilliant. Having a whole week with Sam and Jack was precious, and bittersweet in some ways to see how they have all grown up in the past 12 months… some of us course will never grow up
My only grumble was towards the Passport Control officer who faced me at 2am at the end of my four hour flight, and asked me where I had flown from. "Sorry,could you repeat the question?" I asked him, voice muffled through my neck pillow which I had forgotten to take off.
Clearly he had not realised he was addressing a woman who can't remember where she has parked the car if more than 20 minutes has elapsed…
Haven't forgotten how lovely it is to hear all your news though, so I'll look forward to hearing from you.
Love Ali xxx