Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Don't Make Me Laugh

Yesterday, whilst doing my 2nd excursion of the season, which involved taking some guests from the South of the island up to Rhodes town and letting them loose to go exploring for a few hours, I had occasion to go wandering myself, iPad in hand (as you'll probably know I do from time to time), so that I could snap away to my heart's content at little scenes tucked away in the bowels of the Old Town.

Before entering the Old Town though, I trotted up to the harbour entrance at Mandraki to snap the clock tower that will be familiar to most people who know Rhodes. 

Of course I say "clock tower" but the clock is only in evidence on the side facing the harbour itself, so you can't see it in this shot. I wanted to snap this because one of the most asked questions to which I try and supply an informative answer (apart, of course, from "Why did you move here?" or "Would you ever go back to the UK?" and even "Is there life before breakfast?" - that last one I tend to ask myself quite often ITBT), is "Did the Colossus stand astride the harbour entrance?"

The answer to that last question is, ...check out my Rhodes Trivia page! Loads of essential info about the Colossus is there for all who wish to to browse and absorb. But I snapped this shot above owing to the fact that the height of the Colossus was virtually the same as the height of this tower. There you are, helps a bit doesn't it.

Then I hightailed it down to the Old Town to begin searching in earnest for those photogenic little nooks and crannies that are so loved by dedicated Rhodes fans. Here are a few...

To see a whole lot more, by all means check out the album I've uploaded on my  "John Manuel The Novels" Facebook page, here.

See, the reason why I like to shoot these kinds of scenes is this: On the coach heading back down south and chatting to the guests and asking them if they enjoyed visiting the Old Town, occcasionally someone will say, "It was OK, but it's over-commercialised. I was disappointed." Don't make me laugh, please.

Right, let me address this point right here, right now. Firstly, everywhere on the planet that tourists visit has its element of commercialisation. It goes with the territory doesn't it? Yes, you can stroll up Socratous in the Old Town and be jostled by thousands of bare, sun-creamed, tattoed and peeling shoulders, while you stare at the shops peddling gold and silver jewellery, leather sandals (some will even make you a pair to order while you wait), handbags, sunglasses, olive oil soap and other natural products which will add years to your lifespan (like, uh, yea),  CD's of dodgy old Greek music, brash paintings by artists who think your eyes need to be assaulted by over use of intense, bright colours, fake football shirts and folk trying to get you to sit in their café or restaurant. Yea, you can do that.

But, as I try and suggest to my guests before they go a wandering, why not just take a turn, any turn, down a slightly narrower alley or "street" rather than walk straight past it. Doing so you'll almost instantly be transported back into a world of old women hanging out their washing, cats asleep on windowsills and old men sitting in chairs outside their front doors, watching nothing in particular while they wait for another day to drift by. For the Old Town of Rhodes isn't just a movie set, it's a living community of thousands who go about their daily lives largely unobserved by the hordes who invade them every day of their lives.

Lovers of Rhodes won't need convincing anyway but, hopefully, if you are a doubter, checking out those photos, taken at a time when metres away from these scenes one could mingle with the hordes, you'll see what I'm saying and you won't make me laugh!

Finally, I took lunch at the wonderful Odyssey Taverna again and was welcomed by Babis, Dimitri, Christos and Adonis, plus the new guy, Memi. I ordered courgette rissoles and oven-baked aubergine, with a half-litre of draught Alpha. Here it is partway through my process of devastating it...

That lunch was quite perfect, as I'd expected it to be!!

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