|Our host was kind enough to have our breakfast ready for us much earlier than it is usually served as we had to be at the boat dock by 8:30 and it is a 30 minute walk. As we were told yesterday, there were 2 large cruise ships in port when we got down there. We are so glad we have tickets to leave the island today. The boat trip to the Monastery was 1 1/2 hours of relaxing and enjoying the views from the open middle deck. We passed many islands and saw the coast of Turkey. These Greek islands are very rugged. When we arrived at the monastery on Simi 1 hour sounded like plenty of time to visit the grounds but not so. We started in the chapel where we each lit a candle and said a prayer of thanks and appreciation for good health for our family and friends. It was a very touching and meaningful moment. The chapel itself emanated holiness. We exited the chapel into a large open courtyard where the sidewalks were made of stones on edge to form geometric designs, just like the streets in Old Rhodes. While walking around, we discovered a chicken coop, orange and lemon trees, an artichoke field and a VERY large cactus. Our assumption is that the Monastery is self sufficient, or at least mostly. Many people on the boat stayed at the Monastery for a few days of solitude and reflection. When our hour was up, we boarded the boat and headed for the town.
What a beautiful site to see. The town of Simi is built into the side of a mountain. The gables of the houses are painted various jewel tones while the main part of the houses is the typical Greek gray to terra cotta. The harbor was filled with boats of all sizes - little fishing boats to 50+ foot yachts. Vendors and restaurant personnel were standing outside their establishment trying to entice the tourists into their spot since they had "the best items/food and the lowest prices!" We choose to wander the length of the waterfront before selecting our spot to share a plate of the famous Simi shrimp. These shrimp are less than an inch long and you eat the whole thing, including the tail. They are very sweet. Tracey told us that Stavros' grandmother used to climb the steep steps on Simi. It didn't take us long to find them - oh my what steep steps. We decided we would climb all 100 in honor of Stav's grandmother. Well, Karen's fear of height got the best of her so after about 10 steps she turned around and went down with Jim's help and Jim did them alone. We had just enough time to buy a few souvenir sponges that are only harvested off the coast of Simi, and have a quiet walk along the streets that run 1 block behind the waterfront. The 2 hour boat trip home became quite cool in the early evening breezes. When we came into port we noticed one of the cruise ships had already left port.
Our intent was to pick up a couple of things in the Old Town shops but they were all closed. That will have to wait until tomorrow. We decided to eat dinner at Kostas, the 2nd recommendation from our host. Karen had stopped in to check his hours yesterday evening and when we went in he remembered her. We were very impressed. The food was top notch from a real Greek restaurant not a tourist one.
We are sitting in the reception area doing our computer work and just finished having a nice conversation with the two guys from France. Since neither of us slept well last night and had to get up early, this will be an early night. We want to be in good shape for our last full day on Rhodes.