Sep 22, 2007
The ferry ride from Iraklion to Rhodes was, ..., well, ..., it's hard to describe coming from a culture without ferries. It was long. It was smokey. It was rough, at times. "Non smoking" just meant the side of the room where they didn't put ashtrays. "Sleeping area" just meant a few feet underneath a staircase where regular travellers knew to lay down and snore.
And it was also 4 hours longer than scheduled (16 hours instead of 12). Possibly because of the rough weather, or, as we decided, because of the random nature of Greek Ferry Loading and Unloading. I'm sure there is a chaos theory physicist somewhere doing his doctoral work on how it unfolds. Roughly: the ferry docks; dozens of people waiting at the dock rush the boat; dozens of people wanting to get off cram the exits; the dozens of people who rushed the boat now get off, after having grabbed the fruit, drinks, packages, bags, construction material that was on the boat being transported for them; the ferry guys start yelling at trucks to move off of the ferry; trucks randomly drive off, do seven-point turns, and park; more trucks get off; ferry guys whistle and yell at everyone; expectant passengers start to wander through the dance of trucks; new trucks start to get on; ferry guys yell at more people; original trucks that got off now get back on; more yelling; last truck drives up the ramp as the ferry pulls away, swaying dangerously; ferry leaves.
And on the Crete-Rhodes ferry, this unfolded 6 times, at the tiniest hamlets in Greece. Sometimes the only thing to actually get off would be the most decrepit looking truck that obviously had been at the very back of the ferry, necessitating that every other vehicle on the boat get off.
Anyway, we got in late to Rhodes, but found our fantastic pension with little problem (The Pink Elephant - tell them the indecisive Canadians recommened it). Rhodes was fascinating. So much so that we wound up spending an extra two days. We explored the old town, which is the largest still-existing fortified old town, and basically putter about. Which was in keeping with the mainly elderly tourist base - there was a lot of puttering going on.
Rhodes has a couple of fantastic beaches right in the main city, and an ancient acropolis at the top of the hill in the centre of the city with a restored stadium. And the Palace of the Grand Masters was impressive, with the Street of the Knights appearing to be directly transported from the 15th Century.
But, our time in Greece had to sadly come to an end, and we pressed forward early in the morning to the port of Mamaris in Turkey, on our way to Koycegiz.
Oh, and lots more photos to come... when we get a good connection.