Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Trip to Rhodes #4: Kallithea Springs

When we were looking for a spa one day, we decided to go to Kallithea area in hope of finding one. We didn't find a spa, but instead we went to Kallithea Springs. It cost €2.50/person to get inside. The bus fee cost only €1/per person 'coz it was nearby Faliraki area.

Here are some pictures taken from the area.

First pic: This fountain is located outside the entrance and the ticket booth.

Next pic: I LOVEEEEEEEEE the shell shapes all over the wall. There are other shapes on other walls, too, but this one is the one I love most he he...

Again I wondered how long it took to build this place with all those different floor patterns, esp. the ones made from stones.

Next pic: Yep, there are people sunbathing and swimming here.

Next pic: Sorry about the angle. I just put the camera on one of the benches there.

P.S. Still no news from the office about my training contract. If I don't hear anything until Thursday, I'll visit them again to find out if they really need me or not (that was what they said to me earlier). If not, I may have to find another training place. We'll see how it goes.

OK, time to blog hop a bit he he...:-D

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Trip to Rhodes #3: Lindos

Went to Lindos by bus from the bus stop near our hotel. Cost us €3.5/person (one way). It was quite a long ride and we had a tough time since we didn't get any seats (I got a seat during the last 10 minutes, but R2 had to stand up all the way). It wasn't that we were that weak, but I knew that we had to walk A LOT in Lindos, so it would have been better if we had gotten some seats.

When we finally arrived at the location, there were SO many tourists there already (I guess they must've booked it with a travel agent or something). We immediately took pictures nearby as the sea looked gorgeous from there...then we started walking towards the entrance and we had to pay €6 to see the Acropolis in Lindos.

From the entrance we could see many people with donkeys. Those who didn't want to walk up those many steps could ride a donkey (not all the way up to the Acropolis, though - at least I've never seen any donkey in the Acropolis area). It costs €5/person. We decided to just go up by ourselves, though it was a tremendously HOT HOT HOT day there (we later discovered from a Brit waitress that works there that Lindos is the hottest location in Rhodes 'coz the rocks in the area helped trap the heat inside it).

While going up the steps, I was a little giddy as (again) there were no railings and if you slipped, you could hurt yourself so badly 'coz of the rocks. Even when going up the steps towards the Acropolis (a castle-like stairs), the steps were very narrow (remember there were so many tourists that day going up and down the steps - the steps in some places were only big enough for two people to pass by at the same time and there were no railings on each side), so we had to be really careful. Due to the heat and the fact that we had to go up the steps, I wondered what if somebody couldn't take the heat and the fatigue and just fainted??? Uuuuhhh...scary thought.

Anyway, here are some pictures of Lindos area and the Acropolis.

First pic: before walking towards the entrance of the Acropolis, we took this pic.

Next pic: This is a pic that we took right in front of the entrance and the ticket booth. There were taxis nearby the area. If you look closely and enlarge the pic by clicking on it, you'll se a castle-like building on the top right side. Yep, that's the Acropolis area and we had to get up there!!!

Next pic: We were already ascending the steps. Halfway up we found some souvenir sellers. I can't imagine their going up and down those stairs every day with their souvenirs (mostly table cloths and stuff like that) and they had to spread so many of them and repack them again.

Next pic: Oh nooo...we're not done yet going up the steps...still so many!!!

Next pic: The other side of where I was standing on the above pic.

Still going up he he he...better watch out here 'coz it can be slippery (esp. when wearing flip-flops).

Next pics: Here are some magnificent views from above.

Upon descending from the Acropolis area after taking some pics and resting in a "cool cave" (many tourists rested from the heat in the "cave-like" area in the Acropolis), we went down to see the souvenir shops and also to get some drinks!!! We were SO thirsty! There were so many cafes selling fresh orange juice, so we went to one and bought two glasses at €2/glass. So refreshing!!! :-D

Next pic: Found out that there's a church in the area, as well. The church door is on the right of this tower. Unfortunately we couldn't take pics inside the church, though it's free to get inside. I can't blame them, though. It has a very unique interior design and I was awed when I looked inside (maybe for those of you who've been to Barcelona or great churches of the world, you wouldn't feel awed, but I'd just never seen anything like that before).

After walking around again, we felt thirsty, so we went to this cafe to grab another drink and to get away from the heat.

Next pic: I LOVE this door and the door knocker. Now I realize that the stones below my feet are also SO gorgeously designed! :-D

Next pic: We decided to grab something to eat after going back to the bus stop (it's a long walk to the bus stop) and realizing that it would only come in one and a half hours or so. The bus going from Lindos to Faliraki and back doesn't operate as often as the bus going from Faliraki to Rodos (downtown) and back.

In Lindos, there are so many restos or cafes boasting their "rooftop view". Thus we were seated here. As you can see from this pic, there are other restos, too, that have rooftop views. In this particular resto we went to, they used a food lift so that the waitress didn't have to go up and down the stairs to the third floor (well, the rooftop view in this pic could be considered as the 3rd floor).

After going back to our hotel (finally!!!), we just wanted to swim in our hotel pool and enjoy the breeze. Our feet were so tired after all that walk in the heat he he he he...OK, I still have more pics to show and stories to tell next time, so bear with me ha ha ha...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tidbits about Rhodes Trip

1. We saw a black snake crossing the street when we went down the mountain from Profitis Ilias monastery on our ATV. Almost ran over its tail. That was scary!!!

2. The winding road towards Profitis Ilias monastery is pretty narrow and there are no railings on each side of the road (it was a rocky mountain, so if you fall down, then you'll definitely be in HUGE trouble!). Thus my heart was beating fast when we were going up the winding road and a big tourist bus was going down that road. Why? Because I realize that there was little space left for both vehicles when they were side by side.

3. The road signs in Rhodes aren't too good (we found out from some tourist guides that other tourists have been complaining about this problem too) and there aren't any good road maps, either. The problem is that the smaller roads or paths don't even have names (even on the maps), so we got lost a few times. But still it was a fun adventure! :-D Though you'd better prepare some water with you just in case you get lost somewhere in a desert-like place with no people or house in sight.

4. Met two Swedish tourist guides in Filerimos area and one of them asked me, "You're not married, are you?" When I told her the truth, she said, "Oh...I didn't think you were married 'coz you look so young. How old are you, anyway, 20 years old?" She was shocked when I told her the truth HA HA HA HA HA...

5. Strangely enough, it's hard to find a spa in Rhodes. Even before we flew there, I tried browsing for some spas, but there weren't too many that I found. I remember that in Singapore and Bali it's SO easy to find spas.

6. When we were sunbathing at Tsambika Beach, we saw a few people walking around holding a sign: Foot Massage. I didn't ask for the price, though, so I don't know how much it costs.

7. We found many British people either working there or going there as tourists. Strangely enough, there are only a few Asians in Rhodes. The most Asians I met were found in Lindos and I guess they are mostly Japanese tourists.

8. One time we went to a Chinese restaurant and when collecting our empty plates, the waitress (who appeared to be a Thai girl), asked me where I originally came from. When I told her the answer, she said, "I thought so too." I wonder how on earth she could guess that I came from Indo.

9. The first two days I was there, whenever I wanted to say "thank you", I'd instead say "kiitos". It just automatically came out of my mouth. One time this "accidental kiitos" made one waiter talk to us in Finnish. Yep, since there have been many Finnish tourists in Rhodes, most of the people who work in restaurants or souvenir shops can speak a little bit of Finnish. Interesting, isn't it? :-D

10. To answer Burcu's question: The Greek I met there were very friendly people. They loved asking where we came from and if they knew the language, they'd then speak some words or phrases of that language.

Unfortunately I know nothing much about their language other than it sounds funny and they speak SOOOOO fast (even on telly). One interesting thing is that every night on TV there's this weather report girl in BIKINIS!!! Yep...

And we did visit the mosque in the Old Town, Burcu...here're the pics:

And here's the ceiling of the mosque - unfortunately it's a bit blurry.

11. The waitresses and waiters in restaurants and bars in Rhodes liked asking, "Okay?" or "Is everything okay?" after they've served us a meal or drinks (sometimes they asked even while we were still eating or drinking). I find this interesting. :-D

12. Found this Chinese resto in Faliraki area (I think the person who worked there looked like an Indian guy) and I was nicely surprised to see "gado gado" in the menu. I didn't order it, though it's interesting to find an Indo menu there despite the fact that I didn't see too many Asians there he he...

13. At night we can hear crickets in the bushes and in the morning there are birds chirping nearby. Birds love drinking water from our hotel pool. It's just SO cute to see them drink water from the pool (though it's hard to catch them do that on camera).

14. There are some mosquitoes in Rhodes and they managed to suck our blood, too, so we had to buy mosquito repellant and lotion. One of the mosquito lotions we bought smelled SO bad, though it worked quite well. Uuughhhh...

15. When we arrived in Rhodes airport at around 1 am and after we took our luggage, we noticed two gates to get out: one for EU citizens and one for non-EU citizens. I had my passport in my hand, but there was NOBODY there to check it. When we checked in to fly back to Finland, the check-in counter girl did check my passport, but we didn't get any stamp on our passports. They also didn't check whether we brought too much fluid in our handbags or not, so I assume that they're not that strict.

16. We were told that the tap water in Rhodes was drinkable, but the taste might be different due to the high deposit of calcium in it. So we opted to buy bottled water (buying bottled water from our hotel proved to be cheaper, so we bought it from there and stored the bottles in our fridge).

After finding out that bringing just cold water from the fridge to go out wasn't enough ('coz it turned warm SO fast and in the end we had to buy cold drinks from a cafe or resto), we decided to make some ice. So in the evening we'd put about 1/2 of water in a 1.5-litre bottle in the freezer and in the morning we'd add some cold water into it and it stayed cold for a few hours in our backpack. This way we saved a little bit of money 'coz we didn't have to buy drinks all the time.

17. Contrary to Finland, we can't throw tissue into toilet bowls in Rhodes. I'm telling you that after having lived in Finland for a while, it gets hard to get rid of this habit. So everywhere in every toilet in Rhodes, you'll see the sign "Do not throw tissue into the toilet bowl!" (once we even found a sign that said "Do not through tissue into the toilet" and it made us laugh ha ha...). However, every once in a while you'll see some tissue paper floating inside the toilet bowls. I guess old habits die hard he he he...

Trip to Rhodes #2: Old Town

I've taken around 600 photos during the 2 week holiday in Rhodes, so bear with me. I can't share all of them, but I can share some of the important ones he he he...In this post I'll share some pics of the Old Town of Rhodes. We went there by bus (€2/person) from Faliraki. To read more info on Old Town, click the link. Basically speaking, Old Town is a huge area and you can get inside it from different gates. I LOVEEEEEEEEEE the place (THANKS for the tips from FPE).

Without further ado, here are the pics...

First pic: one of the gates near Old Town. The bus stopped near this gate and there's a tourist info office nearby, though I wasn't impressed at all with the guy who worked there. When we went there to ask for something, he wasn't too helpful. Grrrr!!!

Next pic: walking towards the Old Town. Actually, we couldn't get inside through the above gate for some reason, 'coz we had to get across a bridge to get inside, so we had to get out and find another gate ha ha ha...

Next pic: Crossing the bridge. As you can see there are many tourists coming here.

And yeah, there are plenty of tourist shops and restaurants in this area, too. In some areas near the gates, there are many artists. They sell paintings or black-and-white drawings of yourself. You can either pose for them or give them your picture to recreate on canvas. I didn't dare ask how much it cost, though secretly I wish I can get our picture on canvas someday HI HI HI...

Next pic: I LOVE this view...if I'm not mistaken, this street leads to one part of the harbour.

Next pic: Just to show you how high the walls are.

Next pic: one part of the harbour. Notice the seller across the street, on a boat? I went there to buy some loofah. Paid €3 for two loofah scrubbers.

Next pic: Roloi Clock Tower, the highest point in the Old Town. Before mid June, it wasn't open (I think, 'coz we went there twice and the first time it wasn't open yet). The ticket to get up there was €5/person (plus a drink of your choice at the bar nearby), though kids can get up there for free.

Next pic: Just to show you how high it really is.

Next pic: Me going up Roloi Clock Tower he he...

It was SO nicely cool and windy up there in Roloi Clock Tower compared to the heat down there. Here are 4 views from the tower.

Next pic: I deliberately took this angle to show you how small those people look down there compared to the area.

Next pic: R2 posing with a knight outside Roloi Clock Tower.

Next stop was The Grand Master's Palace. The ticket cost €6/person, but it was worth it (also 'coz it was cooler inside the museums HA HA...). Inside there are some museums with plenty of artefacts, though we couldn't take pics in some of them, but still we could take plenty of pics in the other museum located upstairs.

Next pic: I'm IN LOVE with the arches...

Next pic: Going upstairs to the museum where we were allowed to take pics.

Next pic: I wonder how long it took to make this artwork. There were plenty of others, too, but in this post I'll share only one. The one I like the most he he...

OK, I think this is long enough. I'll continue in another post.