Day 4 – Thursday – Rodos
It was a bit cooler today, so we got a taxi to Rhodes Town – walking around Old Town in circles. The cobbles are a bit of a pain but there’s history wherever you turn as well as the tourist shops selling the usual crap like tea towels adorned with the lucky eye, dick-shaped bottle openers and bags saying ‘I Heart Rhodes’. I wanted to find the way up to walk on the walls like we did last time but couldn’t find where to get up.
Sticking to my idea of a balanced holiday diet, I had a Mediterranean salad for lunch – rocket, avocado, figs, apple and loads of balsamic. I had a fairly decent vanilla milkshake too. It’s a balanced meal right? Siggy had, of all the multitude of things on the menu, scrambled egg on toast and gave it a lowly score of two out of ten. Oeuf! Then we went out of the old town and took a look at all the fancy yachts at the harbour and also the big ass cruise ship which was docked.
We get back to the hotel by about 4:30pm and so Siggy immediately wants to sunbathe in the hotel grounds. I wasn’t really feeling it and retired to the room to read a bit more of Bernard Cornwell’s new Sharpe book Sharpe’s Assassin and have a nap. The air conditioning unit is great in the room and the ceiling fan provides good air flow. We only have one power cut during the two week stay and I don’t feel too guilty about all the electricity I’m using. I assume there’s a lot of solar power in Rhodes.
We’ve been asking ourselves why do people on holiday in Greece act like they’ve never seen a cat before? Like a lot of places we’ve been to in Greece there’s a bunch of stray cats knocking about and there are designated roadside spots where you can leave pet food for them to eat. Don’t encourage the little fuckers is what I say, but for every one person like me there seems to be ten addled-brained fools that have been turned in feline thralls who coo and take photos like, as I said, they’ve never seen a bloomin’ cat before.
We go to George’s, pretty much opposite Paparazzi for dinner – swordfish for me and a chef’s salad for Siggy. We had some garlic bread to start as a call back to unhealthier times when we’d have it almost every night as a starter. It’s an airy place and the food wasn’t bad.
Cocktails at On the Rocks – tequila sunrise for me sex on the beach for Siggy – then to Kelly’s Irish Bar where some guy was singing rock covers in a nasal voice and learning the chords as he played along to his backing track. I couldn’t figure out how much was him playing his guitar and how much was on the backing track. We went back to the hotel for a final beer, before calling it a night. Siggy had a Radlers and tried to clean up the stickiness of a syrupy cake she bought from a super market on the way back. I blame it on a wave of marijuana smoke that we inhaled in the Irish bar. There’s a cannabis shop, called Happy Smoke I think, close by. I never really figured out what the deal was with that, is it legal in Greece now?
Day 5 – Friday – “…I thought you said Aperol?”
Was spent down on Kathara beach opposite Victoria Taverna, which was turning into our go-to place for lunch and drinks. We were positioned almost as far away from the rest of beach as you can get and so avoiding most of the, fuck it I might as well say what I’m thinking, avoiding most of the riff-raff who were busy behaving like the apes from 2001: A Space Odyssey further up the beach. It was quiet and there were about four places to get food and drink, and more importantly use their toilet facilities.
Had a chicken gyros at one of the snack bars on the beach front minutes from our sun beds. I wanted a salad but this place didn’t seem to have them on the menu. Siggy had a ham, cheese and pineapple toastie again – they have them in Hawaii apparently. Later I had a very nice and reasonably priced vanilla milkshake from Victoria. The first of many. Best vanilla milkshakes in the area.
There seems to be a trend now for thong bikini bottoms and very few people going topless, so there’s a lot more ass than tit so far, not that I’m looking too hard of course, just reporting what I see. Spent my time until six o’clock mostly trying to keep my tits out of the sun because I stupidly burnt them on day one, and reading the new Sharpe book. I keep an eye on the horizon in case Greenpeace turn up and want to haul me back into the sea. I look in the mirror these days and sigh at my fatness. I really would’ve had a salad if there’d been one on the menu.
Around 5 o’clock I went back to where we got lunch and because I used their toilet, I thought it only fair to buy Siggy a coke light and myself a small Zythos. For some reason the guy behind the counter wrote down three things and asked one of his staff to pour an Aperol. I asked him who the Aperol was for and he said “sorry I thought you said Aperol?” It was the margarita all over again. I worry have some kind of Tourette’s syndrome that I’m deaf to and I’m randomly blurting names of drinks I don’t want. I don’t think I’ve ever had an Aperol in my life. Is it legal in Greece now?
Later I have a beef stifado at Oinos taverna, Siggy has pork souvlaki. It’s pretty standard, but we do get free ouzo with the bill. Then we walk up the road to 1947 for a fancy-pants cocktail – something called a passiflora for me and a peanut butter colada for Siggy – both very very nice – and some people watching, then back to Aruba because it might be pretty basic but the cocktails are good and you get free crisps. On the way there we saw some yoof already so drunk at 11:30pm (very early doors by Faliraki standards) that he was flat on his back on the kerb waving his vape machine around like he was trying to alert the lifeboats. His mum and dad would be so proud. I was glad we walked home before the real Friday night carnage got started.
Day 6 Saturday – Peacocks
Celebrity lookalikes so far have been thin on the ground but there’s a guy down the beach who looks like Pierce Brosnan and a bloke was in our hotel bar on Thursday who was the splitting image of legendary film director David Lynch. A few days later I also saw someone who looked a hell of a lot like Gordon Ramsey.
Spent until about 4:30 on the beach and had lunch at Victoria taverna – Greek salad with tuna, Siggy had tomato and cucumber salad, and two more of those excellent vanilla milkshakes. The reason for the truncated afternoon session was to walk up to the Profitis Amos peacock park which we saw on the local map and was recommended by a local lady with amazing blue eyes in one of the local supermarkets.
Careful not to tread on anymore thorns, we took a somewhat circuitous route which led us to some unexpected views and then finally got there – number 18 on the free map from the hotel that didn’t feature contour lines and left you guessing at how exactly roads, paths and points of interest actually joined up. During one wrong turn and climb, we met a couple of girls looking for Anthony Quinn Bay which was nowhere near where we were.
There was a wedding being set up outside the church when we got there and so we kept out of the way while we tried to coax peacocks into displaying their tail feathers – nobody needed to see a sweaty bloke in a manky Primal Scream tee shirt on their big day.
There’s a path up the wooded side of the rocky promontory. It was steep, eroded and covered in loose stones so Siggy claimed sanity and stopped about a third of the way up, whereas I soldiered on. I wasn’t going to let a bit of sun and gravity stop me. There’s another church at the top, some surprising spectacular views and a road which would’ve been the sensible option to getting there. I burst out of the foliage like bigfoot, covered in sweat, insects and bits of spiky weeds, to the surprise of a few tourists who’d driven up on their quad bikes. I felt like I had earned my photos at lot more than they did.
The peacocks were noisy bleeders competing against the prayers that were issuing from speakers for the wedding congregation that had massed by the time I had come back down the slippery slope. We found our way by a different, quicker, route back to the hotel and got ready to go out.
Dinner – a very nice pizza at Pomodoro and a couple of Amstel Radlers. Then to Bliss then Rise which are both quite higher end bar / restaurants in what I’d consider the centre of Faliraki with all that that entails i.e. strip clubs, amusement arcades and kebab shops. We had very nice cocktails in both and then a couple more Radlers in Colossus as we weren’t bowled over by their cocktails the first time we went. It was very windy tonight to the point where Siggy had to wear her hoodie to stay warm. It’s legal in Greece now.
Day 7 – Sunday – Sax
There was a saxophonist playing jaunty tunes at breakfast. It’s my least favourite sort of music and in no way augmented the food. Every other note seems off to me, like the player is taking the piss and not taking it seriously. I’m not sure why a live saxophone player that early in the morning was even considered, never mind booked. I hoped it was a one-off (spoiler – it wasn’t, he reappeared on Day 14).
I had a nice Greek salad for lunch at one of the beachside snack bars (they secretly roll their eyes I think when I ask for it without onions, but that’s how I roll) Siggy had a mushroom omelette (which I think does deserve an eye roll). Not sure where this obsession with eggs has come from. We spent the whole day on the beach. It was very windy but I didn’t mind. I started reading The Silk House, and had to weigh it down with a stone when I wasn’t reading it.
Went to Bliss for our evening meal because Siggy liked the look of their chips last night. She had a pulled pork thing in a crispy flatbread and I had a really big and tasty bacon and cheese burgers with caramelised onions. It was very tasty. The chips were excellent. It was one of the best meals we had. It was a shame really that it wasn’t Greek food.
Then we popped in to Aruba for cocktails, had a look around some of the many tourist shops some selling famous brand knock offs at knock down prices and others selling the legit merchandise at silly high prices. Then we went to On the Rocks for milkshakes – we were both flagging a bit after such a big tea. Then Colossus again for a couple of Radlers and to watch the yoofs going down bar street. A week in and I’m a lot more chilled out but also realising that three years of not drinking all that much during all the various COVID restrictions has severely dented by tolerance to alcohol.