Travelling on crutches isn’t particularly easy, getting to the airport, getting on the plane, hitting people on the head whilst you store them ‘safely’ in the overhead storage compartments. It was probably a good thing then that i’d splurged and instead of booking a hostel based adventure holiday, my girlfriend and i had settled on an all inclusive holiday on the Greek island of Rhodes. We were joined by two close mates Richard and Claire.
I’d never been on an all inclusive holiday before. I don’t consider myself one to just sit around for a week or two, but my buster knee left me with few other options. Upon our arrival we were greeted with a room on the 1st floor, but the hotel soon moved me to a ground floor room. We were staying in the 3* part of the resort, but were allowed to use the 4* facilities … so we did. The 4* pool was rather grand with fewer children screaming and splashing, the 4* bar also had a shorter queue. Even if i wasn’t on crutches, i still don’t think I’d have moved a lot. I was more than happy to sit by the pool with a cold beer whilst reading my books for the whole week.
In truth I have very little else to write about this holiday. Our 7 days went something like this – wake, eat, snooze, eat, snooze, burn in the sunshine, eat, drink, sleep. Eating was obviously the stand out behaviour. We had a wide selection to choose from and very little self restraint. The first night set the tone when both duck, pizza and ice cream were all on offer, I was powerless to resist and somewhat bloated 1 hour later. It felt wrong to skip meals that we’d already paid for, so our waistlines continued to expand throughout the week. Add to our food intake several pints of beer each night and our bodies were taking a battering, albeit and enjoyable one.
There were a couple of occasions when we were able to drag ourselves away from the dinning room and venture outside of our resort. Our first trip took us on the excellent coastline bus service down to the notorious party town of Faliraki. I first went to Faliraki on a ‘lads’ holiday back in 2002 and in summary it was carnage. The streets were awash with punters on a mission to get drunk and hook up, including my mates … there were varying degrees of success. Music pumped from each and every bar, promo girls fought to get your attention and would offer you no end of fish bowls as a bribe. People danced on bars, stripped, fell over, vomited … you get the idea. I had a girlfriend at the time though, so was on bestest behaviour. However the summer of 2011 seems to hold very little for this once popular resort. The streets were deserted and in truth it was more like a ghost town, a few of the bar owners admitted that they were very worried. We only stayed for a couple of drinks before heading home.
A more successful venture was our trip to glorious Rhodes Town. Again we took the cheap as chips coastline bus, a great service! We arrived at the main bus depot in good time and set about exploring the old town. The old town is great, a vast network of intertwining streets. Masses of pebbles sit underfoot and beautiful archways overhead. It reminded me a little of the old town in Split, Croatia. There were a few tacky shops, but even they looked stunning from the outside. Glorious wooden shutters surrounded by red brick work.
We entered via the moat and eventually made our way inside the castle walls. I say eventually as my crutches were impeding my usual speed. Still, it was around the time of sunset so it was quite nice to take it slow. We walked around and looked at the shops, some questionable items were available for purchase, but we kept our wallets closed as we had no need for a samurai sword or a pellet gun. Instead we plumped for dinner in a roof top garden just as the sun was setting. Flat bread, taramasalata, tzatziki to start followed by Lamb Kleftiko. Yum!
On nights where we stayed in the resort when frequented the bar till closing and amused ourselves with card games and random banter. It was probably the least energetic holiday I’ve been on, but probably just as well considering the state my knee was in.
I love Greece, it was somewhat forced into me by an ex girlfriend, but I’m sure lots of people will agree it’s a great place. The food is amazing and the people are for the most part very friendly, even though they sometimes may not look it. I’m sure I’ll back visiting again soon enough.