“…you come upon Lindos through a narrow valley of rock. It is as if you had been leaning against a door leading to a poem when suddenly it swung open letting you stumble directly into the heart of it.” Lawrence Durrell – ‘Reflections on a Marine Venus’
The ferry docked in Rhodes just before half past nine and already the harbour was busy, noisy and as hot as a pizza oven. We had to walk about five hundred sweaty metres to the bus stop where we purchased tickets for the Lindos bus which was due in about ten minutes time.
The bus said no. 6, the ticket said no. 6 but we still did the usual thing of double checking this with the driver and then just to make sure checking again with two or three other passengers as well as we got on the bus and moved down the aisle. This is a curious English behaviour which makes us mistrustful of transport systems and although we know it is the right bus or train or boat, because we have just heard the person in front ask exactly the same question several times and be told exactly the same answer several times, we just have to double and triple check.
The bus left Rhodes and drove through the untidy suburbs of the new town, stopping frequently and filling up quickly with people going to the east coast resort beaches for the day and soon the bus was full to capacity. The road to Lindos took us first through Kalathea with its concrete ribbon of high rise package tour hotels and then to the party town of Falaraki, which once had a reputation for being mad, bad and dangerous but is apparently not so awful now because the party scene has moved to Kavos on Corfu. Falaraki is trying to change its reputation but as far as I could see it remains a bit of a dump with English pubs, wide screen televisions and a string of fast food places which would make it one of the last places in Greece that I would ever want to visit. Kim missed all of this because as usual on public transport she was fast asleep.
After Falaraki the bus drove through barren hills punctuated with the occasional village and town and then through acres of olive groves before it dropped down to the bay of Lindos before arriving at the busy bus terminal where it dropped us off. Finding the Chrysa Studios was a lot more difficult than it should have been but eventually the owner came to help us and walk with us the two hundred metres or so to the apartments.
They were excellent and in a perfect location with an uninterrupted view of the village and the Acropolis on the other side. Unfortunately our stay here began with a disaster. It was a hot day so Kim put the terrace umbrella up and sat in the shade but it was also very windy and an especially strong gust unexpectedly blew the canvas inside out shattering the wooden struts as it did so with an ear splitting crack as the whole thing completely disintegrated. The owner wasn’t especially pleased about this and I could see a bill coming our way so as this wasn’t a particularly good start we abandoned the terrace and went for a walk into the village instead.
Because of the early start we had skipped breakfast but now it was lunch time so we were rather hungry so we found a suitable looking place called Mario’s with our sort of (low) prices and went inside. The way we select a taverna on the Greek Islands is to look at the price of a Greek salad and a Mythos to make sure they are in our target price range and while satisfying ourselves on this point we hadn’t paid a great deal of attention to anything else and we were surprised when we looked around to see a sign for English roast Sunday lunches and another for Pukka pies and we wondered if we had made a mistake. We needn’t have worried however because there was a good Greek menu and Mario himself explained that he liked to offer as diverse a menu as he possibly could. We choose the Greek!
After an excellent lunch we walked around for a while but Kim was tired so we went back to the room where she slept and I read and later on the balcony that we shared with our next door neighbours we met Pete and Jane who proudly told us that they liked Lindos so much that this was their twentieth consecutive year of holidaying here. For someone who gets bored after three days I cannot even begin to imagine how dull that must be but it was useful for us because they were able to give us an address book full of dining recommendations as we chatted.
Later we took their advice and went to a restaurant called Kamariko which had a roof top terrace with a view of the Acropolis, a good menu and excellent food but an irritating Russian waiter who sat himself down uninvited at our table and insisted on talking to us for fifteen minutes or so. To compensate for this intrusion there were complimentary sweets and a free shot of grappa so we declared the first day in Lindos a great success, paid, left and went back for a final drink on the terrace.