The next day after breakfast we took the advice of our helpful neighbours and took the bus to Pefkas which turned out to be an unremarkable little place but as promised it did have a very nice beach. There were a few sun beds and umbrellas at €8 a time but also plenty of space left over for blanket people like us. The sea was nice and deeper than Lindos so swimming was better and if I had had room in my luggage for a snorkel I am certain there would have been plenty of fish to watch.
It was a nice spot with a cool breeze and the sound of gentle lapping waves but, as I have explained before, we are not really beach people and two hours is generally more than enough. We have never owned up to this to each other but I suspect we are both secretly hoping that the other one will be the first to say the magic words ‘shall we pack up then and go and have a drink?’ and certainly there has never really been any debate on this matter that I can ever remember. And so it was today and as boredom levels began to rise we packed up and strolled back to the bus stop stopping on the way in the centre for a Mythos.
Like most places on Rhodes, and indeed Lindos, there were some restaurants and tavernas and they all had unnecessary pictures of the food on display boards outside. I really don’t like that and I don’t see the point of it either. Surely most people know what a chicken kebab looks like and if they want to see a picture of a moussaka they can see that every week in Tesco or Morrissons? And what’s more the pictures don’t generally look like what you are likely to get anyway so I find it all a bit distasteful and common. But then again Rhodes is an airport island and there were quite a lot of football shirts and tattoo people wandering about and sadly they probably welcomed this sort of assistance with making dining selections.
The amount of tattoos on display here was incredible and almost as many women as men with decorated bodies proudly showing them off. Personally I cannot understand why anyone, unless they are a Maori, would want to disfigure themselves in this way but here on Rhodes it seemed as though they were almost in the majority.
We caught the ten past two bus back to Lindos and once back at the Chrysa Studios Kim declared it too hot to do anything except enjoy the air conditioned room so I sat on the terrace for a while and then worried that I might be missing something in the village went for a walk to find some streets that we might have overlooked so far.
As I walked around the corkscrew lanes and became confused in the maze of alleys I found myself at the beginning of the path to the Acropolis so although we were planning to visit tomorrow, just out of curiosity I walked to the top to see how much it was going to cost. It was quite a climb and the well worn path was slippery and precipitous but at least I had had a practice ahead of tomorrow.
On the next day we had slipped completely into routine and we did the same things over again. First we had breakfast on the terrace and because we had liked the beach at Pefkas in preference to Lindos we caught the bus there for a second time. Two hours on the beach, a drink at the same bar and the ten past two bus back to Lindos.
For the afternoon we did plan something different and the visit to the Acropolis. We had waited until Sunday because sometimes museums and archaeological sites are free on the Sabbath so we thought it was worth the wait until the last day in Lindos. When the time came to tackle the steps and the walk Kim declared herself too hot and tired and probably not all that bothered about seeing it anyway, so I had to go alone and when I got there was disappointed to find that you do have to pay on a Sunday after all.
The walk and the climb to the entrance to the site actually turned out to be the easy bit because once inside there was an energy sapping ascent up an endless steep stone staircase, like climbing into the sky with a sheer drop on each side to the entrance to the medieval fortress which was built by the Knights of Saint John in the fourteenth century to defend the island against the Ottoman Turks.
There were some good views from the top and I imagined myself as medieval knight on lookout duty staring out to the horizon looking for trouble. I walked first through the foundations and the towers of the castle and the Byzantine church and then to the very top and the ancient Acropolis itself, the Doric Temple of Athena Lindia, the Propylaea of the Sanctuary, a huge staircase and a Hellenistic Stoa and finally the remains of a Roman Temple. Although hundreds of people visit this place every day four o’clock on a Sunday afternoon turned out to be a very good time to go indeed because there were no more than a dozen or so people here right now so it was easy to walk around and admire the ruins undisturbed.
They are ruins of course but some of the buildings and columns have been restored and in the twentieth century there was a lot of archaeological and restoration work carried out by the Italians when they were in control here between the two world wars.
I used to think that reinterpretation and restoration was rather a shame but am now persuaded by Henry Miller who wrote of the the reconstruction and interpretation of theMinoan Palace at Knossos on Crete: “There has been much controversy about the aesthetics of Sir Arthur Evans’s work of restoration. I find myself unable to come to any conclusion about it; I accepted it as a fact. However Knossos may have looked in the past, however it may look in the future, this one which Evans has created is the only one I shall ever know. I am grateful to him for what he did…” Substitute Italians for Arthur Evans and he could easily have been talking about the Acropolis at Lindos.
Unfortunately some of the work they carried out wasn’t that good and as well as incorrectly reinterpreting some of the construction they also used poor quality materials and a lot of the reinforced concrete they used has begun to fail leading to even worse damage than they tried to rectify and most of this work is having to be done again at great cost under the supervision of the Greek Ministry of Culture.
It was still very hot and the walk had made me hungry and thirsty so I bought some pizza and beer and went back to the apartment where Kim was just about planning her shopping trip to the silver workshop having taken a couple of days to make up her mind which piece of jewellery she was going to buy.
In the evening we finally broke with routine and instead of Kamariko and the irritating waiter we found an alternative restaurant with a roof top terrace and we enjoyed a lazy meal in a cool breeze without waiter interruption and with free sweets and complimentary ouzo. This was our last night in Lindos, we had enjoyed it but we were ready to move on back to Rhodes town and over Metaxa on the balcony we reflected on our four days and made our plans for the next day.