09.07.2015 - 10.07.2015 36 °C
9 july. Drive from delphi to Piraeus. Slightly nervous about driving through Athens. By repute it's a dogs breakfast of a place for traffic, accidents and pollution. As it turns out the Yeti does a great job of getting me to the Hertz office and on the premise of "when in Rome", I double park outside the office (throwing off those North European shackles now) and drop the little Seat off without a hitch.
It's 36 degrees, which is not a problem, but the humidity is through the roof and I'm leaking from every pore as I start the "it's a five minute walk to the Blue Star Ferry office" - Mr Hertz - which takes me 40 minutes. Pick up my tickets and then find (courtesy of Trip advisor) the nearest decent restaurant (Rakadiko STOA Kouvelou). Actually it's better than decent, the food is freshly cooked, the service is really friendly and welcoming and it's in a lovely setting in an old arcade.
The lady at the ferry office told me it would be a 15 minute walk to get to the ferry terminal. Based on this I got a taxi and I estimate that if I had walked, it would have taken me an hour but actually I would expired before I got there.
Boarded the ship with plenty of time before departure. I am in a two berth cabin for the 17 hour crossing to Rhodes but as luck would have it, no-one else turns up so I get the cabin to myself.
The ferry calls in at three other islands en route which, given that every announcement of arrival, departure, restaurant opening and closing and just whenever the idiot on the tannoy is bored, are all played at full volume into the cabin, means that opportunity for any prolonged sleep is limited.
However after my experience on the Gypo cruise, I am grateful for a refuge from my fellow passengers (who I'm sure are perfectly fine people).
Fantastic sunset en route and there seems to be a never ending array of little islands appearing in the Aegean - some we sail by, some we call at.
10 July. Arrive into Rhodes Town (which is very attractive from the water) just about on time and take a taxi to my hotel (Nathalie) in Ixia - about a 20 minute taxi ride/30 minute bus ride out of Rhodes Town. When I was booking this I wanted a place with a pool in or as near to Rhodes Town as possible. My first choices were prohibitively expensive so this was a bit of a compromise. Actually the hotel was fine even though I was slightly apprehensive on arrival when I saw the noticeboards in the lobby with Package Tour company names all over them. I had visions of pasty faced English families complaining about the food and no-one speaking English etc etc. in fact the clientele was a mix of nationalities with an absence of package tour dickheads.