Memories of Greece 1963, pt. 3

Rhodes was, and still is, a very pretty island, with wooded hills in the ‘interior’ and well-preserved old towns within ancient fortifications – including of course the two arms of Rhodos harbour where Colossus once bestrode the entrance. The three of us found a quiet corner on top of the city wall to make camp, conveniently situated for a water tap and even public toilets, a rarity in 1963; while below us the narrow streets were teeming with stall-holders and buyers of everything from local produce to car tyres, with fresh fish aplenty. Although it was of little use to us, with no means of cooking it!

A highlight of our visit was a bus-ride across the island which dropped us off at a valley called ‘Petaloudes’.

File:Butterfly Valley Rhodes Greece 05.jpg

Fifty years ago there was no walkway or well-worn path upstream, just a rough track with overhanging branches and rock-strewn pools and waterfalls – but the main attraction was the same: literally thousands of butterflies swarming in every direction. Imagine the silence, the deep shade, cool grottoes and colourful clouds passing by!

The day before we left the unaccustomed rich food (I can’t remember what) took its toll and I had an intestinal crisis 400 yards from ‘our’ public convenience – so I ran, without a word to my friends, full pelt around the city wall, giving no quarter to pedestrians or other hindrances until I arrived unbowed, just in time to avoid disaster! As you can imagine, the event became the stuff of college lore for many months after we returned.

But it was time to sail away again! Destination Crete, a jewel in the history of Greece and even hotter than the mainland or the Aegean islands.

… be continued

Author: janus

I'm back......and front - in sunny Sussex-by-the-sea

10 thoughts on “Memories of Greece 1963, pt. 3”

  1. Interesting stuff Janus. I seem to remember that you couldn’t put the toilet paper down the loo or was that somewhere else?

  2. JH, I vaguely recall that as a Greek problem I encountered later in life. But the toilets in 1963 were best not discussed – being of the squatting pan variety.

  3. Oak trees? Look like sessile oaks, did you note?
    The bogs being one of the things that always put me off!
    The boy’s tales of the Stan’s bogs were too too much to be believed! No loo paper, only smooth stones!!!!!!
    Great stuff, more please.

  4. I’m glad I waited until I had time to read these three articles properly!

    Like Christina, I prefer my travels to be a bit more comfortable. But your blogs have reminded me of the delight I felt when I wandered around all those places that I’d read about.

    Thanks. I’m looking forward to your post on Crete. 🙂

  5. Môre Jay

    I’m also enjoying ’em, Not commenting ’cause I’ve nowt to add, they don’t do rugby do they? 😉

  6. christinaosborne :

    Oak trees? Look like sessile oaks, did you note?

    Sorry, no, but the likeliest candidate in the region is the holm oak (quercus ilex), although you may be right with ‘quercus petraea’ – in rocky places. But isn’t the bark too smooth/not ridgy enough for an oak?

  7. Well it certainly looks like the oaks we used to have in Memphis. I noted oaks in hot climates had quite differing characteristics from our cooler climate species. Ditto some of the varieties of maritime oaks are hardly recognisable too.
    but have to admit I’m no great expert on trees just looked vaguely familiar.

  8. Nym, yes. Lindos has some spectacular ruins. In fact Rhodes is a bit like York – there are fine examples of the architecture of many periods down the ages. In Rhodes’ case dating back to the Persians through to the Phoenicians, Romans and Venetians.

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