We sailed into Rhodes after yoga and breakfast, feeling ever-so-slightly minute against the huge cruise ships spewing their passengers into the blue harbour, locals rushing to meet them with outstretched hands laden with goodies to sell.
We were swallowed up in the mass as we stepped off the boat. Through the castle walls we went, still rocking back and forth with the motions of the waves.
Eventually; Ben, Nik, Ramona and I ducked away from the crowds and found ourselves in the back streets. Here it was cooler, the back of the buildings significantly older than those facing the central tourist hub. Here they were crumbling and paint stained with wood cracked by the heat of the day.
Eventually, our feet had taken us far enough and it was time for a snack. We stopped at a little place called Nimmos for some Moussaka and ice cream. Just the break we needed to refresh and rehydrate.
When we felt a little better, we carried on walking through the beautiful streets. Nothing but cats patrolled them, with the occasional moped zooming down, bouncing off the polished cobbles as it went.
Stepping back into the streets, we were overwhelmed by people calling out to us to ‘come for a drink’ the heat of the unshaded walkways sizzled our skin and people squeezed past looking left and right for refreshments. We made it back to the boat, the safety of which we had come to rely on. It felt like home and that was our sanctuary.
Before long, we were all gathered at the boat ready for the next part of our adventure. The only traditional Turkish Hammam on the island had randomly decided to close that day, so Ali and Cindy managed to talk their way into a hotel spa for us. Ben and I last tried a Hammam in Marrakech, so we were looking forward to seeing how a Turkish Hammam would differ.
But obviously not before the boys stomachs were filled.
Ipiros did the trick. The Gentleman was happy as soon as he saw the chickens lined up in the rotisserie. The food spoke for itself. I had pork belly which was deliciously salty and rich meat filled with juices and spices. My mouth is even watering again as I type!
It wasn’t the best idea to eat a stomach-groaningly good meal just before we all popped back into our swimsuits for the Hammam. The Hammam in Morocco had been private, this one was communal – a beautiful tiled room with a huge slab of marble in the middle that was heated. Marble beds surrounded the sides along with rose gold pales for the water to collect in. It really was an Instagram lovers’ dream that I didn’t capture. Ali ran us through the process and we were each handed our soap bars and scrubbing gloves to get started.
We split into our pairs and each helped scrub the other, until the dead skin had been washed away and we were feeling like newly polished china. We had tried to book for massages afterwards, but they were full that afternoon so we squeezed back into our dry clothes and back out into the heat of the day to enjoy the last of the sun with a drink in hand in the harbour.
That evening we went, as a group, to a local Greek bar and drank cocktails. Reminiscing on the incredible trip that we had all shared and the memories that we would take away.