Drive down the westcoast

Trip Start Mar 18, 2011
Trip End Apr 02, 2011

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Where I stayed
St Nikolas Hotel

Flag of Greece  , Dodecanese,
Saturday, March 26, 2011

Back in the car today for a liesurely drive south, down the west coast of the island.  It's becoming much more routine now to clear out of the city without too many wrong turns or wide-eyed glares from other motorists.

First stop was the Valley of the Butterflies, a place I visited in 1970 although memories are certainly faded.  Actually, the butterflies are moths, and they come between May and September.  I remember when I was here last (July), the pine-treed ravine was full of the insects that, at the time, reminded me of a Monarch butterfly.  Yet, today was a nice hike up the gorge alongside ancient fallen trees and a flowing creek.

Next we stopped at Kritinia Castle, one of 18 fortifications built by the Knights of St John to defend against the Turks.  (The Turks still won in 1522.)  Our final stop today was at another of those castles, Monolithos Castle, which also boasted sweeping panoramas.  What a trying life it must have been living in those inaccessible fortresses, perched on rock pedestals.  We had sandwiches we'd made out of our breakfast bread, cheese and ham before turning back for Old Town.  On the way, we stopped in the village of Monolithos to buy its famous honey (thyme honey and pine honey).....some heavenly-soft natural sponges for the tub tonight.....and a bottle of a drink distilled from leftover grape mash -- made under license only in Monolithos -- that can be over 80% alcohol (ours was a weak 52%).

We've done a good job seeing Rhodes.  Tomorrow we fly to Santorini via Athens.  The clocks move forward tonight plus the flight leaves at 6:50am so the alarm is set for 4:45am!  Ouch.
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