Kos, Rhodes and Symi as you've never seen them before

Rodhes, Greece, Lookout flowery
Rhodes waterfront. Small flowery lookout

Since I became passionate about photography and combined the love of travel and the camera, my way of seeing things has totally changed.
Although I have been here a while ago it seems to me that I have never seen this place.
Walking for miles, turning around, waiting, getting lost, talking to people, have made these ten days truly incredible.
Not to mention that many times people are in front of the camera, seeing you busy with the tripod and, perhaps thinking of being in front of a professional photographer (which I am not)
But it's fun to laugh, to joke maybe find some people in the middle of a photo.
They are always memories of life.


Sunrise in Kos
Sunrise in Kos

When I booked the flight to Kos and it was time to choose the hotel, I preferred without doubt one on the beach. I was not as lucky as the last time to have a sea view but, a few minutes, I could put the alarm, go down on the beach and take some pictures of the sunrise over the sea.
The third day, or rather the third morning, the show that presented itself before me was unique (photo above).
Peace, unique colors and silence.
Very few people around (there was only one girl on the beach with her little dog who ran away as soon as I invaded her area of quiet and privacy).

It can happen to see and photograph something that attracts your attention but which is no longer there a few hours later.
It is the case of this burned shack at the port of Kos that I photographed passing by those parts but, on the day of my departure for Rhodes, it had come under the rubble and the strength of the Greek bulldozers.
I don't know where this chair I borrowed will be. Maybe someone will be sitting on it or maybe it will be there alone listening to the sound of the sea waves.

There is one thing that I have learned by reading photography books written by professional photographers, and it is the one that needs a lot of walking, knowing how to wait, observe and look around.
The day I went up to 'Asclepeion, a temple site dedicated to Asclepius, god of medicine, I preferred to walk for kilometers rather than using tour buses or colored little trains.
And the surprises didn't miss, despite the scorching heat.

The title of the article promises to show you unusual photos of three Greek islands so I avoided as many as possible the many monuments that I saw walking  up to the Asclepeion.
Anyway. First photo: Close up of one of the many cats in which the Greek islands are populated. This, however, unlike others, could live on an ancient road built inside an archaeological site. An honor for a cat, I think!
Second photo: at the beginning of the climb, after the last village before the Asclepeion, there is a shop selling ceramic objects.
in the parking lot this old Ford is arranged with different "flower pots" created inside pants (there are others that I have not included in the album)
Third photo: a monument I had to put it. A part of the Asclepeion archaeological site seen from above.
Fourth and last photo: a rather special meeting. While coming back from the Asclepeion, I saw a very old car in a fenced field, so I tried to enter to take a photo.
Unfortunately there was a gate and a dog approached slowly.
I was a little scared to see him but, I think he was just a little thirsty for the heat.

...and when evening comes, Kos is colored lights that reflects the sea and makes it even more beautiful.

I know. I tend to take lots of photos of the sea. But do you know perhaps something more beautiful? Anyway. First photo: water reflections right in front of the hotel where I was staying. One of the many restaurants has had the good idea of creating this space on the beach to make guest dinners more romantic. Second photo: church of Agia Paraskevi in the center of Kos. Although this facade is in very good condition, the rear one is all cracked and sagging. A pity not being able to enter for a visit! Third photo: A fisherman on the tourist pier. There are some there. Fourth photo: The road leading to the main port. The color of the sky obscures everything else.


The initial program included a visit of only two days here in Rhodes but, arriving at the airport, I decided to change flight to stay another 4 extra days.
I admit. Traveling as a photographer makes everything much more beautiful and fun. Many more friendships are made, new encounters and the days are fuller.
And anyway the best photos were taken in these four days, in my opinion.

How can I say: the vacation you don't expect.
3.20 am hours approx. I hear noises in the street and open the window from the balcony of the 6th floor. The roof of the old windmill has caught fire!
I have a lot of fear because there is wind and from the 6th floor it is not easy to get off but the firemen seem very prepared.
We came up with the idea that Greece is a beautiful country, full of hospitable and cheerful people but perhaps not prepared for these eventualities.
The photo (third) is not very clear but look how the fireman comes out of the roof and with the hydrant sprays the water towards the burning roof!
And the first photo shows well how the under-roof was scorching and in flames! Despite this, these brave men, breaking glass and the wood of the roofs, made their way to the top.
A little less to me, that with a little more courage I could have gone down the street to take better pictures.

A little beach at last? No not yet! After six days and 15 kilometers of walking, I only saw the sea through the lens of my Canon and Relax still doesn't talk about it.
I walk and walk again and this time I get lost in the countryside along the coast.
But I promised you in the title that you would see Rhodes like never before, right?

Passed through the (almost) pristine countryside a stretch of divine beach has begun but the encounters made in these kilometers under the scorching sun have been extravagant.
Meanwhile, the Lizard, (third photo) who with his mutant colors hid on a wall near the road. But in the end, here it is!
The butterfly, (second photo) as I chased it through the dust and the still high wheat field, until it decided to settle for a moment.
The first photo instead is a wonderful orange Volkswagen van, perhaps abandoned not far from a couple of houses a few steps from the sea.

Man driving motorbike in Rhodes, Greece

It was more or less when I crossed this cute gentleman on this little bike that I managed to lie down for the first time on the beach for a while after a few days. Along the west coast where tourism is less urgent and in some places you can have dozens and dozens of meters of beach all to yourself. Even a little natural shade of course.

Kite surfing in Rhodes, Greece

The same applies to those who "surf". There are kitesurfing schools in these parts, as there is no agglomeration of tourist ships in the center of Rhodes, which has all the space one wants.
And finally I too can relax a few minutes...

Sea, sea and more sea. After this day, Symi aside, my days were like a true "tourist", trying to observe the sea, the beach and everything I had lost in the first two days, with a different eye.

sea wave during sunset, it breaks against a small pier in Rhodes in Greece

This is one of the most exciting images of the second part of my photographic journey: on the west side of Rhodes, the wind and the waves are decidedly stronger compared to the small beaches of the historical center or to those adhering to it. The same goes for sunrise and sunset. If you want to see the sunrise over the sea you have to go to the old town or to the beaches to the east, to see the sunset in the west.
Obviously the first two days I was in a hotel in the center, while the last four, here on the west side.
The wind and the colors of the sunset are unique!
No doubt!

I can't figure out how much time I spent on the beach waiting for someone to jump off the highest springboard (photo two and four).
  The children are fearless but others remain for tens of minutes waiting ... and I with them to take a picture of someone jumping into the sea

It must be said that Rhodes also has a beautiful historic center, with really interesting glimpses that not everyone may notice ...
I hope to show you something new, even if you have already seen hundreds of photos of this charming island in its charming city center. Before moving to Symi and, with a little sadness, to the last sunsets before leaving for home...

One of the most attractive streets in Rhodes is the one that leads up to the castle. At night it is illuminated by many lights that you can see at the top right of the wall

Well! First two photos: views of the historic center of Rhodes on a beautiful sunny day. Watch out for scooters. Many people pass quickly paying little attention to those who walk. And in summer, almost everyone walks!
Third photo: a mythical character of the island. The Raven. Early in the morning when I left for some excursion, I found this nice bird busy eating from waste bins, while during the day, you can admire it on some light cables. With the seagulls he shares the island's airspace.
Airliners permitting.
Fourth photo: The lighthouse with the inevitable Greek flag. From the marina you can't miss it. It is one of the symbols of the city.

...and so the evening also fell in Rhodes... Needless to say that between sunset, the multitude of lights is not lacking.
However, first photo: the  beach in front of my hotel. I tried to use the lights of the road to leave shutter speeds longer and see how the photos of the evening sea waves came. Experiments.
Second photo: one of the many colorful and illuminated restaurants in the historic center. Impossible not to notice it at night!
Third photo: a small colored street in the center. Here is the importance of walking a lot and looking for every corner of the places we visit.
Last photo: detail of the Church of the Annunciation, near the port of Mandraki.
Passing outside in the evening, you can see this strange effect through the iron gratings that serve to protect the "mausoleum" inside.


Symi is a small island or an hour or so of sailing from Rhodes. Its architecture is very special and, for this reason, it is "invaded" by tourists during the high season. As you can see from the photos it is also the island of the stairs, in fact, every small stairway leads from the lower part of the village to the houses located higher up.
In winter, of course, the island empties completely and, as some inhabitants told me, only 300 remain here!
An indescribable quiet, I imagine...

Among the many boats that leave the harbor of Rhodes, you can choose between two different ports on which to land in Symi: that the village where I posted the photo above or the one of the Monastery of the Archangel Michael at Panormitis, where often you can do a bathroom and go back.
Here, to tell the truth, there is not much, if not the Monastery, a few houses, a small beach, a bar and, exploring well, a very small artisan shop hidden behind two flights of white stairs where few tourists seek refuge shade.
But, if like me, you don't want to miss every corner of the island, you can also choose the mini tours that touch both the colorful village and the monastery.
At least you can sit for a while listening to the silence and enjoy the warm calm of this divine place.

All the desolation and charm of the Dodecanese in this photo. Tourists behind me. Who inside the Monastery, who sat at bar tables to eat ice cream to drink something fresh.
With the free field I have taken the opportunity to bring out my wide angle and immortalize this part of the harbor, with a view of the barren and dry hills.
A single boat in the small pier and an empty but perfectly preserved bench.
This is also Greece: Beautiful and perfect in its seemingly desolate corners, ready to fill up with tourists in an instant.

Well. Five photos of this little-known corner of the world.
First photo: a nice detail. sub sandals for swimming in the sea. In the Dodecanese many beaches are rocky and for this reason many prefer to enter the water with this type of "protection" rather than barefoot. No need to know how many people live in a house. Just count the number of shoes outside the door to dry in the sun.
Photo two: a detail of the bell tower of the Monastery of Panormitis. Colors, colors and colors.
Photo three: the small white ladder I mentioned above. If you follow it you will come to a mini square where a few people are seated and there is also a small craft workshop.
Fourth photo: the king of the Mediterranean skies. Gentlemen and ladies, the seagull! With my 75-300 mm telezoom, it's the best I could do. But you see all its beauty I believe.
Last photo: The mill that houses the ships at the entrance to the port. Behind it all the roughness of the Symi hills.

and finally...

I tried to reduce as much as possible the infinity of photos I took in these ten days because, you know, when you are traveling, you tend to get caught up in the excitement of photographing everything but then, when you come back home you make yourself account of the errors and repetitiveness of many photos.
Moreover, to some people who stood in front of the camera to play and joke to whom I took good pictures, I did not ask for authorization for publication.
In any case, there is a photo that excited me a lot.
The last with which I will close this article. The last one I made from the 6th floor of the hotel waiting for the cruise ship to pass under the fiery sun.

PS: if you are expert photographers, any comments or judgments are welcome (even negative of course!)

cruise ship passes under the sun at Rhodes in Greece
The last photo from the 6th floor of the hotel, waiting for the cruise ship to pass under the sun

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