IN Rhodes the sparkling blue sea makes me wonder.
Should I have champagne for breakfast?
The day was young but there I was at the morning buffet filling a flute glass with bubbles.
Was that right or wrong?
There’s no telling on this Greek island.
I’d never before sipped fizz with my eggs and toast.
The legend has it that Rhodes rose from the seabed creating the most beautiful haven surrounded by endless blue waters.
No wonder then that thousands of Brits flock to this most popular island in the Dodecanese in the Aegean Sea every year. It’s an exotic escape without having to leave Europe.
The rooftop restaurant at the 5-star Atrium Platinum at Ixia, just outside Rhodes town, on the northern tip of the island has floor to ceiling windows.
I sat down, leaned back and took 50 photos of the panorama.
I contemplated a top up of champers but I had tracks to make.
To the pools.
And there were plenty to choose from including the one on my balcony overlooking the sea.
It might be a dusty idea but I’d decided to spend the day in the hotel to enjoy the warm sunshine especially with it being April.
With 300 summer days available it was the perfect spot to spend some prime time in this spa resort complete with steam room, fresh water indoor pool and sauna.
A full day of blissful relaxation lay ahead.
I’d have a cocktail and calamari by the pool for lunch. And for dinner red wine in the bar. It was all planned.
Tomorrow I would begin my odyssey for a real taste of local life.
Away from the hotel there’s an old world of ruins to explore. The island has ancient roots that chart the dramatic history of the Mediterranean.
On an island with ancient roots that chart the dramatic history of the Mediterranean, there is an entire civilisation to explore.
Rhodes Old Town, which is Europe’s oldest inhabited medieval town, has been declared a World Heritage City by UNESCO.
The 14th century Grand Masters Palace is the big pull. It has two massive fairytale-like towers that dominate the skyline.
Now a museum, it has huge decorated rooms packed with treasures, antique furniture, sculptures, floor mosaics and artefacts of what life was like 700 years ago when it served as the residence during the period of the Knights of St John.
Nearby is the busy harbour that’s filled with glass-bottomed excursion boats that allow you to see the colourful tropical fish without getting your feet wet.
In the early evening, I went out for traditional food at Ergon, which also has a restaurant and deli in London. Dinner started with pitta bread and tzatziki and ended six dishes later washed down with Rouzo, which is pink lemonade, soda water and half a shot of Ouzo.
I had a couple more before heading off to night spot Phos for music and dancing.
The next day I went down the east coast, which has the best beaches, to the village of Lindos.
I walked the short zigzag cobbled track up to the acropolis.
It was bigger than I thought it’d be considering it was built more than two thousand years ago.
There are high columns, temples and monuments with a view to the restored stadium.
It was like travelling back to the beginnings of civilisation but at the top was that classic view of blue sea and white houses – fittingly the colours of the Greek national flag.
On the way down, I stopped for an ice cream and pottered around the souvenir shops and tavernas.
I stayed at the five-star Lindian Village where the welcome chilled lemonade was so good, I wanted to check in everyday.
I had a Meryl Streep moment like her character in Mamma Mia and flopped on to the four-poster bed.
The elegant accommodation blocks are laid out in an authentic style with the restaurants and a few shops around a main square.
This was another top spa hotel but this one came with a private beach.
And it’s also surrounded in history. This island is the home of the mythical sun god Helios and his one-time mighty statue Colossus – one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Unfortunately the handsome giant, whom stood at 150ft (47m), built around 280 BC, fell following an earthquake and over the centuries the bronze and marble rubble was sold off.
To this day, nobody knows where he stood. The island doesn’t distract tourists or cash in on this mystery.
Perhaps I could search for it. It’s not as if anybody could prove me wrong.
I considered this as I sipped my drink.
I’d check that out later though as right now I had serious work to do.
I starred out to the crystal clear sea.
The philosopher Plato said there is no harm in repeating a good thing so I think I’ll get that second glass of champagne.