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In Memory of Anthony Quinn

sunny 24 °C

Greece and the islands of the Aegean Sea have given birth to many myths and legends of war and adventure. And these once-proud stones, these ruined and shattered temples, bear witness to the civilization that flourished and then died here and to the demigods and heroes who inspired those legends on this sea and these islands... so goes the prologue to the epic war movie, The Guns of Navarone, starring David Niven and Mexican actor Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca. It was filmed in 1960 on the island of Rhodes in this absolutely idyllic bay...
The memory of swimming in these warm turquoise waters is something we will forever treasure. It is all the more memorable because this tiny bay is one of the biggest tourist attractions in all of the Greek islands and for much of the year its narrow beach is jammed beyond capacity. But, today we shared the crystalline sea with just three people and lay under the cerulean sky on loungers abandoned by the beach entrepreneurs who charged $30 or more during the summer's crush. And the name of this bay...
Yes – this bay was named by the mayor of Rhodes for Anthony Quinn, the Mexican film star, in recognition of his roles in both Navarone and Zorba the Greek...and it was great for the Island's tourism too. Another place that is great for tourism is the picturesque town of Lindos that rises above another turquoise bay on the southeast coast...
The whitewashed stone houses of Lindos are clustered around the foot of a castle mount topped by the ruins of an acropolis...
The rugged coastline of Rhodes is so dotted with the ruins that eventually we became ruined-out. However, the Acropolis of Lindos stands out in so many ways. Firstly, there was civilization on this rocky outcrop nearly six thousand years ago...
Six hundred years before Christ the tyrant Kleoboulos built a fortified temple here and as we read about the history while walking around this ancient fortress we were overawed by the knowledge that we were treading on stones that have felt the footfalls of millions throughout human history.
It is humbling to know that the original parts of these columns were here more than two thousand years ago...
...and that the names inscribed on this stone were to thank the 185 people who donated 4,000 drachmas to buy three gold wreaths for the statues of Athena, Zeus and Nike in the 3rd century BC...
The Byzantines, Ottomans, Turks, and Knights of St. John, all reinforced this fortress, and were eventually displaced...as were the Italians and Germans who occupied these islands during the Second World War. And that brings us back to the Guns of Navarone; an heroic Greek story – but something of a myth. There are myths a plenty on Rhodes. And then there are cats - everywhere...
We have just a few more days in Rhodes before we start our trek north to Athens so we are making the most of our time on the beaches and in the sea. However, with winter storms approaching the fishing boats have been dragged to higher ground...
and some of the resort owners have lashed down their furniture and rolled up their beaches...
The sun is still shining; the sea is still warm; the locals are still friendly. But we can take a hint.

Posted by Hawkson 10:27 Archived in Greece

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What a wonderful sojourn. You are actually swimming at this time of year. Bravo! The areas you have shown are so poignant. Had forgotten to think about Anthony Quinn. Thanks for the memories. Getting colder here at night. Some lovely sunny days.

by sue Fitzwilson

I can’t help worrying about all the cats! The beautiful ginger and white cat looks healthy but were the others in good shape? I will check with you when you’re back on Gabriola.

by Heather Pettit

Yes Heather, the numerous cats all look fine and islanders leave food for them everywhere. Every restaurant has at least a couple of pretty feline beggars who guilt us, and most customers, into handing over some scraps.

by Hawkson

Idyllic it certainly looks. Too parochial to see a similarity to Drumbeg? In the shape, though most certainly not, in the water temperature.

by Tom

1960!! I actually saw that movie when it first came out. Nice to see something else in your blog that's really old. Those columns are magnificent.

by R and B

A lovely bit of history and photos.
Safe travels to Athens
Christine x

by Christine Lloyd

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