For those of you reading this blog for travel information about Rhodes or Lindos, I'm afraid my entry is more about a group of friends getting back together for a Greek wedding. It's been a fab week with plenty of laughter, sun galore and loads of catching up.
We were greeted by Rachael screaming and running across the carpark as we got off the ferry in Rhodes old town. I was so excited, I hadn't seen her in months and couldn't wait to see her get married. We were the first of our friends to arrive at the villa and me and Rach were itching for everybody else to arrive. It did mean that we got to pick the best room in the villa; and after 3 weeks in a tent it was bliss! Our room had two balconies, huge bed with a seaview room.
We only really got to scratch the surface of what Lindos had to offer because I'm afraid most of the week was spent chilling around the pool, chatting with friends, the odd drink or two and general wedding planning. I was dead chuffed that the girls were impressed with my tan when I got there, I was defo the most tanned bridesmaid (it'd only taken me 4 months to do). Everyone in our villa got to see what I have to contend with travelling with J for the last 4 months...they couldn't believe how much Jason does in a day. He can't keep still. While most people were relaxing and drinking, Jason had itchy feet and went out on numerous runs and swims at the beach. On one occasion he went for a run with Sam, a professional boxer who trains everyday at home...Sam arrived back from their run without J...I think he'd been put through his paces. I have to say that Jason's continued swimming practice is going well, in fact I'm now worried he's better than me. He's a much more confident sea swimmer than me... I get panicked by what's beneath me. Our villa was a short walk from Navrone Bay, a beautiful quite beach with turquoise water and perfect snorkeling & swimming for us. We tended to head down to this beach at some point in our day, making a change from our villa pool.
Lindos is really pretty. Whitewashed houses and narrow alleyways wind their way up to the acropolis that sits magnificently perched at the top of it all. Lots of tourists visit in the day and take a donkey ride up to the acropolis, but at night time it's really peaceful with pretty rooftop terrace restaurants to spend your evening. We went out a couple of times... I love Greek food! Mezze, feta, fish, souvlaki, salads, baklava, wine...delicious!
Amongst all this fun in the sun there was a hen and stag party to organise. The best man, Hilly, arranged a day of what most boys love best...football, beer and dressing the groom in a pink mankini & tutu. The girls had a toga party, cocktail making class, quiz night, Greek meal and dancing. We all donned our bed sheets and hit Lindos town...I don't think people knew what to make of us all. Me and Jason had spent the last couple of weeks writing a poem for me and Jenna to read out on the hen party about Rachael (there's a sneaky peak of this at the end). It was a brilliant night! Hope you enjoyed it Rachael?!
For the last two nights of our week we moved out of our villa and checked into Hotel Melenos, the wedding venue. It was just beautiful; a small boutique hotel that looked out over Lindos Bay, each room was slightly different, bubbly on arrival, fresh fruit in everybody's room,the most comfy mattress I've ever slept on and the view from our room terrace was amazing. Breakfast was an absolute feast; pastries, cereal, homemade cakes, eggs any way you liked, cooked meats, cheese and ham platter, fruits, yougurts, salads, you name it and they had it. We definitely made the most of our stay there.
The wedding day!!!!!!!!! It was a red hot day, described by locals as being unusual for October. The boys headed down to the beach for a refreshing morning dip in the sea that included being towed around in a rubber ring by a speedboat. The girls opted out and instead beautified themselves. It's always nice getting ready together the morning of a wedding; there was bubbly, tears, reminiscing...I loved it! Rach's sister, Charlottte, helped her into her dress and we were all gobsmacked...Rachael looked stunning! The perfect bride. With a deep breathe we left the hotel and negotiated our way down the cobbled alleyways, being careful not to drop the dress into the donkey poo and to shade Rach under the parasol. Loads of people wished her well and took photographs of us all wandering down the streets to Lindos square. We were all excited now!
The ceremony took place at a chapel by the side of a beautiful bay. I held onto Jenna for dear life as we were wearing heels and attempting to walk down a steep cobbled path to the aisle whilst being accompanied by a violinist. Terry's mum and Laura, bridesmaid, both read beautiful readings at the ceremony. But I have to say that the best readings were done by the bride and groom; their vows had been written themselves and they had totally summed up what they mean to each other. After the ceremony and photographs, most people were surprised by the champagne boat ride along the coast back to Lindos Bay (a few of us knew and had been keeping it a secret from the rest of the wedding party all week). Luckily our friend, James, survived the boat trip and his sea sickness medication worked! Unfortunately we didn't take our camera to the ceremony or boat ride, but Rach has let me put a few of the official wedding pics onto the blog so you can see.
Rach must have spent ages making all of the crafty DIY bits to decorate the wedding venue; there were glass vases, bunting on each persons chair, wooden alphabet favours, pearl beads, crafty table numbers, and much more. The venue looked gorgeous. We all sat down to a banquet meal; ouzo aperitif, mixed mezze plate, orange & parmesan salad, lamb chops and sorbet. Despite all the apprehension and worry, everybody's speech went down really well... I love a good speech! And we all danced the night away on the roof top terrace. An absolutely beautiful day!
The end of the wedding day meant one thing... goodbyes :-( Jenna and Rach always get emotional at goodbyes, whereas me and Laura take it in our stride and are the shoulders to cry on. I'm not sure when I'll see those girls next...but I know for sure that we'll be friends forever.
A Poem for Rachael Green
We are here to celebrate the wonderful Rachael Green.
Recently absent and little seen.
Our friend, we feel closer than ever
and staying in touch is never an endeavour.
Rach, you're our best friend, a friendship to treasure
and one which we know will last forever.
But enough of the soppiness and sentiment,
Let's talk about the hilarity and amusement.
6 physio girls, a house at Hallam University,
Many personalities but mostly without adversity.
That said, deadlines loomed and there would be tears,
But look now Rach, we all have careers.
To all of Eccy Road there was her skeleton in view,
And a hallway cluttered full of Rach's shoes too.
Sharing stories, clothes and house dinners,
Rach's fajitas were always winners.
Rach took the prize for messiest housemate,
Me, with my OCD, found it a little hard to relate.
Our mugs migrated to Rach's lair,
And over time they cultivated mould in there.
Rach is definitely a blond at heart,
Let's talk about my hen do for a start.
Onto her bag went some sparkling wine,
Unknown to us she'd thought "into the oven it'll be fine".
As the room filled with smoke,
We realised it was no joke.
Rach's bag had melted down,
And she still took the bag out on the town.
Uni had ended, but before we were parted,
Off on our trip to Thailand we departed.
Shock to the system, the chilli's were a trial,
But the charity work was totally worthwhile.
Time on the islands, buckets of Sangsom, glug glug,
I guess this is what gave Rachael Green the travel bug.
Twas not only drinking, but plenty of adventure too,
Like Rachael peeing on a python...good job it wasn't a number two.
Rach's demeanour changed, becoming extremely merry,
You can probably guess, this is when she'd met Terry.
A hunky lifeguard, Mr Wood,
A similar stature together they stood.
They had a lot...each other, a house, friends, but maybe there's more,
With all their stuff sold they were off to explore.
Mixed emotions, but stop her I would not,
For who shall help me now paint my next teapot.
Seeing the pictures, the stories, all of the places,
I'm chuffed that through it all you've got smiles on your faces.
You did the right thing, that is clear,
And it makes it all the more sweet to be with you here.
They've seen Everest, The Great Wall, pagodas and temples galore,
They've seen Uluru, Halong Bay, the Ganges, could there be much more?!
It's a mountain, it's special, it's Kinabalu,
It's only where they went and got engaged... Woohoo!
So here we are; Greens, Woods; friends and family of the two,
Guess it means a lot that so many are here for you.
That said, it's little hardship for us to be here in Greece,
We all want to wish you a lifetime of harmony and peace.