Rhodes town, Filerimos, Valley of Butterflies
|Agois Nikita||271m||196m||Rhodes, Crete|
This day was reserved for sightseeing, which meant no hikes to mountain tops. We started the day by driving into the town of Rhodes. That was NOT a pleasant experience, as there was lots of traffic and finding parking seemed virtually impossible. And this was on a Sunday morning! How did this place look like on a weekday?
After a loop out- and back into the town we were fortunate enough to find a place to park the car and we could head towards the old town and be just tourists. Which I hate, and Anne knows it. So we try to find solutions that will work for both. One being going to the church of St. Francis of Assisi – the highest point in town. We paid 5 Euros for the entrance, which included a free drink. At least I got some nice panorama pictures from the church tower. I reckoned we were approx. 57m above sea level (GPS: 42m + the usual 15m) but I’m not sure how the GPS reception was behind the thick walls.
We strolled through some of the city streets, passing beggars (women with small children in their lap). This is just a sad sight and we were not in the mood of seeing more of it. We continued to the bay and walked outside the town wall back to the car.
Trip statistics: 2,8km, 50 vertical meters.
Pictures from the walk:
Mt. Filerimos is located southwest of Rhodes town and there is a car road all the way to the Monastery on top. This being a sightseeing day and all, we chose to drive up. The first thing we saw, was many beautiful peafowls. None of them were flashing their beauty for the tourists and I made a mental note to later check what it takes…
We walked up to the monastery and nominated a point in the backyard as the high point. The map height is 267m. My GPS read 251m and if I add the usual 15m, I get 266m. Close enough. I am not sure why this is, as my GPS read 0m on the beach.
Then we walked over to the cross, which had been upgraded with lights – possibly because there is an airport below? Or perhaps they just think it looks cool at night. I don’t know. We decided to move on.
Trip statistics: 1,6km, 50 vertical meters.
Pictures from the visit:
Agios Nikita (271m)
First things first – Agios Nikita is the name I have given the unnamed mountain top located above the Diagoras airport at Paradisi, and the name comes from the monastery Ag. Nikita. So until I discover an official name, that’s what I call this mountain. Even Mr. Dimitris at firstname.lastname@example.org – who has been most helpful with mountain names – could not give me a name.
There is a paved road going to the radar station on top, and we decided to take it. We decided to walk the final 0,5km on foot, going up alongside the steep drop to the south and down via the road.
We never saw any monastery and we never got to touch the summit marker, which was behind a fence. It was 20 meters away, and at the same elevation as we were, and that’s good enough. I don’t climb fences on radar stations next to an international airport. That’s for sure. But it’s altogether very annoying. Summit markers should NOT be behind fences!
And now the moral dilemma, should I “log” the ascents of Nikita and Filerimos without having hiked at least 100 vertical meters? I am sure lots of peakbaggers have a strong opinion on this. I can understand the “lack of effort” argument, but we did travel all the way from Norway to Rhodes. That’s actually some effort, all things considered. And moreover, we’ve actually been up here now. Check!
Trip statistics: 1,3km, 50 vertical meters.
Pictures from the walk:
Valley of Butterflies
This was one of the “must see” places on Anne’s list of things to do on Rhodes. I was curious myself. We found the this valley on the road to Psinthos. The entrance fee was modest; 3 Euros per person. I wasn’t really sure what I a) would get to see and b) wanted to see. Time would tell…
There is a well worn path up the valley, with a nice creek running alongside. Information boards informed us that the amount of butterflies was on a negative curve and urged the tourists not shake the leaves on which the butterflies rested, keep their voices down and, in my words – behave as adult people in a vulnerable area. It’s so sad to see how many people behave like idiots. For starters, leave the trees alone! Yes, the butterflies will take off when you shake the leaves and yes, you’ve disturbed them. Was that what you came here for? Idiot!
People doing stupid things for a good picture, and other people yelling so loud that they could be heard far up and down the valley took some of the fun away from this hike. That aside, It was of course nice to see the butterflies. I’ve taken pictures of gorgeous butterflies before (much larger and more colorful than the ones I saw here), but I’ve never seen so many at the same time – in clusters on stems, on leaves and on rock walls.
We crossed the main road before starting the 2nd part of the walk. Which ended at a monastery by the road a bit higher up. The path from the entrance and up to the monastery was approx. 1,6km, offering approx. 170 vertical meters. We took the valley path back to the car road and followed the car road back to the entrance.
And then we declared our sightseeing day to be over and headed back to Lotharika between Lardos and Lindos. For the regular afternoon swim in the ocean, the regular dinner in one of the local restaurants and the regular Facebook updates…
Trip statistics: 3,5km, 170 vertical meters.
Pictures from the hike: