Rhodes Island is a land of contrasts. The main town is an ancient walled town containing beautiful buildings, cobbled roads and lots of tiny alleyways which lead to unexpected delights. Nearby are congested beaches full of tat and holidaymakers misbehaving themselves. Down south is Lindos, with its ancient ruins and winding alleyways between white buildings clinging to a hillside and looking as though they will commence a slide down if pushed a little too hard. Some of the touristy villages and towns rival some of the worst and others are a delight. In the mountains we found a hotel built by Italians in chalet style and local tavernas with some of the best country food that I have ever tasted. There have been the Shirley Valentine moments in restaurants full of Brits with great people watching opportunities. However, by far the most bizarre thing that we came across was on an early morning walk behind the row of random hotels which line the beach-front of Falaraki.
There was no warning as we climbed the hill to look at a small chapel which perched on a viewpoint overlooking the bay. After admiring the frescos we meandered further along the path and then a cartoon picture of a tiger appeared pointing to the right. Down the steps and Mr. Tiger awaited us with two friends. Glad to be on the outside of his cage were numerous goats, llama, peacocks and, of course, lots of horseflies. At first I was distressed by the sight of these magnificent creatures imprisoned in such circumstances however they apparently are housed here under the direction of the government as part of a breeding programme. My husband did say that he thought the goats may be dinner for the big cats but I prefer to think of them as providers of cheese and milk.
Travelling off of the main tourist route did lead us to unexpected sights on this occasion.