Sitting in an open Land Rover, the New York lawyer in front of me surveys the scene. Thirty feet away, three lions are gorging on a warthog. Jackals and hyenas skulk among nearby trees. Vultures circle overhead. “I didn’t need to come to Africa for this,” he says brusquely. “It’s like a regular day at the office.”
Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.
At the restaurant, a woman in our group asks to be seated in the no-smoking section. The proprietor points to a chair nailed to the ceiling. Welcome to Cairo, where everything is just a little twisted. When you visit Egypt’s capital and Africa’s largest city, you soon realize that you are not in Kansas anymore — not by a long shot. Cairo is a shrug, a wink, a tongue in the cheek. This city of 16 million gets right up in your face — but always with a benevolent if desert-dry sense of humor.