As the mercury flirted with 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity approached 100 percent during our July visit to Hanoi, we strolled past the long, snaking line of domestic tourists waiting to view Ho Chi Minh’s embalmed body in his tomb. Instead, we bypassed his former palace and explored the stilt house where he used to live. Just as the heat was about to knock us down for the count, we found a place selling coconut popsicles, served by a man behind a napkin dispenser that proclaimed, “Work is glory. Happiness to everybody.”
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.
If location is everything, then Lausanne has it all. The Romans noted this crossing point between the Mediterranean and the Rhine in the first century B.C., establishing a trading colony. In the Middle Ages, Lausanne’s cathedral was an important pilgrimage stop on the Way of St. James.