Cyprus to Rhodes

My first Greek island ferry ride, booked via the internet by Poseidon Lines months prior.  When I got there they said there were no rooms available on the boat booked and that I had to go on the boat on the left in this photo.  Travel tip: if you make a reservation on the internet make sure that you get an assigned room number.  It was a pretty shabby replacement for the boat that I had been scheduled on - but while it was disturbing (especially the truck full of squealing pigs!) - in the end it all worked out for the best. 

Note that the boats back into the dock.  These boats had been there overnight and had set their anchors in the harbor. My confidence was also shaken a little by the fact that in this photo our boat and the one at the dock had their anchor lines crossed and it took about an hour for them to separate them and for us to get underway. 

Well just when you think everything is going down the have a chance encounter that leads you in unexpected directions.  Through a complete accident, I met Andre and Irma almost as we reached Rhodes.

Andre and Irma are a french speaking couple from Zurich, Switzerland.  Andre has a strong interest in archeology and knew Walter, the Earthwatch director for our dig in Cyprus. In fact, they had been in Alambra just after the expedition had ended, but were unable to find Walter or the dig site.  When Andre found out that I was a geologist he was very interested in learning more about the geology of Rhodes and had a pretty complete selection of geology and archeology books on both Cyprus and Greece in the trunk of his car. (they were in German).  They happened to be camping just outside of Rodos town and their car was filled to the brim with camping gear and books.  They were kind enough to go to the campground and come back and pick me up at the Internet cafe in town (p.s. it was a good one.  Some of then are pretty raucous places and think they have to have loud music playing.  Even though it was the Rock Style Internet Cafe, it was very low key, at least while I was there.) They returned with the news that they had found me a room, if it was acceptable, right at the campground.  Thus began the real adventure!  Upon the advice of the campground manager in an hour or so  we found ourselves at Fasouli Springs restaurant in village in the hills above the campground.

It was packed with local families and we had a wonderful meal at a price that was more than reasonable.  Here we have finished all the food and wine...(one red and one white was the order of the day) and have settled in under the big shade tree to have our Greek coffee (yes, I have broken my abstinence from coffee drinking).

We were not done yet...since Andre had read about a Byzantine countryside church that had frescos of some note.  Off we went...dirt roads to find a little church or two that populate the Greek island landscape. Here is a fresco from the first that Andre thought was quite good. We saw a more recent one in a monastery later in the trip on the same subject...the elevation or ascension or something like of those christian myths according to Andre.

After a good nights sleep we were learn as much as we could about the geology of the island AND visit countryside churches, monasteries, and archeological sites as we went.  There was a lot of limestone and Andre interpreted the details on them from the German geology book as we went.

We had to have lunch so we found this shady spot with a water fountain...probably for the goats in the surrounding hillsides, but it served our purposes well.

We also visited the Valley of Butterflies (sign), a tourist location that is called the "Valley of the Tour Buses" in some guidebooks.  We actually found it to be quite beautiful and once we sat down and observed for a while we began to see the "moths" that were supposed to be there but seemed absent. They were pretty well camouflaged except on some surfaces.

The next day we headed for the type section of the Archangelos Limestone, on the way to the summit church near the town of Archangelos we saw some lovely plants seemingly growing right out of the limestone.

We were treated to a wonderful views from the summit, this one looking towards Rodos and this one looking the opposite direction and toward the beach we were soon to be swimming on before lunch.

The first two ridges in the previous image are Archangelos Limestone and are the location for the beginning (left side) of the cross section (modified from Jacobshagen, Volker, 1986, Geologie von Griechenland)  shown here.

Here is a large, crude panorama (1.7mb) from the summit.
The other quest on this particular day was to find the ophiolites on the other end of the cross section which we finally did in the late afternoon.  The serpentinite made it easy to recognize.

Both the Archangelos and the ophiolitic rocks have been pushed (or thrust) over rocks that form the bottom of the geologic record that is observed on this island.  The geologic map of Rhodes from Jacobshagen, Volker, 1986, Geologie von Griechenland shows the location of the cross section above (xsec 1).

We did have to have lunch again and Andre and Irma ended up feeding a goat that came along and became brave enough to take bread right off the table and creating a lot of laughs!

We also tackled the bottom of the sequence, the limestone that underlies the beautiful but touristy Lindos shown in this photo. There is a restored (badly according to many sources) medieval fort on the hill above the city as well as a modern military battery and a garbage dump just behind the location from where this photo was taken.

That evening we returned to Fasouli Springs as we would every evening. From then on  end we would just let them know what we would like the next night, even if it was not on the menu.

The next day we tackled the Laerma unit (see cross section) and I found it to be interestingly like the greywacke/shale turbidites of Marin County sometimes relatively undisturbed but in other exposures very sheared. In this roadcut the repetitious graded bedding is well exposed.

In other portions of the same outcrop there was some incredible folding:

We also visited a monestary and I had to model this fashionable new look sweeping the highlands of Rhodes (note the hiking boots as a necessary accessory)

There were some other interesting things at this site, including a new version of the ascension fresco we had seen earlier...this one looking a bit like it being carried out by a spaceship transporter! Their wine was definitely NOT one of the interesting things here!

Outside there was this really cool black lizard (gecko?) on the top of the church.

On the way home that evening we stopped at a mountain village to pick up some things and met this storeowner with a US fighter jet and religious icons on the wall behind her.

We did find the cherty, bioturbated Ataviros/Lindos Limestones that we had been looking.  The Ataviros/Lindos Limestones are shown in the geologic map and in cross section.

On the final day Andre and I tackled getting across this inlet to look at the flysch sediments on the southern tip of the island at Prassonisi. We could walk almost all the way, but had to stand on our tippy toes or swim to get across the little channel that remains.  The map we were using showed the road coming down to the beach as crossing the spit!

Beach cliffs show fantastic turbidites, both undeformed and broken, some with a melange-like character. This photo shows significant foldingHere is a simply tilted sequence.  There is a well developed Bouma sequence in this particular turbidite!

There is also some spectacular jointing and weathering patterns within the joints of the massive upper layer of the turbidite.  These massive layers were quarried for walls in an archeological site at this location. (first example) (second example)

Some other sites and sights:

Knights way in old Rodos, kind of the financial district of the old town with much Italian rebuilding and some obvious Turkish, Ottoman influences that have been retained.

A maritime themed mosaic in the Rhodes archeological museum.

On to Koss on a slow boat (not like the one in this photo) the only way to travel!