Symi symphony

‘Oooh! Hope the crossing’s not rough when you go,’ said a member of the reception staff. ‘My mother goes often and she always worries about the sea being rough. If you’re worried take sea sickness pills,’ he advised.

Husband and I dismissed his worries. Even on the days when the sea looked slightly choppy it was nothing we hadn’t experience hundreds and more times in Scotland. Besides we had sailed across the North Sea on many occasions, even during storms, so we though we could manage a two hour sail to the island of Symi, north west of Rhodes.

Read more about the wonderful island of Symi at Symi symphony

When Knights strode the streets

I expected old buildings conserved as museums or belonging to government departments or architectural firms, quiet, rather staid, keep off the grass and don’t touch the furnishings. I should have known better for, athough that’s the ethos in buildings belonging to Historic Scotland, Edinburgh’s old town certainly isn’t like that.

Staid certainly isn’t what met us as we walked through d’Amboise Gate into the old city of Rhodes whose walls are a legacy to the Knights Hospitallers of St John who bought the island in 1306, replacing much of the Byzantine walls but keeping the foundations.

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Expression in the eyes

Today, the thirteenth of November, Edinburgh celebrates Robert Louis Stevenson Day, thought the birthday commemoration has in fact spawned a week of events from the ninth to the fifteenth – http://www.cityofliterature.com/rlsday-2015/events/

Robert Louis Stevenson, born in Edinburgh on 13th November 1850, is, according to Amazon ranked the twenty fifth most translated author in the world. Stevenson was an essayist, poet, travel writer and novelist, his best-known works being Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, as well as his children’s poetry collection A Child’s Garden of Verses.

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Extra for life vests

One third of the 1000 Syrian refugees to be relocated in the UK before Christmas will be coming to Scotland, with the new arrivals shared across half the country’s local council areas. A Scottish government minister has said Scotland’s response to the humanitarian crisis has been phenomenal, with everyone working hard to ensure a warm welcome to those who come here seeking protection, safety and security.

Scotland’s first refugees will be settled on the Isle of Bute, a small island in the Firth of Clyde on Scotland’s west coast. Over the next five years the UK government has pledged to take in up to 20,000 refugees.

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A multi-faceted historical mosaic

It was dark when we arrived, and as our bus whisked us from airport to hotel all we saw were the lit windows of shops and their tarpaulin-covered extensions where racks and rails of colourful goods ranged across pavements like chess pieces on a board.

The first real taste of our holiday came when after our meal we wandered outside to explore the hotel grounds. As we stepped through the automatic doors, warmth hit us, as did the sounds from the outdoor entertainment area with its stage and bar, people wearing short-sleeved t-shirts or floaty dresses and flip-flops relaxing in chairs.

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