Whenever we go anywhere different, I always like to get a souvenir; a little memento of our trip. It doesn’t have to be anything big or expensive and in fact, most of the time, it’s just a postcard of the place. I stick these in a journal / scrapbook with a few notes reflecting my thoughts of the place.
Yes, we have this blog now and I have my photos but I can’t bring myself to completely abandon the paper and pen method – my scrapbook is tangible. It feels real.
Anyway, there were so many souvenir opportunities during our recent day trip from Fethiye to the Greek island of Rhodes, I completely forgot to buy a postcard (very annoying!) but we did come back with some other goodies.
Walk around Rhodes Old Town and you won’t get too far before you see shops selling handmade, leather sandals. These are traditional Rhodes shoes and, unlike a lot of tacky souvenirs you see in tourist areas, these shoes are actually quite attractive (if you like that kind of thing) and practical.
We needed new shoes for a wedding we were going to a few days later so we ventured into one of these shops.
‘My twin brother and I make all these shoes ourselves. Ours are the best on the island,’ said the shop owner. Of course they’re the best on the island – as are the shoes in the other shops that look exactly the same as your shoes. But hey, we were in a good mood. Let’s go along with this.
We tried a couple of pairs on each while the shop owner told us all about his shoes. These shoes will last us at least ten years. We’ve got to rub vaseline into them on a regular basis to soften the leather. They take a while to wear in but it’ll be worth it. Shop owner’s current pair of sandals are 8 years old and he doesn’t want to let them go. They’re so comfortable. His son wears the style Barry is trying on. He’s had his years, too.
While we were being fed all this information about these magic sandals, I glanced down at the shop owner’s feet. Reebok trainers! His son then appeared and the shop owner introduced us to him – he was also wearing Reebok trainers. ‘Oh, the weather isn’t warm enough yet to wear our sandals,’ they laughed.
‘Right,’ we laughed back. And we bought some anyway. 15 Euros for a pair of leather sandals isn’t bad and they match the dress I was wearing for the wedding. We’ll get back to you in ten years and let you know if we’ve still got our sandals!
We didn’t buy a belt or a leather handbag but they were all there, filling the shop with that lovely leather smell.
In another shop, we bought an oil painting done on canvas; a painting of an area just south of Lindos. We can’t tell you the price of that because it was a wedding present and they sometimes read this blog so they might see it.
There are loads of shops selling these oil paintings – all the same price and all very affordable. You know us – life on a budget.
We arrived back in Fethiye at the end of the day armed with two pairs of Greek leather sandals, an oil painting and of course, the usual duty free goodies that make you very popular with your friends.