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February 2016 English Bridge 51

February 2016 English Bridge

www.ebu.co.uk

THE 2015 Autumn Overseas Congress was held in

Ixia a few miles along the west coast from Rhodes

City. Being English, the first subject on which to

report was the weather. With the exception of one

morning when it was cloudy with a few spots of

rain, it was perfect blue skies and a temperature of

25°C all day every day.

There were three well-attended organised

excursions. The first was Rhodes city where those

who hoped to see the Colossus of Rhodes were over

2000 years too late but an Old Town survives and

flourishes. Within the square mile are 200 unnamed

streets in addition to the famous Street of the

Knights with the Grand Master's Palace and

various Inns of the Order of St. John. Within the

Old Town are houses, hotels, churches, mosques,

shops and restaurants. Shopkeepers accepted credit

cards but because of the restrictions imposed by the

banks preferred cash, in return for a discount of up

to 10 percent.

The second was a full day trip to Symi, the nearest

island, whose harbour is said to be the most

beautiful in Greece.

Then there was the much-photographed ancient

city of Lindos. Some went on the organised trip,

others by car, bus or boat. From the main square, for

a few euros, a donkey will take you to the foot of

the Acropolis. The remainder of the climb over

slippery rocks is by Shanks Pony. There stands the

remains of the fourth century BC Temple of

Athena. The views of the countryside, the coast and

the white buildings of the city below make the effort

well worthwhile.

On a donkey, David Wing had a problem with his

stirrup and almost ended up on the ground. It could

be said that he was nearly dismounted on a Wing

and a prayer!

Those who used the bus services emanating from

Rhodes city, or hired a car, were able to visit

interesting sights such as the ancient ruins of

Kameiros, the Kallithea Springs in the area where

the Guns of Navarone was filmed and the Valley of

the Butterflies. No butterflies were to be seen

because they left in September but they will emerge

from caterpillars in the Spring.

The staff in the hotel were courteous and helpful.

Although meals were buffet style the quality was

superior to many previous Overseas Congresses.

Those not wishing to venture afar enjoyed high

quality hotel leisure facilities.

One extremely large bearded guest, who found a

snake in his room when the Congress was held in

Rhodes eight years ago, had more problems this

time. A collision between a full length mirror and a

television resulted in hundreds of pieces of glass.

The staff replaced the broken items within the hour.

With such good weather and so much to do it felt

like a holiday with bridge than a bridge holiday.

For once Peter Jordan, the Congress Manager, had

a relatively stress-free time as there were few serious

problems. The bridge started with the EBU Autumn

Simultaneous Pairs, followed by Championship

Pairs and finished with the Championship Teams

with plenty in between. It was directed by David

Jones, assisted by Neil Morley and both their wives.

Prize-giving and a Bridge Overseas reception

concluded a very successful Congress. r

Overseas Bridge

Overseas Bridge

2015 Overseas Bridge in Rhodesby Roy Garthwaite

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