February 2016 English Bridge 51
February 2016 English Bridge
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
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
2015 Overseas Bridge in Rhodesby Roy Garthwaite