H3A Trip to Kos 6 and 7 May 2014

Day 1

At 8.00 am on Tuesday 6h May 2014, 23 people assembled at Bodrum Cruise Port for the trip to Kos. Boarding passes, passports and visas in hand, the group boarded the catamaran which departed at 9.00 am. On disembarking in Kos Port, immigration formalities completed, the group was met by a smiling Ioannis Sakavaros who was our local professional guide for the trip. We boarded the bus and set off for Asklepion.

Asklepion

This ancient site is set high above the island of Kos and dates from about 400 BC. With spectacular views out over the sea dividing Kos (Europe) from Bodrum (Asia Minor) 4 km away, it is easy to imagine it in the days when this stretch of sea was a major sailing route for trade and travel.  Asklepion was a place of worship and healing with three carefully controlled spaces or terraces conducive to healing. For more information, see www.kos-greece.net/asklepion

Bodrum Peninsula from Asklepion

Bodrum Peninsula from Asklepion

Ioannis explains Asklepion

Ioannis explains Asklepion

The first level in Asklepion

The first level in Asklepion

The steps in Asklepion

The steps in Asklepion

Zia

The pretty village of Zia 16 km south west of Kos town on the slopes of Mount Dikaios was our next stop, with Ioannis pointing out many of the interesting features of Kos as we drove there.  Some people explored the shops in the village main street while others made the short climb up to the small church of Zia with Ioannis. The priest was there to greet us and Ioannis took us inside the church to show us the beautiful icons, cupola and wooden seats and to explain the history and features of this Greek Orthodox church.

Panorama from Oromedon Taverna

Panorama from Oromedon Taverna

Mount Dikaois from Zia Church

Mount Dikaois from Zia Church

Lunch in Oromedon Taverna

Lunch in Oromedon Taverna

Nikos of the Oromedon Taverna was there to greet us for lunch, which we ate sitting outside admiring the same view out over the sea and the islands of Pserimos, Kalymnos and Nisyros. The only complaint people had was that there was too much lovely food put in front of them.  For contact information for this famous taverna (so famous that people such as George Papandreou and Bill Clinton have eaten there) see www.oromedon.com

Several people expressed an interest in shopping in LiDL on our way back into Kos town and it was a good thing that our hotel – the Hotel Astron, see www.astron-hotel-kos.com – has minibars in all the rooms! The hotel is located on the harbour, close to the ferry port, shops and restaurants. After checking in, people had the chance to relax for a couple of hours or go out for a stroll in the sunshine.

The Hotel Astron

The Hotel Astron

Outside Hotel Astron (1)

Outside Hotel Astron (1)

Outside Hotel Astron (2)

Outside Hotel Astron (2)

Panorama from Oromedon Taverna

Panorama from Oromedon Taverna

That evening dinner for the group was arranged at Nick the Fisherman’s restaurant around the corner from the hotel (tel +30 2242 023098). The same complaint – too much delicious food!  A surprise champagne toast for a wedding anniversary finished off the meal perfectly.

Dinner in Nick the Fisherman's Restaurant (1)

Dinner in Nick the Fisherman’s Restaurant (1)

Dinner in Nick the Fisherman's Restaurant (2)

Dinner in Nick the Fisherman’s Restaurant (2)

Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary

Day 2

At 10.00 am after breakfast, Ioannis arrived to take us on a walking tour of Kos Town.  Some people opted to explore the shops a bit more and others took the easier option of one of the two sight-seeing trains in the town.

On the walking tour, we visited the Tree of Hippocrates, the castle (built by The Knights of the Order of St John after they captured the island in 1314), and Liberty Square. As we walked, Ioannis was constantly pointing out interesting buildings (such as the courthouse, the mosques and the library) and giving us a detailed insight into the history of the town.

At 12.30 the walk ended with some very welcome refreshments at a cafeteria on Liberty Square. We said our goodbyes to Ioannis (making sure we took plenty of his business cards with us). For more information about the tours Ioannis provides, see www.kosprivatetours.com.

People were then free to do what they wanted – shop, explore more ancient sites, eat lunch in any of the many restaurants – until 16.00. Then it was time to make our way back to the ferry port for the return journey to Bodrum, arriving back in Bodrum Cruise Port at 18.00, tired but very happy after our two days away.

Text by Helen Franklin.  Translation by Vivian Kohen.  Photos by Teo Sumer, Helen Franklin, Claire Miles and Bilgi Engineri

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