Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Seven Days in Greece - part 3

Mr JK and I decided to spend a day away from the beach and took the bus into Kos town. As soon as you step off the bus, you enter the busy main town square. All around the square are cafes, full of  locals drinking coffee. There's an old mosque in the square as well as a market selling fruit, vegetables, honey, herbs and spices. We bought some spices to add to beef to make a stifado, and some seasoning for Greek fried potatoes. Mr JK is cooking a Greek meal this Sunday ........ mmmmmmmmmm!
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Next to the square is a beautiful Greek Orthodox church. It was open, so we did go inside for a peep, but felt a little like we were intruding. The walls and ceilings are decorated with the most lovely paintings.
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On the walls outside the church are some magnificent mosaics of icons.
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We stood by the plane tree under which Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is supposed to have sat teaching his students medicine.
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Kos town is a port, and standing at the entrance to the harbour are the remains of an old fortress. The castle of Neratzia was built by the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, who captured the island in 1314. For only three Euros, you can wander  around the ruins pretty much at will, and imagine what an imposing and powerful position it must have had all those years ago.
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Some of the towers are still standing, and the whole place is littered with bits of broken pillars and columns. We saw archaeologists shifting barrow loads of ancient bits and pieces, presumably for sorting and classifying. It certainly is a massive jigsaw.
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It amazes me how you are allowed to clamber over all these ancient ruins. If they were in the UK, they'd all be barricaded off with fences, and 'do not touch' signs everywhere.
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We then wandered around the Agora. This ancient market place was only discovered following a severe earthquake in 1933 that destroyed much of Kos town. Again we were free to wander where we liked. We could have walked on the mosaics, but it didn't feel right to us!
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Here you can see a close up of part of this mosaic floor. It looks like a little duck to me.
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There are some extremely photogenic streets in Kos town. I think that this one is just picture-postcard-worthy, don't you?!
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This street led down to the harbour, where we admired all the boats. Some were offering trips to Turkey, less than an hour away, whilst others were going off on round island trips.
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On the way back to the bus stop, I spotted this Greek lady sitting in the shade, knitting! Wonderful stuff!
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Kathy said...

Oh how lovely to see sunshine and blue skies on a dark, dreary November night!

Mary Ann said...

With the extreme blue of the sky and the white buildings it looks so bright...I could do with some of that right now....LOL

Stadtwaldvogel said...

That must have been a wonderful holiday, Helen! In Germany it is soooo cold and dusty and the pictures of your holiday are so sunny. I agree with you about the fences around ancient ruins - in Stonehenge we were not allowed to get too close to the old stones.
Have a wonderful weekend! Yours, Julia

Anonymous said...

such lovely pictures! the history there just blows my mind - hippocrates' tree?!? amazing!

love the woman knitting too!