Saturday, May 23, 2015

May 11 - 21

Kos, Greece

We arrived in Kos, Greece just across a narrow straight from Bodrum, Turkey. We got ourselves tied up and got settled before heading out on our first exploration of Kos.

The marina is a 15 minute walk from the old Kos town. There is a walking/bike path along the entire water front making it very accessible for pedestrians/bikers as it is very smooth, wide (2 lanes) and flat.

As we walked by several restaurants, the owners all claimed to be cheaper and to have better food than Turkey…… Not even close! Turkey is not in the EU and uses Liras and Greece in the EU uses euros……. The Greek prices on many menus were the same as Turkey but the Euro is 3:1 making it significantly more expensive. Turkey is on average a third cheaper. We continued walking to see if there was something more reasonable. We saw several outdoor restaurants across the street so decided to take a look at the menus. The one we chose was slightly cheaper and offered us our first ouzo on the house. The ouzo here is not like at home….. much thicker and white. It has a major kick as well.

We placed our order and enjoyed the ambiance and free wifi. The tzatziki was phenomenal! So creamy and full of garlic. I have yet to find better than this restaurant. After lunch we continued on our walk to the old town and port of Kos that is enclosed by a castle built by the knights of St. John whom built several castles in this region after being forced from Jerusalem by the saracens after the 1st crusade. The atmosphere in town and the harbour is stunning!

We walked through the shop areas and came across the fish therapy treatments. Paige really wanted to try it, but we decided it would be better another day. The shaded, stone alleys of shops have a great feel to them. Interspersed are restaurants with outdoor/indoor seating.

As a reward for good behaviour we were on a mission to find a park for Jordan to play at. We followed our map and directed ourselves to one of 2 parks that had play structures. What we found appeared to be abandoned. I cringed when I allowed her to play on it as it was in really bad shape. I have noticed that Kos has a lot of abandoned buildings and unkept ruins, parks etc. It is disheartening and fills me with sadness. I can see the bad economy has hit here.

We came across some old overgrown ruins but sadly could not get into them. Later we found out the entrance was discreetly placed near the Vodaphone shop (cell phone shop) that took us 3 days to find. It is very interesting to see these ruins around the town with newer buildings built around them.

As we were walking back to the boat, we noticed the nasty weather coming in again so had to duck in somewhere before the rain, thunder and lightening started like the previous evening. We found the Kos version of Chucke Cheese crossed with Go Bananas called “Friends”. For 3 euro Jordan could play in the ball pit, jumping castle etc. The rest of us had a beverage and waited for the weather to pass. It never did rain thankfully. On our way along the waterfront we found a dessert store that specialized in ice cream and other lovely items. For 1.50 euros we got an enormous scoop of deliciousness. Flavours included crème brulé, cheese cake, ferro roché, vanilla nutella….. We have since visited daily.

The following day we decided to rent bikes to get to the town quicker. For 4 euro each Shaun and I had our wheels. Paige rode the folding bike that came with the boat. Jordan rode in the child seat on Shaun’s bike. 5 minutes later we were in town. I felt like a kid. I always forget how much fun bike riding is. 

As promised we allowed Paige to go to fish therapy. It was a 25 minute treatment. First, she was directed to wash her feet well and put on the slippers provided. She then chose a tank and sat while the staff member checked her feet for cuts and taped any up. Lastly, her feet were immersed in the water with the toothless skin eating sucker fish. Apparently it tickles. I’ll take her word for it…

While we waited Shaun went in search of take away beer. He came back with these HUGE mugs of Mythos beer from the Mexican/Greek restaurant. They also gave him a 20% off coupon if we decided to check it out later.

We did in fact end up at the Mexican/Greek place called El Chicos for a meal and took advantage of the deal. Their tzatziki wasn’t quite the same but still very good. We did have a phenomenal “beef in clay pot” that came with potatoes and melted cheese. It was to die for via heart attack. We stopped at a t-shirt shop that had various different sayings or logos printed on shirts. Ron found one t shirt design he liked, as did Jordan. Of course Jordan’s is from the Frozen movie.

The following day we rented a small car for 30 euros, squeezed in the 5 of us and headed inland to see a Greek village called Zia. The views along the winding road were incredible. Sadly I had to ask Shaun to pull over as I was feeling very sick in the back seat…… I was as green as my green t-shirt. I staved off being sick thankfully. Once back in the car we turned a few more corners and arrived in Zia. Again my words cannot describe the beautiful views and quaintness of the town. A little too touristy for my liking, but I was unable to drive any further inland to see a true Greek village. We walked up a staircase that took us to a lovely restaurant called Sunset Tavern. We sat overlooking the valley right down to where our boat was at the marina. It is a trip advisor recommended spot. The pictures on the wall show amazing sunsets. Perhaps another time.  To the left was an overgrown garden area with a few trees and poppies growing wild. Ron decided to try one of the specials of the day “pork baked in the oven with potatoes”. He said that it was falling apart and was excellent. After lunch we followed another sign that took us to some stairs with a sign posting “WAY TO MOUNTAIN NO STRESS 1 HOUR 21 MIN.” We decided against walking it as we still wanted to check out the beach district across the island.

We all hopped back into the car and started the drive across the rest of the island to Paradise Beach and then to Kefalos Bay where we intend to anchor after leaving the marina. Paradise Beach was beautiful. No facilities open for public use which makes it a bit of a downer. We had to change in the car. The kids had a blast playing in the water and sand and the adults were “refreshed” in the cool clear water. 

On the road again a little farther to the next bay to see what there was for us on our upcoming visit. Restaurants, mini super markets and wind surfing rental places. It seemed quite nice, but again rather tourist dominated.

We headed back to the marina, and on the way had to make a bathroom break at the gas station. Shaun and the girls came out laden with popsicles and free large bags of M&Ms given to the girls by the overly generous staff……. 

We went back into old Kos town to the t-shirt shop as Shaun had been working on a design for crew shirts and the owner said that we could bring our electronic design in to take a look at. We spent a long time in the store getting the design perfect and having the owner print off a sample logo to show us. They are going to be AWESOME. We will all have them. After the shop visit we headed back to our Mexican/Greek hangout to have dinner. They offered us the 20% again. The 20% card is now a fixture in Shaun’s wallet.

Jordan insisted she would sit still enough to have the fish therapy done. To be honest I didn’t think she could do it, but she proved me wrong. She lasted the whole 25 minutes. If any of you know my youngest, she has ants in her pants constantly. I was very impressed with her patience.

We were going to leave the marina on Monday, but were told that our windlass was going to arrive that afternoon, so we ended up extending our day at the marina, only to find out later, it actually was to arrive on Tuesday. So we took the girls down the street in search of a shop owned by Poppy. A Scottish fellow we spoke to at the marina chandlery shop named Patrick suggested her place for children's clothing. Jordan got some shorts and to my delight Paige wanted not one but two dresses. She looks so very lovely in them. The temperature is increasing and it is uncomfortable to have heavy clothing on the body. We then went for our daily ice cream and let the girls play at the little beach before heading back to the marina. 

There is an Outremer (french made) 51 foot catamaran behind us and there is a fellow living aboard, whom we found out later is named Paolo from Parma, Italy. I was at the store getting a bottle of water before heading once again to the little beach when I heard a “psst”. I turned around to see him at the cash register. I went to pay for said water and didn’t have the correct change so he bought it for me. I mentioned I would invite him over for wine later. The shop owner and I both said that I was changing water into wine. 

Later on while Shaun was working on the Bimini lighting project (installing blue LED lights in some vent holes that previously caused leaks), I went over to invite the Paolo over for the wine. 

In our discussions, after he arrived we started talking about the blue lights and he joked that they might keep him up during the night. Today he was talking to Ron and Shaun and jokingly pointing at his one eye saying “see this eye, it is from your blue lights” (insert laughter here).

There is also another Catana catamaran Papillon a 431 (43 foot) three boats behind us on the breakwater. We had Louis and Bill over for a drink to show them our new windlass. Yes, at last we have the new one aboard. The old one is removed and the new one almost prepped to be put in place. There is some cutting and painting in the chain locker to be done along with some electrical work. 

I was designated water girl which means I have to look after our water maker. Off I went into the port engine compartment to review the schematic versus the real parts. I was able to remove the raw water intake filter but could not for the life of me remove the other four crucial filters to test the bugger.

The electrical took a long time as Shaun was trying to track down the wiring differences between the original factory windlass installation and the new one until 10:30 PM, so did not get away from the marina to anchor in Kefalos Bay. We had the down function working, but the retrieve function wasn’t happening yet. We were invited for a beverage down the way at Bill & Louise’s as they were leaving in the morning so off we went.

This morning Shaun got the circuit working. Yahoo! We can finally anchor safely. After this was finally completed and the boat put back together we took our rental bikes to the Asklepieion (30-45 minute ride up) that was discovered at the beginning of the 20th century by a German archaeologist R. Herzog. So amazing. Words cannot describe the tranquility of the area. The ruins are incredible, vast and are located in a grove of cypress trees dedicated to Apollo. Areas of the ruins were used as a healing sanctuary while others were used for worship, athletics and music competitions.


the bridge inside the old town of Kos

just inside the old town of Kos (a harbour marina)

the run down play ground in Kos

Jordan's new form of transportation in Kos

town square in the old town of Kos 
fish therapy for Paige

in a square in the old town of Kos

castle wall near the old town of Kos

the families rental wheels

my rental wheels
looking out from a viewpoint in  the town of Zia

Views of Zia

stars up to Sunset Tavern in Zia

just outside the Sunset tavern

one of the streets in Zia

family photo in Zia

views in Zia

stairs leaving Sunset Tavern in Zia

burying treasure at Paradise beach

Jordan's turn at the fish therapy

our shirt modelling the front of our crew shirts
our shirt modelling the back of our crew shirts

the whole family with their shirts

checking out the tad poles at the Asklepieion 

stairs at the Asklepieon

close up at the stairs

show casing the shear size of the Asklepieion

one of the archways

inside an arch

columns


shenanigans 

more shenanigans

more columns

action shot of me pointing out an item

view looking back down the stairs


No comments:

Post a Comment