another Greek odyssey: Kos revisited

kitty kat at Odysseus' compound
 Okay so Blogger doesn't seem to be cooperating with me today so my pictures will remain in random order. Sorry peeps as I'm not feeling up to the job of becoming smarter than my computer...

So, my summer was hot! I mean really hot AND sweaty. Mostly... because I was backpacking around the Mediterranean & Aegean coasts of Turkey and Greece. This post is all about Kos- a Greek island off the Turkish Aegean coast near Bodrum. I have some friends there from back in Hawaii. It feels great to see people from back home over in these parts now.
I spy... eggplant!

This was me, pretty much every day. I mean EVERY day...

Moustafa the Turk's restaurant in Platani. The Greek food is AWESOME

Retsina goes well with everything...

Dean made falafel for lunch one day!

I noticed that hese cool land snails climb everything in Marmari

in da hood near Marmari

lots of picturesque Greek Orthodox churches

 I took quite a few 'walkabouts' while I was visiting Kos. On this particular day I started off with no destination in mind. It was a strange morning. I had just heard about the bombing in Gaziantep, where I live, and started to relive my last days in Tunis... So I figured that I needed to get out and just walk. It was a scorching hot day as I recall, and my heart was heavy so I just kept on walking and walking and walking. In total I probably logged in 25 kilometers that afternoon. It was exactly what I needed...
 My first stop on this long bipedal journey was a little cafe- just right around the corner from Odysseus' place really... I figured I needed a retsina to set me on my way... Mission accomplished. By the way, 'Mythos' is a Greek beer that is everywhere in Greece. It's like Brahma in Brazil, Efes in Turkey, Quilmes in Argentina, etc.  It is cheap, and that's what I drank- if I wasn't drinking Retsina that is...

For those of you unschooled in Retsina, it is a Greek white wine. The 'unique' flavor is supposedly the result of sealing an amphorae with pine resin during ancient times. Today... who knows, but it's delicious, crisp and refreshing.

 Okay, now my 'creative eye' has been activated by the Retsina, so off I go...
 My next pitstop was not very far away from the previous one, and I partook in the same activity as the previous one... Here I am giving the "Aloha Shaka" to everybody back in the Islands!
 More of these cool land snails invading tree stumps. I loved the funny texture it produced. I'm curious about the phenomenon still. Perhaps someone can unfold the mystery for me and comment on why they do this.
 This was a decal on the side of a semi truck parked near Marmari. I liked it. That's all.
 Go left? Go right? Go to taverna? Hmmmmm
 Some graffiti in Marmari
 somewhere between Mastichari and Marmari...

 Sunsets were amazing. I mean Hawaii-like amazing.

Retsina and sunsets are amazing...

Someone built a castle and consumed a lot of alcohol in doing so as evidenced by the towers made of straws... heh heh. I briefly thought about destroying the fortress, but then came to my senses...
 Sunset runs on the beach were quite common.
 The road from Spatzennest Restaurant, the restaurant that Dean's sister Dawn and her husband Adoni have, leads to the beach 60 meters away...Nice.
Back to my walkabout... snake roadkill. It was more interesting happening upon this sight in real life I assure you...

 Fruit and vegetable stands appeared throughout my walkabout.
 Another pitstop, but this time for water and a chat with the proprietors.
 Here I am in Mastichari finally after my 15 kilometer walk (okay a few cars stopped and picked me up as well). Another fabulous Greek lunch was had by me here too! There was not one un-fabulous culinary experience honestly. Seriously, Greek food is THE best I've experienced so far in this life.

Greek wine is pretty good too... I took some time to hang out here in this cafe as I knew what was awaiting me- another 10 kilometer walk at least. My future route is far off in the distance of this picture.
 Now I was a bit tipsy when I left Mastichari, but I knew I could get back to Marmari from here by walking the shoreline as a few peeps told me I could. Let me just say that the 'trail' gets bare in a few places and you either have to swim for it at high tide, or hoof it up some low cliffs. Some parts of this area were so deserted. There was no one else out there. It was a strange experience. It gave me so much time to see the past and relive Greek pre-history. Speaking of Greek history, I did a lot of reading on Greece while in Greece. I devoured 2 books by the infamous Nikos Kazantzakis. For anyone unfamiliar with his name, you definitely know some of his works.
 Among his most famous, "Zorba the Greek" and "The Last Temptation of Christ." These, in my humble opinion, are not his greatest achievements though.

First I read his, "At the Palaces of Knossos" which was a fantastic story of mythical legend where the young prince of Athens, Theseus, comes to Crete to figure out how to slay the minotaur and free his people from under the reins of King Minos, and takes Ariadne (Minos' daughter) back to Athens with him- only to have her stolen by Dionysus...

I also read "The Fratricides on the Greek civil war in the late 1940s.
One evening about 5 gentlemen came galloping up the beach and for about an hour raced their horses both on the shoreline and in the water. It was amazing.

A modern day Greek adonis!

Back in Platani on my way to the Asklepieion archaeological site- a healing temple sacred to the god Asclepius.

I walked to the Asklepieion so I had a lot of time to ponder all the sites en route- like this one. How cool is this sanctuary!

I knew where I was headed...

It was a long walk, and an extremely hot day- like all the days were on Kos.

 I liked this shot. Not sure why.

A view of the top, or 3rd, terrace- which holds the Doric temple of Asklepios and a stoa.

Here I am all hot and sweaty, but loving every minute of exploring this magnificent archaeological wonder!

 Getting up close and personal with the walls was an amazing feeling. You could just feel all the hands that went into the production of this temple, or I could anyway.

The Roman thermae were in the lowest tier, dating back to the 3rd century AD. There are some wall paintings, as well as some mosaics that have survived in addition to the foundations
 I found all the different textures of the stone mesmerizing. I did take notice to the fact that while many tourists came and went in about an hour, I remained. For a long time.

Heading up the the 2nd terrace

 Nothing much remains from the 2nd terrace. There was an alter that dated back to the 4th century BC. This is (was) the oldest known structure in the Asklepieion.

These stairs are leading up the the 3rd, top, terrace.
 This is the Doric Temple of Asklepios. It dates back to the 2nd century BC. Apparently during the early Christian era there was a church, Panayia Tarsou, at the temple. Basically nothing survives from this era.

The stone to make the Asklepieion is said to have been 'quarried' by the Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem in order to make a medieval castle. They apparently attacked the Asklepion in the 15th century... Alas...

the altar

 Now this picture is from Kos Town. This is the foundation for the ancient agora
One can roam freely around the site of the ancient agora. This is a plus, and it  encompasses a rather large area. When you are completely exhausted from this, and feeling sunburnt, all you have to do is walk out of the complex and up the stairs, or wherever, and you  are smack in the center of Kos Town and hundreds of cafes and shops!
 ...and Orthodox churches. The churches on Kos are very beautiful.

 This is the Nefterdar Mosque in Eleftherias Square. It was built at the end of the 18th century- marking the rule of the Ottomans over the island

more Retsina while waiting for the bus. Missed the bus. Caught a ride back to Marmari w/Odysseus pau hana.

The Castle of the Knights of the Order of St. John's is right in Kos Town at the harbor entrance. It is the first thing you see as you gloriously sail into Kos Harbor! The construction dates from 1380-1514.

The esplanade of Kos Town. It's very popular to walk/bike it at sunset. Everybody is out and about walking, shopping, or just sitting on their boats and gazing into the scenery.

Greek boats are very colorful and very well taken care of I decided

Back at the other side of the island in Marmari. Again we have Spatzennest Bar/Restaurant. Dawn and Adoni run it, and it is wonderful. All the family works there it seems, and they live upstairs. Dean and Phoenix are also on the property a bit further back. This was the highlight of my summer for sure.

It just felt so good to be in a place where I could relax, eat different food, drink freely (and cheaper than back in Turkey I might add- even with the Euro prices). As well, I got to wear my favorite garb- bikinis! Lots of bikinis, and mini skirts! What a freeing feeling that I almost forgot about.
The island was full of dune buggies!
...and bicicles
...and folks visiting that LOVE the sea! I met lots of Italian tourists, as well as many others.

This is a shot of the sea right at the end of the road from Spatzennest Bar/Restaurant. This is their part of the beach, as evidenced by the palm frond material umbrellas. Different restaurants had different sections of the beach that they took care of.
Back in Kos Town at the harbor
Sailing into and out of Kos Town is amazing. I feel really fortunate that I can continue to do this!
Detailing on the Castle built by the Knights of the Order of St. John. Love gargoyle creatures!

So that wraps up my Kos journey. There are many stories that are yet untold, and prolly cannot be told...

So, this has taken me all day to produce... I have yet to change out of my pajamas, and it is now 6:45 pm. I have also been cooking yummy food all day for the upcoming work week starting tomorrow. On the menu is: jasmine rice, red lentils, semi-fried eggplant that was marinated in olive oil, pink sea salt, pepper and cumin and fresh grilled veggies: red peppers, Turkish green peppers, caramelized onions, and zucchini. To top it all off and give it a Greek-feel to it, I have made some fresh tzatziki sauce!!!  It sounds delicious. It better be because it is lunch for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday if I can make it...