Time is that wherein there is opportunity
“Time is that wherein there is opportunity, and opportunity is that wherein there is no great time” said Hippocrates a long time ago, in a galaxy not so far, far away. Kos is his island – he was born there and in Kos town there is a tree, under which he (according to legend), taught his pupils the art of medicine. Are you ready for part two of Greek Travel Journal?
WILL LITTLE ONE MAKE IT? – DAY TWO
You know this awesome, blessed feeling of waking up on a day off, like Saturday or Sunday? Or unexpected Friday, because Public Holiday is over the weekend? Multiply it by the size of the Sun and you will get the ultimate vacation mood, measured. Overrating? No, trust me – the serenity, the sweet peace of not-thinking about anything else, but which bikini to wear on the beach, is the purest, most relaxing state of human mind. We were pretty tired, so we didn’t stay THAT long up the night we arrived. Waking up and seeing the sea felt wonderful. A little less marvelous was hearing ridiculous Greek music. But I will get to that.
For me and Marta, it was important to have breakfast included – out of convenience. I mean, sure we could just go to the store nearby and buy yoghurts. And frankly, it would be so much healthier!!! Haha, jeez – I understand that COVID made our lives a living hell, but there are boundaries. Our daily breakfast (with no variation) was burger bun (yes) with cheese (we got ham on the first day, but we wouldn’t dare touch it), crème cheese, jelly and honey. And sweet, chocolate croissant (which was our brunch on every beach). No veggies, no fruits and the worst coffee I have ever had in my entire life. As it turned out – having a good coffee in Greece is quite a challenge.
We decided to explore the closest areas in our part of the island, so after we got ourselves some water and snacks, Marta fired up the monstrous engine of Little One. If you don’t know this – Kos island has pretty much ups and downs, ALL THE TIME. So, Kos is like life and we are like our Little One – brave, but not always succeeding.
Our first stop was a viewpoint, with breathtaking sight of this part of the island. Sapphire-blue water, green trees, dry bushes and canyon-like hills. Everything at once, at full brightness! On our list were two beaches – Agios Theologos and Kavo Paradiso. We were pretty excited only by looking at pictures online, what magical scenery!
But you know my favorite saying: coffee first, schemes later. Navigation led us to a charming little café, that didn’t serve anything but regular coffee with or without milk. And you always have to ask for sugar – I’m not sure if this is COVID related, but they don’t serve sugar. They are kind enough to add it for you. Disclaimer – it wasn’t PERFECT coffee, but still much better.
On our way to the café, we spotted a road up high to the Kavo Beach. And let me be real, we did not like it. Our Little One was “dying” in the middle of the road, as we went up. Going up and down was stressing the engine shut down and it gave us a good scare. So, after a brief conversation with polish guide we met in the café, we decided not to go to Kavo Beach after all. It would be a shame to call for road assistance on DAY 1, no?
Agios Theologos lies along more accessible roads and a little less challenging for our car. And the view was equally paradise-like. Sun beds were the cheapest, 4 euro for both of us! Place was a little windy but you know that kind of wind, when it’s 37 degrees out. It’s warm and gives you the most pleasurable chill. And when you go to the water, it’s not that bad too! But the waves were strong, so we didn’t swim much. We chilled and talked (completely forgot to take books with us, but hey – socializing was cool).
For dinner, we chose the only restaurant there, but man – the food was great! Marta ate sea bass and I (never hungry) went for Greek appetizer- pita with tzatziki. We sat there and contemplated views and fresh watermelon…
For the evening, we decided to see sunset in the spot recommended by the lady in the car rental place. She mentioned Limnionas Beach as THE BEST PLACE to watch the sun go down. It was around a 20 minute drive and less than 5 minute walk to a rocky shore that took my breath away. It is a perfect place and we arrived there at the right time – golden hour. Soft light was all we needed for pictures to be ideal.
And the sunset itself… I always feel nostalgic about it – not necessarily romantic. Sure, dying sunlight carries an emotional charge for most people, but I think for creative spirits like me, it means so many different things. With each second, the lighting changes and so does my view of surroundings. It’s like watching the center of the kaleidoscope – one constant point with everything else altering.
SALT LAKE OR THE MOON? – DAY THREE
No surprise, the breakfast was all the same. Not that it ruined our mood but we were hoping for a change. I guess in the end, that’s what all humans crave for. Back to business! We already knew that we would have to cross out a few things off our list – like going to Zia for sunset. Little One wouldn’t make it. So instead, we decided to do some exploring. We drove to Marmari. Marta found an old, dried Salt Lake nearby and we had to check it out.
Marmari didn’t charm us – most of the buildings looked abandoned – with exceptions of restaurants and hotels. The beach was not exactly a beach, more of a stone-shore. We didn’t spend a long time there; a quick stroll was enough. Thank you, next!
As usual, we got very lucky when visiting Aliki Tigaki Salt Lake – there was no one there, so we could take some pictures in peace. This protected area lies between the villages of Tigaki and Marmari. It functioned as a salt production installation until 1989. It’s a home for wild flamingos, turtles and water snakes, but we only saw one flamingo flying around.
The view was mesmerizing. Cracked earth, salt in the air was “visible” on our lips within seconds. To me, it felt like walking on the surface of the moon! The limitless landscape with rough edges, burnt by sun and covered by snow-white salt… Pretty majestical (pun intended!).
On our way to the Salt Lake, we spotted a sign that led to Happy Flamingo Beach and let me tell you – the name did the trick. This was our next destination and compared to Agios Theologos, this beach was a lot prettier. Water wasn’t that clean – some algae near the shore were a no-no. But this corner of the island was so… Delightful. Sunbeds were pretty fancy – with wind screens, tables and big umbrellas to shield us from the sun. A good place to chill, read a book and take a nap.
You know, I used to spend my vacations, two-month long school vacations at the polish seaside with my family. We were lucky enough to have grandparents there. So, for me being on a beach all day is nothing new. I loved building sandcastles (or any other constructions) and swimming in cold, gloomy waters of Baltic sea. If the weather wasn’t super nice, we still went to the beach to read or do crossword puzzles. And I loved it even more! There is nothing better than reading a book with soothing sounds of waves crashing against the shore. Soft wind moving the drapes of wind screens, seagulls screaming… Peace.
In the evening we decided to hit the city and grab a drink in one of the bars. After all, we’re on vacations, right?! ? I loved our evenings in Kefalos. Our balcony was directly in front of the sea… And the night sky was so damn dark, we could spend every hour counting stars. Or watching the International Space Station pass over Greece! The only downside were the bloody mosquitoes.
HELLO THERE, GENERAL PEACKOCK-Y! – DAY FOUR
It was time to say goodbye to our dear Little One and this day was pretty packed! During breakfast I was looking for places worth seeing near the airport, where we had to drop off our car. I found two – Plaka Forest and Hippocrates Garden. So, we decided to check both, because why not? ? We both love sightseeing and sitting for a week in one place would exactly count as a rest.
So, we bought ourselves Starbucks coffees and waters, and hit the road. Plaka Forest was first on our map. It’s a magical place; a home to beautiful peacocks of all shapes and sizes! Have you ever seen a wild-living peacock? We have them in ZOOs, and I’ve seen them in one park in Warsaw. But they tend to run away and in general, be away from the humans. This Forest is more a refuge for “wild” peacocks. Why quotation marks? Well, the animals there are not exactly wild, they depend on humans – for food and shelter; taking care of them in sickness. Very cool place to visit. Walking amid what looked to me like pines (pretty sure no pines, though), looking for the most colorful bird and counting kittens.
We were on the clock, so our next stop was Hippocrates Garden – a center of culture and history. Except from beautiful plants and flowers, we got to see a recreated house of Hippocrates – father of medicine. And you know – it’s an ancient house. The garden lies near Mastichari and it truly is an educational center. All over the place, there are eco-friendly posters. We took some lovely pictures and just walked around colorful flowers. The only downside? The heat!!!
Still having some time until the drop off, we decided to visit Paradise Beach – the most popular and famous beach in Kos Island. And boy, ain’t that a real paradise? The water is crystal clear and the view is just amazing. We chose a less busy spot. Since we spent a few hours in the sun, the first order of business was to cool down.
Sadly, it was a moment to give Little One back to the airport. Not gonna lie – having a rented car was stressful, considering the roads we took to get all of those places. It felt more like going off-road! I was on the edge of my seat sometimes but Marta handled it as champ! <3 Even though we had the car till 5pm? We decided to give it back earlier so we could catch a bus back to Kefalos at 3pm. When we arrived at the airport… There was no one to inspect the car. So, we waited around 40 minutes but we made it for the bus after all!
Now, after driving around the island a bit, and with plans to visit Kos town on the weekend, we deserved some rest. We ate at out favorite restaurant, where they serve full glasses of wine. I love the slow Greek life…
TO BE CONITUNED! And during our last days a lot happened – we swam to an island to see a church (with famous blue ceilings) and we spent some time in Kos town. How did the biggest city on the island manage COVID? Also, in the last part of Greek Travel Journal, I will prepare a “tips & tricks”, expense list and include all practical information about traveling to Greece in times of the virus <3
Very sad news. Wakanda Forever, King.