My heart is a Kos town!
My heart is a Kos town!!! I mean, ghost town. You know this song, right? Even though it’s kind of sad, I really like it. And being in Kos for just a day and a half was enough for me to fall in love with this beating heart of the island. This is the final part of Greek Travel Journal and you can catch up with this wonderful adventure by reading part one and two.
By the end of that post, I will post a list of expenses and places we visited – maybe you will be able to use it in the future?
PEACEFUL SURVEILLANCE – DAYS FIVE AND SIX
Now, I mentioned in part two, that we were paying extra attention to a small island right across from our almost private shore, right? Right. We spent our mornings on the cozy sunbeds, reading books and chilling in water. We were training; swimming a little bit further, every time we decided to go to the sea. But before I move into our great Aegean Sea adventure, let me tell you a little bit about all the resting we performed, as champs.
Look, I am not saying that we were so damn tired with sightseeing. But we deserved rest – from work, from our city, from being on social lockdown for so long. Two days when we did absolutely nothing but reading books, napping, eating snacks and sunbathing. Let’s talk about the importance of going away, especially in COVID times. We were extremely lucky – our flights didn’t get canceled; the hotel welcomed us with open arms and we avoided people at all costs.
And even though it was just a week, an intense one too; I felt like my batteries were charging. You want to know how I know we both were tired? I guess it was only two times that we stayed up late. Like till almost midnight late. Not counting our night in Kos yet.
But hey, I really owe you that swim story now. Okay, so this island is really small, with a tiny church and bell that we could hear every once in a while. Naturally we decided that we will swim there – but on certain conditions of course. Firstly, we’re not professional swimmers. Sure, I’ve been a lifeguard a lifetime ago (and I don’t even want to talk about it) and we both go to the swimming pool every once in a while. So, we had to train if we are even strong enough to swim there 😀
Kidding, we just had to warm up and take an easier, straight route. What does that mean? We simply walked 40 meters away from our hotel and the island was just right ahead. First part was relatively easy – 30 meters of walking. Yup, you heard that right. We kept on walking until water was up our necks. Then we decided on swimming close to each other, but far enough – if we started laughing (which we did on our way back), it would end badly (and it didn’t).
The distance between the shore and island is around 250 meters. I think? I thought it was 200, because my super smart Garmin watch was measuring but when we came back, I realized that it was measuring alright. But not in the open water. So, whatever. Anyway – we made it!!!! Freaking champions. The island itself turned out to be really charming. A kind of place that you would love the guy to propose. At night, the lights are casting the most beautiful warm light on ancient walls and blue ceilings. And during the day, the sun shines so brightly on the ground. Water looks extraordinary from above, the waves crashing against the rocks, slowing down on their way to the shore. Just magical.
We wandered around up and down, met some German tourists – losers rented water bikes to get the island. No, no losers, I’m joking. They got fancy bike with slide!
We rang the bell, hoping and wishing that one day we will come back to Kos. I’m not really sure what ringing the bell meant. But this felt nice! Kind of “challenge accomplished” moment. It was time to go back though and let me tell you this: it was much harder. The current was stronger but the key, in such case, is to focus on one focal point and swim there. Which sounds easy enough, right? And we started laughing, just by looking at each other. Salty water in our mouth was not helpful, so you can imagine – it got a little… Hard. But we made it! And it felt great. This was probably the moment we decided to carry on with our 2021 vacation plan ?
BEATING HEART – DAY SEVEN
Kos is the capitol? Well, I am not sure if an island like this could have a capitol, but hey. And for sure beating heart of the island. First thing we noticed when we arrived was… Hundreds of people. Our small village near Kefalos was somewhat deserted. Okay, that’s an overstatement, but you get the point – comparing the peaceful west coast, Kos was louder. The drive was around an hour, and of course we masked up. We were really excited to see the ruins of the ancient city and of course – plane tree of Hippocrates.
We got to our hotel a few hours before check in time, so we just left our luggage there and decided to explore the city. What you should know about Kos is that the ruins are really well preserved. And they are breathtaking!!! Seeing places like this, walking amid the ruins gives you perspective. Cultural and historical heritage right in front of you. I have a similar feeling when visiting museums – a bit overwhelming. But in a good, good way. Makes me realize how much I love art – I don’t necessarily always understand it, but I love it with all my heart.
Wandering around the ruins felt amazing, but the sun was giving us hell. So, do you remember how I told you that we got the taste of fine coffee in Kos? Yeah, for the past 5 days we were having iced coffee from Starbucks from our local store. But we found this great Café – Global Café. It was super-hot so we ordered ice coffee and some snacks. The thing about Kos town is that even though it is by the water and docks is quite extensive, the old town is really built-up. The little streets, creating a maze that evolves into a “possible” riddle – we’ve been here already, dude! This was our line after a few hours.
But back to the coffee – except from being reaaaaaaaaaaly nice, the Café itself was charming – great music, cute garden, polite waitress… The kind of place to recommend to everyone. We stayed there for a while, contemplating. It was around 3 pm, so we could head back to the hotel to finish checking in and get some rest before finding a place for dinner.
It was a pleasant surprise when we went to our room, and found AC for free. Now, this night will have a different quality to it! ? Don’t get me wrong – the hotel back in Kefalos was fine, but we had to sleep with the balcony door open and that resulted in way too many mosquito bites. But it was time to shower (which was absolutely ridiculous!!!! There was no wall – oh wait a minute it was, like 5 cm long, so all the water splashed around the entire bathroom), chill with book and regeneration.
You know what I absolutely loved about my vacation? I didn’t have to blow dry my hair ONCE. And they were so damn grateful!! Believe me, having long hair is messy and tricky, especially in the winter. You leave the house just once, with just a little bit, tiny splash of un-dried hair and boom, you are sick. So, having the quality of natural heat and sun do the job – blessing.
It was Saturday and while roaming around the city, we saw that there will be Champions League games on, so we decided to find a spot when we could watch it. But first, we took a stroll around the docks. Water looked absolutely magical! It had this turquoise / sapphire color. We passed so many beautiful boats and ships, offering cruises and trips. But the hunger got the best of us so we finally decided for a restaurant that actually offered both games at once – so that’s a win? At least that’s what we thought. We ordered pizza and apple ciders, and the ciders were really good. Pizza tasted like it was re-frozen. So, that was a bit disappointing. But hey – the cider was decent.
We had an unpleasant encounter with very drunk and very British people, but we were brave and they left us alone. See, that’s the kind of thing that would not happen back in the quiet Kefalos… But hey – adventures, right?!
TIME TO SAY GOODBYE – DAY EIGHT
Oh yes, that last night had a different quality to it – air conditioning was relief and we didn’t wake up that puffy. And the breakfast was absolutely wonderful; except the coffee but you know what? It wasn’t that bad. But Greek yogurt, fresh fruits, different kinds of bread… Pretty decent, you know? I suppose everything was better than the burger buns. We took our time with food and packing, because we thought we had to check out around noon.
Turns out, the lady at the front desk totally got it wrong, and we had to leave the room at 11. But hey, there is always a thrill, right? Once again, we left the luggage behind for the final stroll down the city. We had to buy small gifts for our families and kiddos. It was a really hard task, as it turned out. Magnets are a must, so there was plenty to choose from. Postcards, book-marks, bracelets…
It took us a while to get what we wanted and it was very tiring. We visited another archaeological site and checked the remaining “boxes” on our tourist map. Sadly, this was our last day and we had to get to the airport, so we collected our suitcases and went to the bus stop. It was time to say goodbye to the beating heart of Kos island!
Now, I hope you remember the picture from part one, right? This was a horrific experience – to see this many people being “stream checked” by the airport security. Okay I get it, a lot of flights had to depart on Sunday evening, but come on. Not at the same time! There were time slots for specific flights. We found a spot in the upper part of the waiting terminal and waited for our turn to come.
And when it did and we were on the plane, it was the absolutely worst flight of my life. You know that I hate flying in general, though I know that it’s fast and more convenient. But come on… And we flew into storm clouds and for 15 minutes it was a total nightmare. Marta did her best to calm me down and comfort me, but for the rest of it, I had trouble catching my breath. Anxiety took over, big time.
We touched the ground shortly after 11pm, polish time. Still warmed up with Greek sun, we had one more week of vacation to use. So, timing with the trip was PERFECT. Even though we were back home and reality seemed clearer, it was still less harsh. It was a wonderful trip, full of unexpected turns of events, good wine, great food and salty air filled with chill and sand. Unclouded sky, clear sea and breathtaking views… Kos is everything at once. A beating heart, pearl of Aegean Sea…
EXTRAS – EXPENSES AND PLACES WE VISITED
- Flights with PLL “LOT” – 77 Euro per person
- Accommodation in Kefalos – 5 nights in IONIKOS HOTEL (breakfast included) 303 Euro for two people
- Accommodation in Kos town – 1 night in Philippion City Hotel (breakfast included) 55 Euro for two people
- We each took 200 Euro for “living” there and it was just enough for dinners, small groceries every day and buying gifts. I bought 180 Euro back in Poland and needed to withdraw 20 more from ATM. So, for a week that was exactly what we needed.
- Hippocrates Restaurant
- The Basilica of Agios Stefanos
- PLAKA FOREST
- Hippocrates Garden Cultural Center
- KOS TOWN: