Sunday, April 5, 2009

My Big Fat Greek Day

On Friday, we took a ferry from Bodrum to the Greek Island of Kos. The ride took just over an hour and offered gorgeous views of Bodrum and the St. Peter Castle as we left the marina.

The map below shows Turkey in relation to Greece and it's islands. The Greek islands are shown in orange...some are practically adjacent to Turkey. There are very few Turkish islands in comparison to Greece.

As we entered the Greek harbor of Kos town, we were greeted by another example of defensive architecture, the Castle of Neratzia. This castle controlled the sea passage between Kos and ancient Halicarnassus (Bodrum) together with the St. Peter Castle in Bodrum (pictured above).

The castle entrance is on the 'second' level via an arched stone bridge across a mote (which is now a street). The view below is the interior of the castle just beyond the dungenous hallway entrance.

From the harbor, we took a city bus to the ruins of Asklepeion, the most significant archaeological site on the island. Asklepeion was a healing temple and Hippocrates was said to have received his medical training here. There are 3 terraces, of which the top level offers a beautiful view overlooking the sea.

Temple in the Corinthian Order

Simicirular Exedra (recess) and Staircase to the Third Terrace

Retaining wall below
An idea of what Asklepeion looked like 2nd century B.C.

After Asklipeion, we enjoyed a big fat Greek meal (the chicken gyro was 10 times better than in the states)....and I mean, one plate was HUGE! I should have taken a picture of it. We then did our own walking tour of the historical downtown region and came across The Tree of Hippocrates. Under it's shade, according to legend, Hippocrates taught his students the art of medicine. The tree has become hollowed out over the years, and some branches are supported by metal scaffolding.

We walked past an ancient agora and made our way to the Roman Odeon below.

And walked through the western archaeological site on our way back to the harbor.

Mosiac beneath the arch with the columns of the gymnasium in the background.

This was my first time in Greece. The sites were enjoyable and the food was great, but I didn't find the Greek people on this island nearly as hospitable as the Turks. And I noticed that the bus drivers all drove with one hand....the whole time. One talked on the cell phone most of the drive and the other diver ate icecream on a stick. Not a big deal and almost kinda comical (since I did return in one piece). I'd love to come back to Kos and stay a bike, check out the rest of the's ruins, beaches, and thermal springs. We just didn't have enough time in one day to do everything of course.


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  2. It must be so thrilling to experience these ancient sites.
    you look fabulous, by the way.....