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lysdor Kefalos - A travel report by Tiina
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Kefalos,  Greece - flag Greece -  Dodek├ínisos
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lysdor's travel reports

KOS * FUN ON THE BEACH & CULTURAL GETAWAY

  7 votes
Page: 1 2
In the late 1980s' when I was finishing my studies in Turku, I worked periodically for a tour operator.

For me it was a wonderful opportunity to travel -almost for free- to its destinations.
I just had to pick-up a country from the travel catalogue,i



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The city of Kos, the capital and the chief port of the island, is on the north- east coast (look where the pink shades are ;-), very near to the shores of Turkey. It is a small and most attractive city, rebuilt after the 1933 earthquake. South of the Venetian castle of the Knights of St John a bridge, crossing over the beautiful Avenue of Palms, links the castle with the famous plane tree of Hippocrates. Hippocrates (460-375 B.C.) was a very famous ancient Greek, and is known today as the 'Father of Medicine'. Hippocrates was born on the island of Kos (Cos) several hundred years before the birth of Christ. He practiced his chosen art of medicine in several cities throughout the ancient Greek world, and in Athens during it's Golden Age. By the removing of religion and superstition from medicine, Hippocrates turned medicine into a science as well as an art. Before Hippocrates superstition and religion clouded the minds of man. In the medicine Hippocrates practiced he applied logic and reason to the treatment of his patients. The theories he developed could be summed up in The Corpus Hippocratium. This collection of medical writings is the oldest surviving complete medical collection. The Hippocratic oath he developed for those who were to practice medicine was based on loyalty, honor and virtue among other noble traits. Throughout the world many medical schools still have their students take this oath..

Favourite spots:
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It is said that this vast plane tree was planted by Hippocrates and that he taught medicine in its shade. It is so big that a supporting construction had to be build around it to avoid branches to break. After Hippocrates death the people of Kos built the famous Asklepeion, in honor of the god Asclepios, which operated as a hospital applying the methods of therapy taught by Hippocrates. These ruins were found in 1902. I went on foot up to the hill where these ruins stand at a distance of 4 km south-west of Kos town. Because of the slope of the ground the buildings were put up on a number of levels, with steps between them. On the first level are the remains of a small temple and a fountain. In the center of the second level there are remains of the altar of Asklepios and those of a temple to Asklepios in the lonic order.

What's really great:
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To the east are ruins of the temple of Apollo (remaining pillars). On the highest level are the foundations and columns of a Doric temple to Asklepios which was the most sacred in the sklepeion. The name comes through ancient times, from Asclepius, the son of Apollo and Koronis. As through the myth he learned medicine from the Centaur Hiron, he lately became known among the people as a god of medicine and they believed he could heal both gods and mens. Asclepeia are refered in history as sacred hospitals and the Asclepieion of Kos was the best and most famous of its time.

Sights:
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* Shops and supermarkets in areas frequented by tourists are usually open all day long, from 9 am to 10 pm.

A periptero is a sort of kiosk that sells all kinds of things, ranging from chocolate and chips, to batteries and magazines. These kiosks are very useful, they can be found easily and many are open 24 hours / day.

* Water in all areas where tourists are likely to find themselves is chlorinated and perfectly safe to drink. Yet bottled water, you will find, is very popular, primarily for conveni ence reasons, and is widely available.

* The sun in Greece is very bright and strong, and a sunscreen should always be applied when sunbathing.

Useful tip: Most TV channels interrupt their regular summer program several times per day to broadcast Sunbathing Report. This report will tell you how long it is advized that you stay in the sun according to the time of day and your geographic location all around Greece.

* The drinking age in Greece is 16.

Accommodations:
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HOTEL SEVASTI

This is a cosy three stars hotel where I was given a small suite with one bedroom and a HUGE terrace!

No need to go to the beach or pool...why indeed?...when the fridge with cool drinks is so near :-) !!

Nightlife:
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This is a general view of Kos and the harbour from the road leading to Asclepion.

The villages of Kos are accessed through the main road of the island. The nearer ones can be reached by bicycle while the farther ones by motorcycle or car:

* Pyli (5 KM)

* Antimachia (25 KM)

* Kardamena (26 KM)

* Kefalos (45 KM)

But there are other marvelous and often quiet places as well as fantastic beaches - all over the island, some of them accessible by bicycle - a means of transport much used in Kos.

Hangouts:
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Take a stroll in town and visit the covered market hall.

Walk to the Ancien Town which is located in the north eastern part of Kos town, near the harbour.
There are the ruins of a Hellenistic Temple dedicated to Hercules, restored pillars of a small Temple and remains of a sanctuary, dedicated to Aphrodite.

Restaurants:
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PITAs and TAVERNS

For lunch I was having a kebab from an open kiosk like the one on the picture.
But those kebabs were no ordinary ones. Usually very tiny (fitted in my hand) but still with lots of kebab-meat, salad, tomatoes, tzatsiki-sauce and TWO french fries (Yes 2 !!) all rolled-up very, very tight in a slim white pita-bread.
DELIGHTFULLY DELICIOUS!
................................................................
In the evening there are many local taverns serving great typical greek dishes: moussaka, choriatiki, tzatsiki, melitzano-salad, pastizio with some beer or retzina-wine - need I say more...?

Other recommendations:
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Beaches:

* Lambi beach and is located in Kos town. It stretches from right next the harbor for a distance of more than one km

* Therma (Hot Springs), located 8 km from the center of Kos town.

* Tigaki beach.

* Kardamena beach, located in the once a fisherman's village, Kardamena, this beach starts from the villages small port and continues for more than 3 kilometers.
The further you go from the port, the less people there are. Walking towards the west you reach Chelona beach (Chelona is the Greek name for turtle).
There you can spend your whole day in a tranquilizing setting.

Published on Wednesday June 2th, 2004


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