Published: May 24th 2012May 22nd 2012
With an 8.15am pick-up we had to set an alarm and get up early this morning for our trip to Kos. After sleeping in until about 8.30am most days this was a bit of a shock to the system!! The dining room opens at 7.00am so we were able to have a quick breakfast before we headed off.
The driver was expecting to collect some more passengers from the Voyage, but after waiting nearly 10 minutes there was no sign of them. We drove down to the resorts just down the coast and picked up a few more people and then returned to the Voyage. Still no more passengers and, by now, it was nearly 20 minutes after the scheduled pick-up time. So the driver took off for Bodrum. Literally low flying ... presumably to make up the time lost waiting for the passengers who never arrived?? I'm pretty sure we set some sort of a record for the time taken to drive from Torba to Bodrum!
At the port we had to clear immigration before boarding the high speed catamaran to take us across the Aegean Sea to the Greek island of Kos. Ordinarily the high speed cat
makes the crossing in just 20 minutes. Today it was so windy that it was whipping up white caps on the sea. Hmmn, it was a pretty rough crossing with the catamaran managing to wallow its way across to Kos in about 45 minutes!!
At the port in Kos, we had fun trying to walk the gangplank as the catamaran tossed around. Back on terra firma, we had to clear immigration again, this time to enter Greece. The immigration officer did a real double take when we handed over our Australian passports!! We were probably the only non-EU passengers who had made the crossing today ... maybe this week, this month even?? We are certainly finding that most people are quite astonished when we say we are from Australia.
On the seafront, Kath and Albert headed off to wander around a bit while Bernie and I made our way to the Fortress of Kos. The castle of Kos was built at the entrance to the harbour by the Knights of the Order of St John after they captured the island in 1314. Together with the castle of Halikarnassos (Bodrum) on the opposite coast, the knights had control of
the sea lanes in this region.
The castle was built in two phases with an inner enceinte (fortification) that dates to the 14th Century and an outer enceinte built between 1495 and 1514. The outer walls are quite well-preserved and the castle still looked quite imposing when we approached from the sea. Three of the inner towers that date to the earlier period are also very well-preserved. The wind was so wild today that the sea was pounding against the breakwater below the castle and salt spray was being whipped up over the castle wall onto us as we wandered around the inner enceinte!!
From the castle, we ventured back across to the Square of Hippokrate's Plane Tree and then through the ruins of the ancient agora (market place) that was excavated after the devastating earthquake of 1933. We headed to the mini train ticket office to meet Kath and Albert and their friends (who are holidaying on Kos for two weeks) at 12.30pm, but missed them so walked on up to the main plaka where we had some lunch.
After lunch we decided to go for a ride on the mini tourist train. We thought that
it was as good a way as any to see what else there was to see. After our brief 20 minute tour, we walked back to the Roman House restoration ... only to find that it is closed indefinitely. From there we walked to the theatre and then back through the ruins of the ancient city.
We decided to stimulate the Greek economy a bit more and found a lovely shaded taverna underneath some huge bay (?) trees where we enjoyed a beer and a frappe with ice-cream. As we sat there, Kath and Albert and their friends walked past so we got to meet their friends after all. We still can't work out how we missed them earlier?!
After afternoon tea we headed back to the harbour so that we had plenty of time to clear immigration for the return journey to Turkey. I'm glad we allowed the extra time because it took much longer to clear immigration this afternoon than it did this morning. If anything, the swell was even bigger on the return trip and we had another rough and slow ride back to Bodrum!! It was closer to an hour than 20 minutes for
Oh dear, I rather foolishly wore a sleeveless top today - and didn't put any sunscreen on - and my arms are rather pink. The breeze really kept the edge off the heat of the day, but it was very clear and sunny and we were wandering around the castle right in the middle of the day. I have been very careful not to catch too much sun when sitting on the sun beds and now I have gotten a bit burnt just walking around!
Since we left the resort before 10.00am this morning we weren't able to book a restaurant for tonight - we just had to make do with the vast amount of food on offer in the main restaurant. What a shame?!
Bernie was winless again tonight - I won at Jo and then Albert and I drew at Blobs and had to split the pot. Albert was somewhat mollified with half a win.
There are more photos below