I haven’t posted much recently, been way too busy. Firstly had a nice holiday break on the Greek island of Kos. Stayed in Kefalos in Sydney Bar. Its good value for money, the food is amazing and the owners friendly and there is a nice pool out the back. The sea is just yards from the front of the Bar. Nothing is ‘cheap’ in Greece any more – most drinks were a minimum of 2 euros. The Euro, combined with the financial problems in Greece mean that prices are not much different than in London – but the service is great, the people relaxed and friendly, the food comes in amazing portions and its a great place to be. We didn’t take our driving licences (which was a shame) so we didn’t get about as much as we might have liked, but we had a couple of trips to Kos town and to Zia, where the sunsets are amazing.
Zia is a small village located on the Dikaion mountain. It has the oldest water mill in the Kos. The village has a nice atmosphere. There are many small shops where you can buy typical thyme honey, olive oil with chilli peppers, olive soap etc. We had a wonderful supper in one of the best restaurants in Zia, Oromedon. Its terraces were packed with diners, and I noticed that the restaurant adjacent had hardly any customers. My prawn saganaki consisted of giant prawns, and our friends, who had had the same dish elsewhere had found the usual small prawns in it. Shows the sort of attention to detail and the quality of the chef at the Oromedon restaurant. Sitting there, watching the sun setting makes you feel like an Olympian god. The meal combined with the sunset, the mountain backdrop around me and the vista of the distant islands and lowlands way below made the trip there unforgettable. I believe that Bill Clinton visited the island once, came to Zia and dined at this restaurant.
On the night we visited Zia the sunset was not as spectacular as usual, due no doubt to the cloud rolling in from the storm we could feel we were on the edge of. After that night, we found that the wind changed direction at Kefalos, began blowing in directly onto the shore, and whipped up the water to choppiness. We had no rain and the temperature didn’t change much, but the calm and inviting sea became too rough for windsurfing and other sports for a couple of days.
The main transport for hire seems to be quad bikes or mopeds. You can hire a car by the day too. There is a bus from Kefalos to Kos Town which costs 4 euros each way, but we took a coach trip with a bunch of friends who were staying at the same place. Some photos from the holiday.
I got up at 4 a.m. to take this shot. I was tempted to tiptoe out in my jimjams, but my husband insisted I got dressed. Probably as well as despite the fact that it was so early there were quite a few fishermen bombing up the road outside Sydney Bar coming back from a night’s fishing, going home in their tatty old 4x4s or rusty old mopeds. I’d downloaded an App for the iPhone, The Photographers Emphemeris which is helpful when planning when and where to get the best sunrise or sunset.
As I only had to skip outside the hotel and step a few yards across the road with my camera, I watched the progress of the sunrise. From Kefalos the sun rises over the mountains in the east . There was a bit of a storm somewhere out in the Med that brought in some cloud for a few days, which you can see in the sunrise above. Unfortunately, because of the mountains behind, you don’t get a sunset from Kefalos. We saw some amazing moonrise, though. Oddly, no stars, despite the fact that there isn’t a lot of background lighting. I found that very strange.
It was wonderful to sit outside on the terrace of Sydney Bar with a cold drink and watch the moonrise about 10 p.m. One night it was an amazing bronze color, other nights it was bright silver.
Kefalos was originally the old capital of Kos, and although you can see that most of it has developed since the 1970s, it still has some original charm. The flowers were amazing, most of the residences had them in abundance.
I rediscovered Ice Tea, which I hadn’t had for ages. It was really thirst quenching, and nicer than just plain water. I found cold beer nice, but drinking alcohol in the heat of the day does not agree with me!
We sat on the harbour front in Kos town and enjoyed a cold drink. The waiter presented me with a Jasmine bloom, which was a nice touch.
Kefalos bay is quite long and sweeping, about a mile walk along the shoreline from end to end. Sydney bar is at one end, and at the other is a charming church on a rocky island. Two of the friends we were on holiday with had got married there a year before. Mamma Mia eat your heart out, its truly pictureque. There is also the remains of a 5th century Christian temple to amble around.
We went at the beginning of the tourist season (which is from May to September) and there really weren’t too many people about. I didn’t think about that too much until we were at Kos airport on the way home and were overwhelmed by the number of package holiday coaches disgorging masses of tourists and seeing them queuing up outside the terminal with their fractious offspring waiting for their instruction to book in. Can’t be much fun traveling with kiddies at night. We had traveled independently, for which I am grateful. My only gripe was the holiday company we booked with messed us about and turned a civilized day-time flight into a hellish night-time one, and I shall be exceedingly careful to make arrangements next time with a reliable company.