After finally getting to grips with our stroke of 5 star good luck (including champagne for birthday breakfast!) we head out to explore Kos town.
Hopping on the bus from the hotel we alight at the bustling harbour which is also where you’ll find lots of restaurants and bars too.
First up it was off to see some cultural sights. Below is the Tree of Hippocrates, a plane tree under which, according to legend, Hippocrates (considered the father of medicine) taught his pupils the art of medicine.
We’re lucky to have seen this early on in the holiday as just days later a huge earthquake shook the island ( and us) to its core and destroyed the beautiful old dome.
We then visit the Mosque of Nefterdar in Eleftherias Square. This impressive building had a beautiful minaret that again was completely destroyed during the earthquake.
Then there’s a quick spin around the markets with traditional products such as olive oil soap and sponges of all sizes.
There are plenty of shopping opportunities in Kos town with its myriad of little back streets all lined with shops and boutiques.
Our final stop on the sightseeing tour is the Castle of the Knights that guards the entrance to Kos harbour, also known as Neratzia Castle.
The castle was built in the 15th century by the Knights of St John on the site of a former fortress.
The name Neratzia means ‘sour oranges’ and is a reference to when orange trees with very bitter fruit once grew around the castle.
It’s a very dry and dusty site so I am thankful for the shade and colour of the bougainvillea.
There’s some wonderful views from the castle walls out over the harbour.
The castle is pretty much a ruin inside littered with broken masonry, few buildings to inspect and not much provided in the way of information.
The outer castle was built with thick walls to defend against repeated attacks by the Turks but finally Kos eventually fell to Turkish invaders in 1523.
During the 19th century it was used as the barracks of the Turkish garrison but in 1816 a gunpowder room exploded and destroyed a large part of castle.
After a few hot and sweaty hours exploring the site we call it quits and head for a little more shopping.