Warm Memories

IMG_4833I’ll go back to the trip to Greece in August one more time. Now that it has gotten fairly cold in Finland already, it’s strange to remember how warm it was there. How the sun would shine from a bright sky, how the sand burned beneath the feet on the beach, how the cooling wind would feel like the most perfect thing on earth, how relaxed I felt and not to mention how delicious the Greek food tasted…

The autumn in Finland has it’s own charm too, but still it’s sometimes fun to think back those moments. Fortunately, I’ll get some new memories to think about soon, as I’ll get to travel away for an extended weekend next month! This time the destination will be far from warm though (at least this time of the year)… Prague awaits!

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IMG_4439Asclepeion, asklepion… Ask-whatever is a hard name for me to learn (maybe because the spelling seems to vary?), but one of the best historic sights at Kos. The name comes from a god Asclepius, who according to Greek mythology was the god of medicine and healing.

So Asklepion was a temple for gods, but apparently also sort of an ancient hospital. It was an institution where healers tried to cure patients and to systematize medicine. It is said that Hippocrates got his medical training at this very asclepieion on Kos.

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IMG_4097During our vacation in Kos, we stayed pretty much around the Kos Town area besides a day trip to Turkey and visit to Therma Beach, that has a natural hot spring. Hot spring is something I didn’t expect to find in Greece, so of course I had to check it out.

The distance from Kos Town to Therma was about 10 kilometres, so we rented bikes for the trip. In the end of the trip we faced a tough combination of a loooong upward slope and blazing hot weather, but otherwise getting there was pretty easy. At Therma you still have to climb down a small sandy road to get to the beach though, but it didn’t feel bad at all after the struggles with cycling… And if you’re feeling lazy, you can also pay for a donkey ride up and down the hill. Some visitors even drove the road down with a car.

The small spring full of hot bubbly water was definitely worth the visit! (Even though it was really crowded…) When we arrived I was sweating from the hot air and fierce sunshine, but after a while in the water the plus 30 degrees celcius air started to feel cold! What a weird feeling. That and the natural setting of the spring made the experience pretty different from example my hot spring visit in Iceland…

I could also recommend visiting the spring just for the great views on the way there (and if you like goats, because there were lots of them on the hills ;))!

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The Other Side

IMG_3961Before I start sharing my holiday memories from Kos in my blog, I have to note that Greece and especially Kos isn’t all fun and games for everybody… I was privileged to be there on a holiday and not on a leg of a long and hard journey, that is probably also a matter of life and death to many.

I really don’t have words for the “refugee issue” right now, so I’m telling about it the only way I know how: through pictures.

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Summer Destination

P1000345Can you guess from the picture above where I’m headed on my vacation in August?

Well, I got to admit, this is a bit surprising choice for me, since I haven’t been on a package holiday or on a proper beach vacation in a long time! But going through different travel options my eyes caught such a cheap great package deal for flights + hotel, we decided to switch touring Croatia and Montenegro to Greece. And more specifically to the island of Kos.

I’ve read a lot of good (and also some bad) about that place, but it sounds pretty perfect right now. I checked that there should be enough to do, but not too much so that I can concentrate on loading my batteries. 😉 Because my summer holiday is so short (basically all I have is the time I’m traveling), I mostly want to just be and relax. My mom knows how I can easily get when I’m traveling. For example in New York I sometimes had a tight minute schedule for us, so that we would have time for everything. Now I want laying on the beach, reading a good book and enjoying slow dinners more, than that sightseeing-schedule (which is good in some situations though, don’t get me wrong!). But right now, I’m saving the cravings I have for sights in Croatia for when I have more time (and well, money…).

I’m prepared for the fact that Kos might be a horrible tourist trap and that the euro-crisis could also get worse and spoil the whole thing! But the sun should be shining, there are beaches all over, Kos should be a paradise for riding a bike (I’ve gotten really into biking lately), and not to mention Greek food and history… So I’m sure I’ll handle a week there. 😉 And I checked it’s also easy to make a daytrip to Turkey from there.

I have been to Greece once with my parents, right after high school. The pictures are from that trip to Corfu (I had just gotten my first digital camera, a little pocket-size one, that I took the pictures with). I have only good memories (though it was a bit too hot sometimes, about 40 celcius degrees), and I’m hoping Kos won’t let me down either.

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