Saturday, 29 September 2018

They Came To Greece, They Had A Thirst For Knowledge.....


Buses are all well and good but keen explore more of Kos's interior, we really needed our own set of wheels. We could have hired sport cars or soft tops but, at 38€ for the day, we were more than happy with a little red Hyundai. Repeating keep to the right, keep to the right, like some sort of religious mantra, it didn't take long for Jon to get to grips with driving on the wrong side and, with surprisingly good road surfaces, the journey was far smoother than negotiating the pot hole-riddled horrors that we're used to at home.


In just over an hour - we took a couple of wrong turns and inevitably ended up lost in an olive grove - we reached our first destination, the island's most important ancient site, Asklepieion, which was founded in the 3rd century BC. Until it was destroyed by an earthquake in 554 AD, Asklepieion had been both a school of medicine and a healing centre and followed the teachings of Hippocrates who, if you remember from my last post, was born & lived on Kos.


Asklepieion was named after Asclepius, the Greek god of healing and the son of fellow Gods, Apollo and Coronis. Whilst pregnant, Coronis was unfaithful to Apollo and he was so angry that he had her burnt on a pyre but, during the cremation, he realised his error and snatched his unborn son from her womb. Apollo banished Asclepius to Earth where he was found and raised by Chiron, a kindly centaur. Chiron taught Asclepius the art of healing and he became so accomplished that he learnt the art of raising the dead and attained immortality. 


The ruins occupy three levels with the Roman-era public baths and remains of the guest rooms on the first level.





Asklepieion has the most incredible views over the Aegean to Turkey, said to have been deliberately chosen in order to lift the spirits of the patients who travelled from all over Greece to seek treatment. 


The second floor holds an altar of Kyparissios Apollo, with the 1st century BC Temple to Apollo to the east and the first Temple of Asclepius, built in the 4th century BC, to the west. 


Are these columns Ionic, Doric or Corinthian? Judging by the ornate carving at the top they'll be Corinthian. Those seven years spent at grammar school weren't in vain after all! 


Making like a vestal virgin in my £1.99 charity shop cheesecloth dress.


As you can see, we became mildly obsessed with photographing these lion head spouts, likely from a sophisticated two thousand year old drainage system. Who says you can't combine beauty with practicality? Certainly not the ancient Greeks.



The other tourists that day were mostly German and Italian. There were a couple of Brits at the ticket office arguing that they weren't going to pay eight quid just to see a f*cking church. Yes folks, we're going to be forced to leave Europe soon and live on an island surrounded by people like that. God help us.


My legs haven't been the same since I climbed these steps.


The remains of the 2nd century BC Temple of Asciepius are up on the third level.


I see Turkey!


After passing the time of day with a couple of Asklepieion's resident cats we jumped back in the car and continued on our way.


We drove up a perilously steep cliff to Zia, said to be Kos's prettiest mountain village.




After parking the car and taking a short climb up the hill, we stopped off at a 200 year old former watermill for an iced coffee (frappe).



According to the Lonely Planet, Zia resembles a one street theme park in peak tourist season with coachloads of tourists deposited every few minutes. By mid-September it was pleasantly busy but not overwhelmingly so.









More steps!






A further few miles drive through the Dikeos mountains and we reached the village of Pyli.





Pyli was far less commercialised, with just a handful of tourists seeking shelter from the blazing sunshine in the village's two tavernas, next-door to one another in a pristine village square. We took a seat, ordered (just by way of a change) Greek salads and Mythos beer and watched the village housewives scrubbing the outside of their houses whilst cats basked under the foliage.




After lunch we wandered around the village and daydreamed of buying an ancient stone house, I'm rather taken with THIS one!




And that was Kos, just the relaxing week away we needed - beautiful beaches, endless sunshine, fabulous food and ancient ruins on almost every corner.


Batteries recharged and pre-festival season sanity restored, a mere twenty-six hours after landing back in the UK we were back on the road. With the alarm set for 5am, last Saturday we travelled to Walthamstow where we had an amazing day trading with Pop Up Vintage.


Tomorrow we're off to London again with Pop Up Vintage, where we'll be trading at the Brick Lane and Friends Festival (details HERE). We've been out hunting every day this week and we've got some incredible new old stock, even if I do say so myself!

See you soon!

Linking to Patti and the gang for Visible Monday.

64 comments:

  1. Very interesting historical context to place those gorgeous ruins in. It was great reading about the God of heeling and other Greek myths connected to the place. Greece seems like such a perfect place to vacation in. I do like your white maxi dress btw, and the bag is very cute as well. You both look happy and tanned exploring the Greek island, just what a vacation should be like, I'd say.

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    1. It was the perfect getaway - just what we needed after two months of festivals.
      It's a real novelty to get on a plane and arrive at your destination in four hours, for years we've only flown long haul and are exhausted when we arrive! x

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  2. Love this post and your details. How do I get Greece on my travel docket? I'll figure it out. You look stunning and Jon looks cool!

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    1. Thanks, Sam! A trip to Greece needs to be next on your list, I think! x

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  3. It's heartbreaking when you discover Brits behaving like that. However, that dress is a fab £1.99s worth of virginal beauty and in such a wonderful setting!

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    1. It's awful, isn't it? When we were at the airport on the way home a couple of women old enough to know better (late 50s?) almost came to blows as one like the other one's attitude. So embarrassing! xxx

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  4. I love Common People! Ha!

    You look perfect in your white dress.

    One of these days I hope to make it over to Greece. I'm sure you were both a bit tired of Greek salad after your stay though.

    Wishing you brilliant sales this weekend!

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. I'll never get tired of Greek salads, honest! xxx

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  5. Your photos are beautiful vix love the colorful ones especially , Love the white dress , What a bargain , I have had a great buying week for a change as its been terrible all summer xxx

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    1. Thank you! I was really pleased with that dress - especially the price of it!
      I'm glad you're doing well with finds. We didn't get much today in our usual place so we're off on an adventure in the morning! xxx

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  6. Gorgeous pix of such an amazing place! Usually it is the Germans here in Nepal complaining about admission prices to historical places. I want the watermelon wheeled scooter! xox

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    1. Thank you!
      Oh dear, the Germans I meet when travelling always seem impeccably behaved and polite. It's a relief it's not just Brits, then! xxx

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  7. So much glorious colour!
    Arilx

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  8. I love your photos, white dress and the cats!
    Always enjoy your posts, thank you.
    You are such an inspiration with your energy and positivity.
    Pam in Texas.xx

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    1. Awww, thanks Pam! Lovely to hear from you. x

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  9. I enjoyed this trip into sunshine and history and cats. I want my taps to have lion heads on them too! I'm glad you had a great break.

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  10. Asklepieion looks gorgeous, and I love that view across the Aegean Sea to Turkey. How stunning are those columns! Zia and Pyli are both very picturesque. Love the cats! And oh, those steps really do look lethal for the legs ... Good to hear your week away has restored your sanity. Wishing you good trading at Brick Lane tomorrow! xxx

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    1. I'm still hobbling around almost a fortnight later, when will I ever learn that flip flops, hundreds of steps and a gammy hip aren't a good combination?!
      Isn't that view magnificent? I bet that alone helped heal a lot of the Ancient Greeks. x

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  11. A great title, I loved Pulp!
    It looks beyond gorgeous. And you are positively rocking 'Greek Goddess', what a beautiful dress. xxx

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    1. Me, too - Jarvis is a god!
      Thank you! That dress is now packed away for the next Greek odyssey. x

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  12. That must have been scary driving in a hilly region on the opposite side of the road-well done, Jon! You really look like you belonged there dressed like a goddess-did anyone ask for a photo with you?

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    1. He was a bit of a wreck at first, I can tell you!
      I don't think anyone knew what to make of me! xxx

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  13. You bought back so many memories of visiting Kos many years ago. We went to Asklepion and Zia in our hire car, although the roads were little more than tracks in those days and quite scary when we met a lorry full of goats coming in the opposite direction. I'd love to go back some day.

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    1. Oh dear! Nothing much seems to change in Greece except the roads and that's definitely a change for the better! xxx

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  14. Hello Vix! So wonderful to ‘go along for the ride’! Tge white outfit is stunning. Thoroughly enjoyed your Kos posts- especially since my ancestors hail from a neighboring island - on my bucket list. Xox

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Carol. I hope you get there one day, Greece is magical - as the kids say "no filter needed!" xxx

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  15. Kos looks lovely - and you look like a Greek Goddess in that dress. I could live forever on Greek salads, bread and mythos lol (maybe wine instead occasionally). Damn I miss Greece!

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    1. You need to start planning a return trip!
      Goodness knows how we'll get on if we go to Greece again next year with the Brexit nightmare - we might need a visa! xxx

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  16. lisbeth has sisters on kos! :-D
    what looks more old greecian then a white cheesecloth dress? - a black haired, beautiful women in it!
    thanx for taking us around that pretty island!
    happy trading!
    xxxx

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    1. Lisbeth had lots of sisters and brothers on Kos - a perfect excuse to visit! xxx

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  17. Isn't it wonderful to drive on pothole-less roads, in France it's the same. Thanks for taking us on your trip to Kos, love seeing the history and pretty villages. Where next year? Xx

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    1. Even Gujarat had better roads that the ones around here!
      Definitely Greece again next year - that's if we'll be allowed to leave the UK after Brexit! Next stop, India! xxx

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  18. woww, so many fantastic pictures!, lovely villages, lovely colorful details, lovely landscapes!. And you look particularly fabulous posing with those greek columns! totally rocking in your white dress!. Greek salad and cats have put a smile on my face too! Daydreaming about moving to one of those old houses is something I would do, actually it's something I do everytime I visit my fav Algarve places.
    besos

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    1. Some friends moved to Portugal last year, I'm green with envy when I see their photos on IG! xxx

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  19. Vix, you're such a wonderful photographer, your photos are beautiful. The sense of sunshine and happiness from this post is reminding me of my holiday to Sydney (I just got back)! I wonder where you and Jon will visit in your next holiday adventures. Xxx

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    1. Thanks, Jess, that's very kind of you! I was hopeless at photography until I started blogging.
      I'm loving your Sydney adventures, you can't beat travel posts! xxx

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  20. You look fabulous in your cheesecloth £1.99 dress, so in keeping with the surroundings. I bet you were the best dressed tourist on the island. How disappointing that ignorant people can leave such a poor image of us Brits abroad (those ignorant people at the ticket office). I think it's a magical place and would love to visit.

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    1. Thank you so much, Betty! It does make you ashamed to be British sometimes when you encounter such uncouth behaviour abroad.
      Asklepieion was a wonderful experience, I'd highly recommend it. It's amazing that we can experience such amazing stuff just four hours away. xxx

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  21. Aaah that looks blissful!

    Other Brits on holiday can be really cringeworthy sometimes. (I'm sure plenty of other nationalities can be just as bad, but it's somehow worse when you know you're being lumped in with them purely on the basis of a passport.) Oh god, Brexit... a terrible idea that's going to remove many of our legal defences, destroy the NHS as it gets opened up to American healthcare 'providers', and plunge us into recession. But hey, blue passports. *cries*

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    1. Overheard in the airport queue - "I wonder how we're going to get on coming to Greece next year what with Brexit. I think most people voted to leave 'cos they were told a bunch of lies. Mind you, it's not our fault, we were on holiday when the referendum was on so we didn't bother voting." Arghhhh!

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  22. If only you could have stayed longer. Your tan looked wonderful with that beautiful white dress. The photos were fab. I was green with envy.­čśÄ

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    1. I wish we could have stayed longer, Kos was lovely! xxx

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  23. What a lovely burst of sunshine and warmth on this chilly day! Fabulous scenery and buildings and I just loved the whitewashed house with the green door and windows.I'd buy that one...

    You make an extremely glamorous Vestal Virgin and the photo of you with two other lovely ladies is beautiful; fabulous sleeves!

    Can't wait to see what fab items you've acquired...

    Have a great week.
    xxxx

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    1. As I sit here wearing a cardi with the heating on it's hard to believe it was less than a fortnight ago!
      I wish I'd taken photos of what i bought last week - it's all sold! Must do better next time! xxx

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  24. Love this guide, personalized by you and Jon. I've been to Crete and it's quite similar - the old temples, statues and ruins are mesmerizing. And you, a Vestal Virgin at the temple! Sad to read about what may be changing in Britain; it's not too jolly to be here in the States right now, either! xox

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    1. Ah, Crete! that was our original plan. I went with an ex-boyfriend back in 1989 and was keen to go back and do it properly (he wasn't into culture - that's why he's a ex!) xxx

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  25. How beautiful you look in your white dress next to the ancient columns! And the Greek cats, as legendary as the columns... I can certainly picture you living in one of those old stone houses - it would absolutely make sense, giving how much you love old cultures and sun!

    Lots of love!

    PS Can't wait to see you in sparkly socks! :)

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    1. Thanks, Natalia! I'd love one of those stone houses, I could open a cat sanctuary and help all those cats when the tourists had gone home.
      I'm excited about the sparkly socks and even more so to see you wearing them! xxx

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  26. One must admire the elegant adjustment you made to your hairstyle in homage to the Grecian dress! Utterly charming!

    And who is the tall lady clad in vintage grey, head to foot, and wearing a hat! in the Walsthamstow image? Her hat, her hair, her dark stockings with real shoes!

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    1. Thanks, Beth!
      That elegant lady in grey is a regular at most of the London fairs, she's called Sally and was one of the original Blitz Kids - a group of young clubbers from the late 70s/early 80s who were the founder members of the New Romantic scene. Isn't she gorgeous? She reminds me of some of the incredible women on the Advanced Style blog. xxx

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  27. Wow, what gorgeous pictures, and what a treat to visit there with you guys! I love all the motley kitties! Glad you had a good vintage show - wish we had vendors like you here! I hope you both had a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Sheila! I'm a sucker for a cat or two!
      I wish we could take our travelling shop over to you! xxx

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  28. Kos certainly looks a very pleasant island to visit ,so much to see and do. I have been to mainland Greece many moons ago but not any of the islands. Your white cheesecloth dress looked so good on you. Glad you returned home rested and raring to go again, glad your vintage show was a success. xx

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    1. Kos was lovely especially out of season when it wasn't particularly busy and over run with badly behaved Brits! xxx

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  29. Your travel photos are amazing! You wore the perfect outfit to complement that magnificent scenery. And I thoroughly enjoyed the stories of the Greek Gods. Lots of drama there! As far as the impolite public displays when travelling, Americans definitely have a reputation. I cringe when I see it happening and always feel I should go up to the person on the receiving end and apologize for their bad behavior, just so they'll know we're not all like that!

    Theresa

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    1. Years ago we were in India and I overheard an American girl saying to her travelling companion "Jeez, and I thought the Taj Mahal was Catholic". Isn't it embarrassing when you see our fellow countrymen acting so ignorantly abroad? I want to earth to swallow me up! xxx

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  30. Oh those views!!!! I LOVE Greek mythology and history and I love all the stories- you look like Helen of Troy in your vestigal virgin dress! I LOVE it!
    The car hire was a bargain!!
    I hope that you feel well rested!
    xx

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    1. We felt well rested for 26 hours and then we did a vintage fair! Fab while it lasted, though! x

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  31. You look every inch the Greek Goddess in that white frock. To get those views I guess you have to expect some steps... I loved Greece, I'd like to go back and enjoy it without the evenings spent drinking and mornings spent hungover!
    I love a Greek salad, I might just have to go and purchase the ingredients to make one...
    Glad you had a good break, but you hit the ground running!
    xx

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  32. "Making like a vestal virgin in my £1.99 charity shop cheesecloth dress." - love this!! Sounds like a truly wonderful holiday xx

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  33. Thank you for sharing all the photos of your vacation - I've never been to Greece and it does look like I imagined it would. I would probably spend more time petting the cats than sightseeing! You look like a Greek goddess in your white dress.

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  34. It was definitely worth the 38 euros! I went to Kos in 1992, but never visited these places. I did however stay up all night and watch the sunrise over Turkey on a beach with a guy called Steve from Sheffield - along with quite a crowd. What else do you do when the bars and clubs close! x

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Don't be shy, if you enjoyed your visit leave a comment, I can come and visit your blog if you do.
Love from Vix
xxx