Going to Kritika Beach was like being cured of partial blindness which prevented observation of nature’s grandeur at its finest. Visibility was perfect with Turkey crystal clear a pale blue hue on the horizon, whilst there was barely a cloud in the sky. The sea was the bluest of blue and ultra clear up close, and all the colours of the beach were as vibrant as you like – it was like life in HD.
On our final full day in Kos we had grabbed the bikes and headed down to the beach. We headed a bit further down Kritika Beach as the section we had been at two days previously was being swept by a digger. It was just as quiet and even more beautiful than ever, plus it was hot. The water was still freezing (well, it was early April and only the start of the season) but we still paddled and played with the GoPro in the sea.
We sunbathed, listened to podcasts and I even read the entire condensed history of Greece. Late afternoon we were back at our fave beer and ice cream taverna – Gossip Cafe in Kazouli Square. This was the 1000th day since Jodie had become my ‘summer girlfriend’ so to celebrate (1000) days of summer I bought her a bracelet to remind ehr of our amazing Greece trip.
We walked over to the bridge by the castle to see the tree Hippocrates is said to have taught his students under. On the way we met a really nice man at a stall selling beautiful oil paintings of Kos and other islands, sunsets and so on. For €20 we bought a gorgeous blue canvas which captured the essence of Greece we had grown to love.
For dinner we returned to another of our favourite Kos Town places – Kalymnos on Kritika Beach. I had a beautiful fresh moussaka and the obligatory delicious olives; our waiter from two days prior recognised us. We got chatting to him about Greek politics, his Albanian heritage, how Athens has struggled far more economically than the Greek islands, which have been saved by tourism, and how I worked at the London 2012 Olympic Games whilst he volunteered at Athens 2004. he was a textbook example of the friendliness we had come accustomed to from Kos locals.
The sun was setting on our final full day as we cycled up to platani, then up the hillside to An’s. Yet again we were mesmerised by the sun melting into the sea, the colours of the sky over the bay and Turkey, and the golden light brilliantly dazzling even the dullest buildings in Kos Town below. It was impossible not to feel happy in such an environment.
Kos Town is very easy to fall in love with. I was interested to learn that its as not always the island’s main town. The primary town used to be at the other end of the island, until 411 BC when it was destroyed by a Spartan admiral. Some survivors fled the island whilst others moved to the other end and formed Kos Town, which still stands today.
On our last day in Greece we chilled on the veranda before cycling into town to the beach once more. We sunbathed all morning; unlike in previous days we were joined on the beach by a large group of young tourists.It was clearly another sign of the island ‘waking uo’ from its winter slumber in preparation for the season – in just the seven days we had been in Kos, numerous shops and cafes had opened up, the beaches had begun to fill with deck chairs and more and more tourists had arrived. An told us that within weeks the island would be ‘crazy busy’, a statement backed up by many locals we chatted to. Much as I’d have loved to come when the sea was a bit warmer, I really enjoyed the romantic tranquility of early April, the ‘shoulder season’.
For lunch we went to Kazouli Square as usual and back to Aiyla cafe where we had been earlier in the week. We and delicious tzatziki (as always), tomato mezee, a local pie and Greek salad which I’ll never tire of – it really is the ultimate fresh, simple salad.
We cycled further down Kritika Beach after lunch to a more peaceful spot for a final spot of sunbathing and dipping our toes in the ultra-clear but equally chilly sea. Then it was back through the harbour one last time, up the road to Platani and finally the part I’ll miss most of all. Strolling up the hillside, bikes in tow, with all of Kos Town, the bay and adjacent Turkey laid out before us in glorious vibrant beauty. The colours in kos are richer and more stained in my brain than anywhere I can remember and I hope the feelings of being drunk on sunshine stays with me long after I am gone.
They say Kos is the island of healing – jot is said to have been home to Asclepios, God of healing, and it is of course home to the world’s first hospital and birthplace of Hippocrates, father of modern medicine, who taught in Kos and has been worshipped on the island ever since.
If you’re feeling stressed or overworked lately, I highly recommend you book a week in Kos. Come, enjoy the sun, taste the food, meet the locals, fall in love with the island and above all, heal thyself.