A fisherman works on the boat Maria at the Kos Town harbour while other fishing boats and excursion vessels (below) catch the glow of the evening sun
A delicious Greek salad we enjoyed at Maria’s House restaurant in Kos Town
Feta fans: We will be arriving in Greece for our 2013 spring vacation in just a few days, reaching our first island destination around lunch time. And I can tell you right now what we’ll be ordering for lunch: Greek salad.
I make Greek salads often, but they never taste even just a fraction as good as the ones we eat in Greece. The ingredients simply can’t compare. The cucumbers sold at my neighbourhood grocery stores generally have no flavour, the green peppers are usually bitter, the tomatoes tend to be bland and mushy, the olives are sour and rubbery, and the over-salted feta typically has a spongy texture.
It’s a whole different story in Greece, where the vegetables are packed full of flavour and the olives and feta are divine. Just the thought of ordering a Greek salad in Greece practically makes my mouth water.
Can’t wait for our first lunch!
Maria’s House at 80 Averof Street in Kos Town. Maria’s was our best — and favourite — dining experience on Kos during our Dodecanese island hopping holiday in May 2010.
The exterior wall of the Castle of the Knights of St John, viewed from the opposite side of palm-tree-lined Finikon street in Kos Town …
… and part of the castle interior, viewed from the elevated walkway that extends along the perimeter of the castle’s tall stone walls. Visible in the distance is the Bodrum area of Turkey.
Seaside stronghold: When I was a little kid, my friends and I used to build makeshift forts and treehouses and compete for control over the territory. “I’m the king of the castle, and you’re a dirty rascal” was a familiar taunt back in those days. It’s too bad our parents never took us to Kos, because we would have had the time of our young lives visiting the Castle of the Knights in Kos Town.
One of the most popular tourist attractions in Kos, the castle was constructed sometime in the 15th Century by the Knights of St. John, who used stones and marble recovered from the ruins of an ancient city that was devastated by an earthquake. It took them more than 120 years to finish building the stronghold, which was the second castle to be built on the site. (The first one was built in the early 1300s and later got completely destroyed). There actually is a castle within a castle — the outer wall was built between 1495 and 1514 to provide extra fortification for the original castle built more than a half century before.
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