A week ago I returned from a much-needed holiday on the beautiful Greek island of Kos.
Greece itself has been in the news a lot recently due to the economic crisis, but I can tell you if you are going over there, if you take enough cash – and the vendors are insuring higher amounts now because of this – you will have no problems.
Because I’m not the fittest person at the moment, my intention with the holiday was to lay beside the pool and read all day. Unfortunately the flight there took it out of me and I lost the first three days reading time as I recovered and slept on my sunbed most of the day with family waking me to move my bed back into shaded areas.
After that, I was well away and reading as well as enjoying the sunshine and location.
As well as lying around and soaking up the sun we took a couple of trips into the town of Kos. Kos town is small but as already mentioned, it is beautiful and the people there are lovely. They can’t do enough to help you. It is unfortunate for them that right at this time they are having an influx of immigrants crossing over from Turkey by sea, which you can actually see from the beach of the resort I stayed at. It’s high season for the people in the town and this is when they make their money for the year. But because of all the press around the immigrants people are staying away.
I spoke to a restaurant owner who said the immigrants are fighting each other in front of the police station and there are not enough police to manage. More police are needed from Athens. He said that a female shopkeeper who owns a store in front of where they gather, verbally/physically shoos them off her shop step with a broomstick. The restaurant owner said the immigrants have threatened to burn her shop down.
I also spoke to that very shop owner, as she had the most wonderful shop, and I saw her shoo an immigrant off her step with said broom but she said the incidents were minimal and today was first in a while. The previous one was a month ago. I also witnessed quite a large fight. I tried to record it on my phone but a family member stopped me as I was pointed out as being seen recording it so it’s only 8 seconds long, but you get the gist. The fight had been happening in the background of the video and it’s just about fizzled out when I’m recording but you can see the amount of people who are there.
We were told that the square we sat and drank in is, at 8am, covered in sleeping immigrants. Through the day they get up and move about. Though you can still see them lying and sleeping.
I passed an immigrant woman sat on the ground and she had a baby in a pushchair. I gave her my full bottle of water. She then seemed to be asking for more. It’s a very difficult situation for everyone concerned.
The restaurant owner said tourists have decreased due to the reports of the overrunning of Kos by immigrants and he has thousands of pounds monthly rent to pay and his income is decreasing. Nothing is being done to help the problem.
It is high season and yet the majority of the shops, and seats in roadside, and those on the squares, cafes are vacant. Are people no longer coming to the island of Kos or if they are, are they just staying in their resorts and not venturing into the town due to the coverage of the immigrant situation?
Kos is still a beautiful place and I wasn’t put off being there by what was occurring. It is easy enough to avoid areas you don’t want to be in but the greek people are wonderful. I had a great time.
I didn’t feel I could talk about Kos in this post and act as though I hadn’t seen what I’d seen. I’m very lucky to be in the position I’m in and I know that.
My holiday was blissful. Kos is wonderful and I would tell anyone to go there no matter what is happening because you will be greeted with the warmest of welcomes and they really need us.