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Most people finish their tour in a nearby tavern. As it is situated on a hill, it offers beautiful views.
Goats are nice company. Small bells hanging on a string inform that they are not wild. All the more you do not have to be afraid of them, but it is also safer not to approach them.
Next, it's just a short but quite steep climb to the castle. When in the 15th century there were frequent attacks by pirates and Turks, it was here that the people sought refuge. There is not much left of the castle today. Actually, only the remains of the walls, or rather fortifications, enforced by the Knights Joanni when they occupied the island. And although, after a tiring in terrible heat, you feel unsatisfied, it is worth coming here.
The views from here are beautiful, you can see the nearby islands of Pserimos and Kalymnos, and Turkey, in the vicinity of the touristic Bodrum.
The square in front of residential buildings and a small church, which is opened occasionally, activates ideas about the local life before 1830. Today, the place is completely empty, even there are few tourists, but it used to be full of life. This is where the neighbors used to meet, and the children to play ...
Religion has always been important. It doesn't matter what kind, whether to the pagan gods or the One God. There is also a church next to the apartments and the square. Although it seems tiny, such as there are many in Greece, it had to be important. Closed, it is said to hide, although damaged, they are still beautiful frescoes.
A bell hanging from a nearby tree can be brought back to life to recall memories from many, many years ago.
Although in summer the temperature changes our condition, contrary to appearances, a small climb and a not very steep climb lined with stone stairs separates us from crossing the former residential settlement. Houses with little left, and which, as very typical and unremarkable, hide a tragedy from several hundred years ago.
Because in 1830, i.e. statistically recently, at least taking into account the age of ancient monuments, a drama for the inhabitants of Pyla unleashed here. Hell has brought disease for many families - damn it.
Today we know that the epidemic caused by it spreads thanks to dirt, washing hands ... Today, but at the beginning of the 19th century, an epidemic quickly arose, followed by many deaths, also of the most beloved people in the family, and thus also completely defenseless children .
First, individual families, then more and more massively, family after family, left their home and all their belongings to save their own lives and the lives of their beloved people.
After a short walk along the road paved with stones, a mysterious church appears. Although it is not open to the public, it impresses from a distance with its raw, stone outline. The coat of arms above the entrance refers to the Order of the Knights, whose hallmark was the cross.
At the very beginning of mountain climbing, with high probability, you can meet ... a Greek. Dressed in a traditional ewzona outfit, with a skirt made of 400 pleats (400 years of Turkish captivity), he is waiting for voluntary donations. Instead, you can take pictures of yourself at will, with him and the falcon who will sit on your hand or arm for a piece of bread. He is very eager to talk and stories, Greek of course.
Old Pyli (also called Paleo Pyli) is an old, long abandoned settlement, located at the foot of a Byzantine fort, built during the Macedonian dynasty, i.e. in the period from the 9th century AD. until the 11th century AD The castle gained strong fortifications, and thus strong defensive walls, when Kos was ruled by the Order of the Knights of St. John.
There is not much left to explore today after the fortress. However, because it is located on the top of a considerable hill, it offers a beautiful view of the nearby islands; Pserimos and Kalymnos, and nearby Turkey.
However, the castle is at the end of the road ...
By car, the last few kilometers to the ruins of the medieval city of Old Pyli are difficult. The gravel road does not inspire you in a positive way. Unfortunately, rental cars usually do not have undercarriage insurance. The destination may disappoint those tourists who are looking for ... urban and comfortable places.
Old Pyli is interesting for those who like mysterious places and without crowds of other visitors. The terrain is very mountainous and even difficult, you must take a lot of drink and something energizing. And yet ... when I arrived there, I don't know why, I forgot to change my shoes before leaving the hotel and I arrived in ... pool sandals. And ... even when I was afraid that one of the straps would break, I did not regret the day spent here even for a moment. Moreover, the most enthusiastic people I passed with my husband were children and the elderly.
So all you need is a bit of willingness and self-denial to visit this place, which has quite a dark story, and which, when told to young children, will turn this difficult journey into an adventure told long after returning from vacation