Rumskys Repositioned from the Caribbean to Europe and Back Again travel blog

Sixteenth century Osman Shah, or Koursoun, mosque

Former Ottoman bathhouse, then prison, now Tsitsanis museum

Sixteen century Ottoman baths repurposed into a prison

Intriguing displays of Ottoman women and their special bath shoes

Tsitsanis museum reveals music of Greek struggles

Picturesque old Turkish town of Varousi from the Byzantine fort's Clock Tower

Paraskevi, our hostess and owner of our stone cabin airbnb in Meteora, was originally from the nearby city of Trikala. We got into a lively discussion regarding music, and she told us about how Greek music had originated as a protest, in prison. We became so curious talking to her that we decided to spend a day in her home town and visit the music museum. Since we were taking the bus, the easiest thing for us to do was to be dropped off at the mosque (which was close to the tiny bus office where we got picked up for the return ride home). The Osman Shah, or Koursoum, mosque, is a huge building with a heavy ("koursoum") ceiling over two levels high. Sinan Pasha, the same architect who built the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, built this UNESCO-designated mosque in the 16th century. The nearby Tsitsani museum is housed in a former prison, that upon escavation revealed an old Ottoman bathhouse. I really enjoyed seeing these ruins, talking to the women there (in English) regarding the structure, and reading the placards with pictures of the Ottoman women in their bath garb (especially their cool shoes!). Upstairs, the Tsitsani museum was quite small, but an energetic woman pointed out some interesting things and played some famous songs for us, bringing the history of this famous Greek musician to life. We then wandered towards the Fortress of Trikala, with its unmissable watchtower perched high on a hill. The narrow streets and overhanging balconies of the old Turkish quarter of Varousi along the way were very atmospheric. We made it up to the Fortress just before closing time, so we snapped a few pix and returned quickly over the Trikala bridge, back to our bus stop. All in all, it was quite a nice outing in a typical, pretty Greek town.

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