Monday, July 15, 2024

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Romance and the Little Girl of Colorful Mansions: SYMI

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Banu DEMIR

As I got off the ferry, the gentle warm wind blew my long dress, and I was so happy. The red-tiled roofs and the cute little balconies with balustrades that I was staring at were like muses winking at me through traditional two- and three-story stone houses painted in all colors, mostly indigo, ocher and terracotta. At that moment, I realized that a natural smile formed on my face. 🙂 As a freedom-loving “sagittarius” woman, I couldn’t wait to explore the island. I feel similar feelings every time I go to Symi.

When you set foot in the town of Symi, you are left alone with the magnificent view stretching to the slopes of the hills as if you have stepped into a painting. The only thing you notice while admiring the breathtaking port of Symi is Symi itself. So much more than words or photos can tell! The first thing you will see is the clock tower built by the famous sculptor of the time, Valsamis. The clock tower greets you with all its splendor…

Symi Island is one of the holiday destinations where you can say “I’m glad I went”, and it is small but one of the places that you will not want to leave once you get into it. Symi (Symbeki), one of the smallest of the 12 islands of Greece, is a rare travel stop that always preserves its place as an indispensable part of summer holiday routes and offers a visual feast while inviting you to eternal peace. According to mythology, the island got its name from the nymph named “Nymph Syme”. Transportation to the island: It is extremely easy with the ferries departing from Bodrum and Datça in Turkey. Or for those with yachts, it’s even easier 🙂

These narrow stone streets that you can’t get enough of exploring with the gentle touch of the summer sun on you, are the oldest trade route on Symi Island, where the houses of mysterious captains and merchants are located… I feel like I’ve entered a time warp whenever I visit the island; captains dressed as pirates and merchants trying to sell their goods come alive before my eyes. Sometimes I say to myself: “You may have lived in those times, Banu”… Let me continue to explain before Symi’s romance drags me into emotional turmoil 🙂

One of the most important places you should see on the island, “Kali Strata” which means “The Right Way”. It consists of 500 wide stone stairs connecting the harbor and Chorio. Chorio is the main city of the island of Symi. This path continues through two-story, old, neo-classical mansions painted in pastel colors and covered with tiled
roofs. There are also windmills in this region, the castle, which is one of the oldest structures on the island, and a Byzantine church next to it. When I raise my head and see the windmills winking at me, it suddenly reminds me of Don Quixote, who waged war against them… His adventurous journey with Sancho… I remember the words of
Cervantes that I cannot forget, “Your instinct shows you the right path.” I guess that’s my life motto. 🙂

Let’s keep walking: The Simi War Memorial, which you should also see while walking on Kali Strata, is the Monument located on the side of the clock tower of the harbor, next to the exposed large rock surface and next to the ‘endless’ white steps… A bird on a stone column, in the “Dove of Peace” It consists of a number of elements including.

As someone who likes to get gifts, of course, my eyes are drawn to shops selling small souvenirs. Like all women 😉 It is very likely that you will come face to face with a Greek from romantic movies in these shops… It will inspire you at every step and feed your imagination. Not to mention that sweet smell in the air… As you walk, Galios, which is considered to be the center of the island, winks at you with small shops where you can buy souvenirs unique to here. In addition to the sponges, which are the symbol of Simi, a wide range of souvenirs, from figurines of pastel-colored neo- classical houses to handmade leather goods, will attract you. I am enchanted by the impatient excitement I hear while choosing the gifts…

However, my advice to you is: Seeing Kali Strata takes time and effort, so if you get hungry and want to reward yourself later, you should definitely visit Georgio & Maria’s restaurant… Again, one of the addresses you won’t regret. Beautifully cooked fish, moussaka and Greek salads are on their menu. A chance to taste good house wine accompanied by delicious food. Who can say no. 🙂 Imagine the combination of great food, a creative team and fast service. That’s exactly what this restaurant provides for you… Beautiful decoration and pleasant atmosphere had already started to produce new scenarios in my mind… In the meantime, of course, it is impossible not to try the famous Greek cheese Feta, the special crispy shrimp for Symi, the silver fish called
Papillion, and, of course, the island-specific olive oil. 🙂

While walking towards the Captain’s Suites hotel, where I feel myself at home during my visits for accommodation, the colorful mini-train passing by me becomes an inspiration again. When I arrive at my hotel, which is located in Symi Harbor and only 300 meters from Nos Beach, I meet the panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and stare at the deep blue waters… Since there is no swimming in the port area of the island, there are taxis and minibuses to the beaches in the bays to feel the coolness of the turquoise water. While getting lost in the streets of the island at sunset, I get tired of walking and get on the mini-trains that tour the island and take a stroll among the colorful houses. I’m thinking of extending the holiday by adding sirtaki and breaking a few plates on a romantic summer evening to my itinerary.

My poem that I wrote inspired by the island of Symi;

Serenade of the Sea
The sailor pulled down the moon for
The poetess whom he met by chance,
Being magnetized to each other,
For him, she wrote poems,
For her, he gave inspiration…

May the sunshine not be missing from your heart,

Hope to see you in the blue,

Banu Demir
Poet&Editor

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