Greece is an artist’s playground. From colorful houses to pool-blue waters, the sun seems to reflect on the whole country with a little more principle, as if its only purpose of creation is to make Greece glow. Despite financial turmoil, the country seems to hold its ground, or at least hold it together for the tourists, who bring a very necessary cash inflow from mainland Europe and beyond. Greece is undeniably beautiful, alive in ways larger than the size of its economy. It was a true blessing to spend part of my summer vacation there, and offered a much needed escape from the craziness of everyday life.
We spent our eight blessed days amongst the Greek isles, on the island of Symi and Rhodes. From a far, Symi is a quiet, quaint island, with one nameless (at least to the average tourist) town welcoming all to its rocky soil. From inside its narrow cobblestone streets and storefront corners, quiet and quaint quickly becomes an insult to its vibrant culture.
Obviously build up to please the eye of tourist (and succeeded at that goal tremendously) the houses are painted vibrant colors, the people are spirited, and the food, most importantly, is nothing sort of impressive. From a two euro pita gyros lunch, morning date and banana smoothies, to an extravagant last supper of fish, Tzatziki, hummus, Greek salad, lamb Greek food is good at it’s worst and heavenly at its best. Can you tell Greek food is my favorite?
Everyday was a new adventure with a form of transportation. Day one was a ferry ride to the island of Symi. Day two offered a private chartered speedboat which took us around the island to all the secret coves and insider hotspots. We picked figs from a tree surrounded by local goats and swam in crystal clear waters through a sea cave. Day three was a break from the sun with a hike around town and to Pedi beach, a thirty-minute walk from our apartment. Day four proved we couldn’t stay from the ocean for long as we rented a small “dingy” and attempted to do our own private tour of the island.
Although strong winds and a maximum speed no greater than 25 km per hour kept us in Symi’s main port vicinity the independence and warm waters made it well worth the sunburns and dehydration. Day five was back on land, renting scooters to see the island from above.
We climbed hundreds of meters for a spectacular view of the port city and zoomed down the other side of the mountainous island to visit secluded beaches accessed by land. Day six? A ferry ride back to the island hub Rhodes. Day seven offered a bike ride around the old city and a walk back in time with cobblestone streets, castles, and the souls of the knights of Templar. Day eight evoked another item on my bucketlist – “learn to sail”. We chartered a sailboat and got splashed on the deck as we hit wave after wave with the front sail at full mass.
Greece is truly an artist’s paradise, but obviously also is anyone’s paradise.