09.08.07Mystical Symi… Unforgettable

by Eleni : Thoughts and Travel : No comments yet - add one!

When God was creating our world he must have been thinking about a place where humans could escape to and reconnect to the wonder of surprise, joy and inspiration.  I have just returned from Greece and the island of Symi just around the corner from Rhodes continues to permeate and entrench my senses with its pristine beauty and mystical hold. 

It is an island that I discovered many tourists return to loyally once they have experienced it and even leave their lives to come and live on it. It is difficult to capture it fully and my words seem inadequate to describe it’s serenity and soul.  For this island does have a soul and the moment you step off the catamaran or boat, it beckons to you to be still and time stops. 

Every day unfolds a tapestry of delights as you start to explore it’s secrets.  Craggy mountains transform into masterpieces as they are lit by the early  morning and late evening sun creating  living sculptures that hypnotize you with their intricate crevices.  The ocean is a myriad of sparkling shades of azure, turquoise, cobalt and royal blue lapping against rocky shores, hidden coves and breathtaking beaches.  As I boarded the Poseidon, a traditional wooden boat for a cruise around the island, our Captain, AKA “Captain Gorgeous” (a paratsoukli…nickname) bestowed upon him by his loyal passengers who return religiously every year to take his cruises assured me that this trip would be unforgettable. 

This man delivers what he promises!  Our boat stopped at various places around the island and although I am not a strong swimmer, I was compelled to jump into the waters every single stop! We stopped for a swim into a cave, an island for a barbeque that only the pictures can speak for themselves,  a beautiful famous monastery at Panormitis which is dedicated to the Archangel Michael, another swim and coffee at the majestic beach of Agios Georgios to return completely fulfilled.  The people of Symi embrace visitors and I had the honor of meeting them, and spending time with them. 

I felt uncomfortable the first day I arrived in Symi. I had a vision of where I wanted to stay and although I was excited and intrigued by the beauty and energy of this island I was also frustrated that my room did not reflect the image of the place I had created in my mind.  It was the best thing that happened to me.  After a short walk in Yialo, I met Takis the Leather Fashion Designer who invited me to sit down and have a coffee after I deluged him with my complaints. It turns out that he is a professonal listener as well as a talented designer.  Takis was my first face of Symi… and through our conversation, I could hear all my complaints being acknowledged and respected.  When I got back to my nondescript tourist “special” room, I had a different appreciation for it. 

The next day, I saw that all I had to do on Symi was to enjoy it and drink it in like a glass of expensive wine, savoring every precious drop… I hopped onto the local bus …only one euro!  Things were looking up!  The bus wound up lazily to the Chorio and the first stop was Pedi Bay.  Since I saw most of the people get off, I thought…why not?  It is the “why not” that Symi reminds you to do and forces you to choose without wondering how, when, where, and inside of this uncertainty…you become certain and life unfolds before you in an astonishing way….like having lunch at a pretty little traditional taverna with home cooked food lovingly prepared for you, meeting Kiria Ourania, your gracious hostess at the Pedi Bay Studios…which miraculously match your vision of a little sundrenched studio with blue french doors opening out into a view of the bay guarded by a circle of towering mountains, sipping a delectable drink at the Kali Strata while gazing at the vastness of Yialo under a blanket of stars, driving through winding roads and sparse forests listening to the silence of your stillness as you approach isolated little churches, and even drinking a frappe by a little cafe overlooking the harbour transforms your existence propelling you into a world without stress, no where to rush off to, nothing to do but enjoy the embrace of Symi’s mystical moments. 

All you need to do  to see and experience is to look…but a word of caution, once you look into Symi’s blue eyes, you cannot turn back…you are destined to return and they will draw you back. 

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