It’s Greek To Me

The couple that we sold our house to in Provence just happened to mention in passing that they had spent many vacations on an island called Simi (or Symi) in the Greek Islands just twenty minutes by boat from Turkey. On doing a little investigation, we decided to try it ourselves and found ourselves there just at the beginning of June before the crowds of tourists-and high temperatures-rolled in. We had such a good, relaxing time and I took many photos. Here are a few of them:

It’s not easy getting to a Greek island in general. We flew from Paris to Athens, Athens to Rhodes and then took a ferry to Simi. It involved spending the night in the airport which, I discovered, I am way too old to do but many young people do so to save money from what I’ve heard. There’s even a website that lists the best airports to sleep at. Anyway, this is the ferry, a catamaran, that we took. Very nice with airplane like seats. I fell asleep at on point and woke up with a shock thinking our plane was landing on water.

A look from up above at the harbor of Simi Town, the main town on the island. It has a very deep harbor and we saw some really huge boats pull in while we were there including this cruise boat that you can see.

The village was full of colorful houses in the Neo Classical design left from when there was prosperous ship building and a sponge industry.

This clock tower from the 1800’s stands at the harbor and we could see what time it was from our place.

A short distance from our hotel was a small beach that we went to every day except once. It was handy and had lounge chairs and umbrellas for rent. I’m one of those unfortunate people who can’t sit in the sun so I’m always looking for shade.

A look at our beach (Kos). Look at how clear the water is. It was just a tad cold for me so I only ever got up to my knees. One day the ferry unloaded a huge group of people and I think most of them came to this beach. I think they were Russian from the language and babushkas and the beach was covered with people and the water was so full that I’m sure the temperature must have gone up a few degrees. They left after a couple of hours, I think to take a ferry back to Rhodes.

Aren’t these great colored steps?

There were three sponge shops there and I almost bought some. They don’t harvest sponge here any more so most of that sold is from elsewhere.

Will you look at those steps. I never climbed them.

There was very little sand on the beaches on Simi. Most of them had huge gravel like that seen here. One “beach” was like a swimming pool with no sand or gravel just paved terraces. You could drive, hike or take a taxi boat to the beaches. We took a boat one day and it was nice but we were back to our little beach the next day which, by the way, was man made.

A sail boat caught in the light as the sun set. We sat on the terrace of our hotel every night just looking at the water and the boats coming and going. I can see why people return here year after year. It’s very expensive to buy here from what we heard.

Loved looking at the sail boats, some of them huge. Big yachts too, many from Turkey. It’s a very short trip to Turkey and we went one day for a market but were disappointed. I was expecting Byzantine architecture, mosques, that Aladin look, but it was mostly 60’s architecture reminding me a bit of Mexican border towns.
As for food:

Olives of course.

If you got the house wine, it always came in little metal pitchers. I love Greek white wine-so refreshing.

And Greek yogurt with honey!!! What a surprise. I’m not normally a huge fan of yogurt but some was accidentally put on our table and I started eating it before the waiter realized his mistake. I’m a convert. The honey made it fabulous and I had it several more times before we left.

You see goats around Simi. This one came up to the table and begged like a dog or cat.

9 thoughts to “It’s Greek To Me”

  1. I can’t choose which photo I like the best. A trip to Greece almost makes up for selling the house in Provence. I’d love to be lounging on one of those rocky beaches with the clear water, and the olives and yogurt made me hungry.

  2. This is great and now I want to go.
    With family at Kalimnos I could kill 2 birds with one stone. I just need 17 months at least in my years !!!

  3. Lovely.
    The boat looks like a cardboard cutout from the side! I have some imagination I guess.
    I enjoy Greek food and would love to do this, especially after I saw the movie Shirley Valentine, which took place in the Greek islands. Cute movie too.
    You would never see me climbing those stairs now either, too old for that anymore.They make me tired looking at them.

  4. That is my idea of a marvelous holiday. Love those blue steps! And, yes, Greek yogurt with honey is really good…I have been in love with it for a few years now!

  5. Linda!! Why didn’t you tell me you were going to Greece? I would have hidden in your suitcase!! 🙂

  6. What a great trip, Linda! I almost feel as though I was there too because of your wonderful photos. (love the blue stairs) However, I also would have passed on climbing those other stairs. Aggghhhh!

    Give Turkey another chance, It’s one of our favorite places and it IS filled with all of those things you were looking for…during our month there we did see a couple of towns such as you described but those are the exception. It’s truly a fascinating place with friendly people, good food, gorgeous architecture and tile work, interesting bazaars and mosques and some of the best Greek and Roman ruins I’ve ever seen. And the hammans(sp?)aren’t bad either!

  7. OK…I’m sold. Linda, these are fantastic images of the island. Love the blue stairs-would not climb any of them. The beach with the blue and white umbreallas looks very inviting. Then all of the food. Makes me want to leave right away for Greece.
    Glad you had a wonderful time.

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