Day three of Imprint's GIT was time to board our two gulets, or Turkish yachts. The 140 foot Halis Temel and the 105 foot La Finale were our floating homes for the next 6 days. Engine troubles on the HT combined with extra administrative “hoops” due to the refugee crisis meant long delays for us this day.
But we eventually were able to sail and made for our first stop, the island of Symi. The boats were wonderful. Everyone had lots of room to spread out as each boat had ample public spaces. The cabins were rather ample for boat accommodations and everyone had a private bathroom with shower. One of the great pleasures of the tour was relaxing together either in the saloon or on the comfortable deck spaces of the respective boats. The crew was attentive and cheerful at all times.
With all the delays we arrived in Symi’s harbor well after dark. You could tell it was a beautiful place by the twinkling lights of the harbor town spilling down the steep hillsides. We anchored outside the harbor and the crew assembled a late dinner for us. The next morning we were greeted with a lovely spectacle. The early morning sun illuminated the picturesque town in spectacular fashion. Many pastel colored buildings, intermingled with the classic white and blue ones, literally glowed in the early light. Symi has a particular architectural imprint – most of the buildings in the Hora sport façades that resemble nothing more than Greek temples. All seem to have pediments and many have columns. Its rather remarkable – and unique. Church bells began to ring and we were reminded it was Sunday morning, and the Sunday preceding Orthodox Easter as well. LOTS of bells! We felt like they were welcoming us to Symi. We spent the morning exploring and shopping, had some lunch, and departed for the next island, Nisyros.