Written by: Mike Demertzis
The world has become a small place and a person can go anywhere they want. All you need to do is pick a destination. Nested in the northern Mediterranean, is a place some call paradise.
We all know that Europe has been on the verge of collapse and all have pointed to Greece as the catalyst, but they fail to tell you of the islands that dot the Greek ocean. Some are so small, that they remain nameless on world maps. They are a favorite destination of the European traveler, not just for the tranquil beaches but also for the history that remains unique on each .
There is a little island that some have called a small part of paradise in the Aegean ocean called Samos. This little gem has remained an unknown destination largely due to it’s small size. At just under 185 square miles, it remained an autonomous principality until 1912 when it joined Greece. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), has identified the Eupalinian aqueduct on Samos as a marvel of scientific engineering. It was also the home of Aristarcus the first recorded individual to propose that the Earth revolved around the sun.
A large portion of this island is covered in vineyards that produced the famous “Samian wine” of ancient Rome which can still be found at any seaside restaurant called Tavernas by the locals. The culture on this island is diverse due to its close proximity to Turkey. The food is also of middle eastern influence and will keep you coming back for more, putting a swift end to any thoughts of a diet while you are there.
Although this is a place to go and relax, soak up sun and culture, it is not without a great nite-life due to the innate party spirit of the Greeks. The phrase “Opa” with the sound of breaking glass can be heard on most nights at most tavernas along with the distinct sound of the local music. There is one caveat that you need to remember. The Greeks have a tasty liqueur made of anise seed that not only tastes like candy but smells like it also. Please trust me when I say, “it is as dangerous as a loaded gun” and should be handled gently.
If you took my advise and remained somewhat conservative at night, in the morning buy a ticket on a local Ferry boat, and take the short trip to the city of Kusadasi on the Turkish west coast. From there if you are feeling adventurous, you can buy a bus ticket to the ancient ruins of Ephesus and walk where the Apostle John did. Not to worry, you can be back on Greek soil before the sun sets and start the fun over again.