Didem Doğan

Young Artists Festival at Samos Island

The night has fallen, on our wooden banks we raise our heads to catch the shooting stars, around us are the olive and pine trees, while we listen to the 17th century Italian music sang by opera singers on the stage everything is just in perfect harmony to make this night special. The concert named Hortus Conclusus takes the 17the century Italian baroque music when a group of musicians asked what was the core of music, the part that was unchangeable and eternal to music art and interprets it with the amazing musicians, including the marvellous singer Theodora Baka. During one week young musicians from around the world play classical music. The Young Artist Festival is an annual organisation realised by Schwarz Foundation together with the contemporary art exhibition at the Art Space of Pythagorion, whose theme this year is ‘The Anatomy of Political Melancholy’.

Samos island is one of the closest islands to Turkish coastline, an hour and a half ferry trip takes you from Kusadasi port at the Turkish side to one of its two ports: Pythagorion or Vathi. The island’s closest point to the Turkish mainland is about a kilometre and it seems so close that you think you would reach there swimming when you’re at the southern part of the island. During summer ferries depart from the port of Kusadasi in the morning and reach to one of these two ports in Samos and they go back later in the afternoon around 18 and 19 p.m. 

Samos is quite big, very green, its beaches are always clean and cold due to the currents, it has about thirty five villages and the best way to discover them is to rent a car or even a bike. Departing from Pythagorion we stop at the monastery on our way, we then continue to the direction of Samos, the capital of the island where Vathi port is located. As we go towards West we pass Kokkari and beaches start lining after one another, Lemonakia, Tsamadou… We continue driving for about ten kilometres and then take a side road up to the mountains. A narrow winding road that leads to the top of the mountain is surrounded by various types of trees, evening sun’s light is breaking the leaves, the cinematographic scene is promising and as we arrive to the village of Manoletas the whole island is in front of us with its bays, mountains, the horizon where Aegean waters meet the sky. The cobblestone streets of the village and the little squares make it a picturesque town, we find little shops that sell ceramic plates, a couple of cafés, women sitting on stairs, we watch the views of the valleys, there’s even a taverna at the top of the village. The road has been long but rewarding in the end. We then go back to town taking the same road via the town of Samos. Last but not least we do not forget to visit the village of Mytlini, and its famous cinema Cinerex with open air cinema nights.

Samos reminds us all the good things, the cold and the clean waters, unspoilt beaches, the winds from north the the south, all tones of blue, the incomparable cleanness of Aegean sea, the simple things that make us happy.

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