This place resembles a kaleidosciope, sparkling with every imaginary shade of colour. Believed to the cradle of ancient gods, it entices the visitor to saunter among its ancient ruins where history itself comes alive, enchanting us, casting a spell. Mesmerised, we stare at the remains of formerly grandiose temples, the remains of which haven’t lost their allure for culture vultures coming here in droves.
Oblivious to the hustle and bustle of the city, we make a bold attempt at penetrating beyond these majestic columns to catch a furtive glimpse of what the life of gods and heroes was like in the infancy of the humankind.
Then, with a start, we come back to our times, to the cobblestone streets of the city, with its vibrant energy, clamouring crowds, clinking of glasses in the pavement cafes. Thanks to all the chatter, flock of pilgrims and quaint disproportioned houses, the center resembles a colourful, boisterous market, exquisitely combining incongruous patterns.
We come across a secluded café in a patio to catch our breath and savour a deliciously bitter glass of retsina. Here, we can linger for hours dizzy from either all the impressions or the air smelling of salt, heat and freedom.
This city, though not a capital, is the embodiment of romance. People from far-flung corners of the world flock here in a naïve hope that the phantoms and chimeras haunting them would come alive, everything will fall into place and the answers to the eternal questions that have been vexing them will come to light.
Alas, this city is a mirage, a mirror labyrinth intricately produced from vitrage glass, luring us, wanderers, further and further in its depth, but revealing nothing. The soothing gurgling of water mesmerizes, boats rolling on its greenish surface induce sleep, the generously proportioned palace hints at inexhaustible riches.
Still, we feel deceived and lost in the haphazard net of its narrow streets. Its elusive beauty mixed with signs of atrocious poverty surreptitiously reminds of life futility and the inevitable end. The city with its airy towers and picturesque balconies does not promise us mutual love and stability, but only a short and blind infatuation. Being the promised land of poets and lovelorn sufferers, it poses a fatal risk for the rest, for those who need some essence and meaning in their life. So, it is better to flee, to run for our life until the city sucks us in its hazy temple of illusions.