I visited Castellorizo for the first time in the context of the International Documentary Festival organized there by the Hellenic History Foundation (IDISME) every year. Until that moment, Castellorizo was a little dot on the map for me. It was a long journey – lasted twenty-four hours. I was pleasantly surprised by the last four hours of our travel, the route from Rhodes to Castellorizo.  The journey up until Rhodes was a typical ship travel in the Aegean Sea characterized by strong winds, sea storms and countless islands. All this until we reached Rhodes - because from there on everything changes: The strong winds stop. The sea is completely calm ... The only thing you can see is on one side of the ship the endless blue and on the other side the coast of Asia Minor. Without the strong wind, you lose the sound you normally hear on the deck. A unique silence, a peace that you can experience with all your senses. You feel that time stops and that the movement of the ship happens within a frozen moment. The last four hours are the most mesmerizing part of the whole trip and suddenly Castellorizo appears. The ship approaches the small port with absolute precise maneuvers. Even its arrival is silent. The liner almost completely occupies the port. Castellorizo is a small island that enchants you from the first moment you glance at it from the ferry. Apart from its main settlement, it has no other village. Its really impressive when you consider the fourteen thousand inhabitants that lived on the island until 1922. Where did all these people fit in this small place? Their traces are scattered in the ruins around the settlement. In spite of several disasters that the island experienced, Castellorizo maintains its beauty and unique architectural style, that you can discover by walking in its alleys. 

Time works differently in Castellorizo. You dont have to rush. You just enjoy the moment. The absence of the winds sound, the intense sea waves, the vast blue sky unaffected by the clouds, the absence of any overcrowding intensifies the feeling that time has stopped. I tried to capture this feeling by taking photos of it. Whether you see the sunrise appearing above the mountains of Lycia that are so close, or the sunset behind the islet of Ro, or the doors and alleys you encounter on the lonely walks, everything here is effortless and calm. Castellorizo is unique if you surrender yourself to its peacefulness. And then you will inevitably get lost in the beauty of the island and you will travel within yourself. It is a journey of self-knowledge that you have to go to Castellorizo to experience.

CHRISTOS SIMATOS 

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