A GIRLS' GUIDE TO LESBOS
A Girl’s Guide to Lesbos is the first ever attempt to present the island of Lesvos in a guidebook format in a way that connects it with the “L wor(l)d”. Tzeli Hadjidimitriou, who was born and grew up on the island, is one of Greece’s most successful photo-journalists and has published seven books and countless travelogues in Greek newspapers and magazines. In this guide, in addition to the beautiful photos, the artistic design, the extensive information about the place and its inhabitants...
IN COMMUNION WITH STONE
The value of a work lies in the expression of the creator’s struggle over the matter endeavouring to accomplish an intention, a plan: a struggle with matter of an exclusive utterance and performance sheltering its own “demons”. Thales declared that all matter is alive with gods and demons.
TIME FADING INTO CLOUDS
Clouds travel without a passport, weightless, without luggage. She relieves us of our weight; up she lifts us, to the clouds, and observes us from a corner looking at what we had not seen all day in the towns we live in: the Earth. She believes that God, Sappho, Plato, Flery Dandonaki and Manos Hadjidakis hide among the clouds and write lyrics. She comes out to meet the low pressure forecast she heard on the radio. The distance is as far as the clouds. O clouds take me with you on your travels.
I did not search for and did not see the people. I met therir ghosts on rusted beds, in churches housing goats, in shutters wildly banging in the strong Kythera winds. I felt their absence in the cracked stone walls, overgrown fields, and olive trees untended by human hands for many years. I accepted that this place knew how to keep its secrets well. In the years that followed, I learned to live, to discover the fragrant spring coloring the rocks, to dive into the damp of winter, to plunge into sea caves bluer than the sky.
They took my entire city from me. The Athens in which I was born and grew up no longer exists. It was a city with neoclassical houses, some of them beautiful, most of them seemingly mass-produced but neat, pleasant. A few modern houses were scattered among them. They stood out because of size (usually they were larger), material (built of reinforced concrete), outer coating (many had cement instead of plaster), but mainly because of their lines, which were simple, rectangular, with flat surfaces forming cubes.
I don’t know much about houses.
I remember their joy and their sorrow
sometimes when I stop to think;
39 COFFEE HOUSES
They are full of light. The light of Mytilene. Their colours are those of the flowers in the fields. Their patrons’ faces are illuminated by a sacred light. There is a feeling of serenity about them. They stand there, before the arrival of the messenger. They will soon be demolished and replaced by new multistorey buildings. They have not yet lived through the various unidentified departures-death, migration, illness.
SACRED WATER The mineral springs of Lesvos
Without knowing what awaited me, one morning, out of curiosity I asked to see the «baths». Many years have passed since that first time, when the wet scent of water enveloped me, together with the light that came in generously through small windows by the sea. I followed the ritual. Washed in the niche from which the water rushed, and sank into the green, warm, indistinct liquid, cupped in the stine basin. Words ofttimes are insufficient in expressing sensations. Thereafter, I sought all hidden springs abundant on the island, and again and again I abandoned myself to that sensation of deliverance within their waters, under the slight light, which slipped through the apertures in the dome, or at times gushed in catalytically through the windows of the sea.
Today, the island where Aphrodite was born, is opening itself to the outside world. The misty walking tracks with the long abandoned ruins, the surrounding stormy seas, the forceful winds and the hidden beaches, all reveal Kythera’s true essence to the reflective traveller who seeks the wisdom of the Myth and the authentic aromas that exude from the gentle embrace of this charmed island.
In Lesvos, tradition, culture, history and the arts blend in with the untouched natural environment. Explore the castles, waterfront mansions and small cafes where locals kickback with ouzo served with scrumptious mezes. Scout the road network that will lead you through olive-grove covered mountains, offering numerous choices to those who want an alternative adventure. The light here is magical, the scents are breathtaking. In the springtime thousands of flowers and migratory birds resting in water habitats deserve your visit.With a temperate climate and almost always sunny throughout the year, Lesbos ranks among the best year-round travel destinations for the discerning traveler.