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Odoiporikon || Tzeli Hadjidimitriou Lesvos & Kythera - Antikythera guide, Sappho’s expert on Lesvos

       

 

Kythera

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I saw Kythera for the first time in 1984. It was love at first sight. I was enchanted by the dry wind coming from the yellow fields, the heat in the interior of the island, the large waves at Aghia Pelaghia and the caves of Palaiopolis. What will remain, however, in my heart forever are the scattered ruins, the arches with their grape vines, tha bougainvillea and jasmine flaring up and filling the ruined walls abandoned for years by people who dreamed of making a quiet and happy life in the houses they built with their own hands. 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. I learned how to find forgotten chapels, to rest my eyes on stone houses with walls joining the mountains. Those years are this book. I don’t want to name, to show you the beaches, the caves and the fields. That is your journey. I hope you will discover by yourselves the Kythera you will love. Then the island will reveal the secrets that will bind you to it forever.

Tzeli Hadjidimitriou

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