I often share the subject of this post with people I meet, so I’m pleased to have the opportunity to share it with you at The Lounge.
Today, I’m writing about a place where history spans back to Greek mythology.
Folklore tells us that my place was once a beautiful woman and she was abducted by Poseidon – God of the sea.
Since her landmass was rich with succulent fruits and fragrant flowers, the Gods called her their bank – God’s Bank.
Her pronunciation and spelling have changed over the eons but she is known today as Astypalaia – the butterfly of the Aegean Sea.
When people think of the Mediterranean, popular islands usually spring to mind. Mykonos is known as the place to party while Santorini is known for its whitewash and sunsets. Other islands are known for their architecture and churches, their history and their holiday lifestyle.
Unlike her sister islands in the Dodecanese, Astypalaia is not known for a great deal. My personal view is that people don’t visit Astypalaia because the Greeks, quite cleverly, do not talk about her.
Those cunning Greeks!
Astypalaia is a place of vast beauty and intense serenity. She is rich with archaeology and ancient ruins can be found high on hills and low down near pebbled beaches.
The view from The Kastro, The Castle, which was built on a high vantage point, to detect invaders.
This is the church of Panagia Portaitissa, located within the walls of The Kastro.
I lost myself by day, on beaches, winding paths and roads to nowhere. And by night, I partied my hardest, with ouzo, bouzoukia and tables built for dancing.
I’m a lucky girl. Astypalaia happens to be my father’s home.
I’m connected to this island. I’m drawn to it.
If I could only choose one island to show my kids, it would be this one.
Is it naff these days to say, spiritual home?
If not, I have more than one…
This aspect is from below The Kastro – my elderly Aunts live in those homes just below it.
As a tot I was taught this song by my Dad.
Το κάστρο της Αστροπαλιάς
έχει κλειδί κλειδώνει,
Έχει κορίτσια έμορφα
μα δεν τα φανερώνει,
Loosely translated, it means:
The castle of Astypalaia,
has a key which locks it.
It also has beautiful women,
but it does not reveal them.
I’m teaching my Miss 2 that little ditty.
So I’ve only ever met one couple who have visited My Island and they raved about it more than me.
If you tell me you’ve been to Astypalaia, I’ll lose my shit…
Where is your spiritual home?
Have you been to the Greek Islands?
Share your travel tales with us at The Lounge link-up – this week over at The Very Inappropriate Blog.
Email me for image sources.