Telendos Happiness

7-15-2016—Telendos Islet, Kalymnos, Greece

Yesterday morning I fled Pothia (I couldn’t wait to get out of there—that place is just bad vibe central). Since I don’t have too much time to explore this island I decided to pick just one promising spot to check out, Telendos, a tiny “islet” just off the west coast of the main island (when I say “just off” I mean it—I can see people on the other side of the channel and could probably swim there if I had to). This place is MUCH more my style. It’s quiet—there are no vehicles of any kind here—laid back, gentle. In other words, it’s everything Pothia is not. Here I think one can get a little taste of what being in Greece must have been like in the 1970s, ramshackle, unhurried, friendly …

I knew the second I got off the boat I’d made the right decision to come here. Suddenly I was surrounded by quiet, except for the sound of a guy sitting in one of the little tavernas that line the waterfront tuning up his bouzouki. Equally, I suddenly felt like I was back in Greece, the kind of Greece I like anyway, as opposed to touristy craziness, which I think blots out some of this country’s soul …. All this is not to say this is some backwater trapped in the past. Though it was surely a little fishing village at one time, now it lives, or mostly so, on tourism. Little boats run day trippers here from the mainland for a day of beaches and nice food (only a few of us stay here overnight). It does this all in a low-key way, though, in part because tourism is way down this year but also because most people probably never figure out this place exists. I’d like to think that you have to have a little bit of … style to end up here …

I’m staying above a seafood place called Zorba’s (yes, that’s really what it’s called), run by Zorba (yes, that’s his real name) and his very sweet wife, Nikki. It’s a cool place, painted in a myriad of bright colors (it looks more like something you’d find in Mexico than Greece). Oh yeah, Zorba, who is really nice, has one eye and looks like a pirate, and spontaneously breaks into dance now and then. He alone would make this place interesting …

So what do you do here? Hit the hiking trails, swim (on some good beaches), and hang out in the cafes and meet people. Oh yeah, the island is very arts-and-craftsy: folk artists of many stripes sell there creations in shops and little tables placed in the walk areas. I’ll probably buy something. Several cool little pieces have caught my eye …

The only problem is that I have to leave tomorrow morning, early, to catch my flight for Iraklio. This place will definitely be on my itinerary when (if?) I come back to Greece …

Crete soon! Urban Crete, where I’ll (hopefully) be sitting in a theater listening to a concert. The cultural whiplash continues …