The Smell of the Sea

What would Greece be like without its islands? Fundamental to the success of the country, sailing between islands and the commerce this brings, has been at the core of Greek civilization for eons. What better place to learn about this rich history than Andros, an island in the Aegean Sea.

Setting out early in the morning from the port at Rafina, the excitement was evident. For Kristen Vrionis, it was a trip down memory lane. “My parents would go island hopping when I was younger and we’d use ferries all the time, so being on one now reminded me of my childhood. It brought back a lot of good memories.”

For most, having never travelled to Greece, it was an opportunity to see a different part of the world, where sea and sky become inseparable, allowing one to discover true inner tranquility – γαλήνη, as Greeks would say.

The journey didn’t last long, and the day was filled with activities. With the group split up into smaller groups, each visited a different point of interest on the island; the fascinating local Archaeological Museum, the inspiring Museum of Contemporary Art, the Kaireios library with its fantastic collection of books, some of which even dating back to the 16th century, and, finally, to a local sweet maker, Laskaris, for almond based sweets. Amanda Prokos thoroughly enjoyed her experience. I thought the library was so cool. It was mind-blowing to see all these books that date back to the 15th century and are still intact. At the sweet shop, the almond cookies were sooo good. I felt so bad going back for more!”

The final location was the square of Afanis Naftis (the Unseen Sailor), where the group marveled at Andros’ natural beauty.

We returned to Batsi, quickly checked in, then headed out to Lagoudera for dinner. As the music kept on playing, the mood was getting ever cheerier. When the musicians played the Syrtaki from Zorba the Greek, something unforgettable happened. Everyone got up and danced… in the street!

Kristen later told us, “I thought it was really cool and I was impressed by the dancing of the other kids. They pulled off moves I didn’t even know were part of Greek dancing. I don’t really dance myself, but the energy was amazing! We stopped traffic, bystanders took pictures and it must have been an unusual experience for the locals!”

The dancing was something the group immensely enjoyed. Amanda loved it. “It was really fun to see and dance, because I love Greek dancing. Whether you are dancing or just watching, it boosts everybody’s mood.”

An amazing end to a busy day. But boy, could you feel the excitement and happiness! Christiana Konugres couldn’t be happier. “How could you not be happy?! You’re in Greece, eating fantastic food, listening to live music – by the beach – eating karpouzi!”

Blog editor and photographer: James (Dimitris) Voutsas


The journey begins! Next stop, Andros.


Participants were amazed at the local architecture.


Just bellow the square of Afanis Naftis, the team gathered for a picture.



This is what happens when Greeks need to dance, no matter what!

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