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Zachos Chatzifotiou remembers… How Mykonos was born

Zachos Chatzifotiou remembers… How Mykonos was born

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It all started in a warm pre-war summer in Kifissia. Kifissia at that time was an aristocratic suburb with neoclassical houses with a few well-known families, some in summer and others in winter. To the society of Kifissia, I must add several well-known families who spent their holidays in the big hotels such as Cecil, Pentelikon and Apergis. The children of these families had created a society called “the youth of Kifissia”. Children that meant well, but without much concern, threshed Kifissia with their bicycles, riding the quiet and shady streets filled with poplars and the plane trees from Kokkinara to Rema Loverdou. On weekends, added to this group were cadets from the Royal Navy Academy with their two-day weekend pass, who had already established ties with the girls of Kifissia, such as Razikotsikas, Mourgianakis, Toupanis, Meletos others.

One night at 7 o’clock when the whole group was at the Serianis patisserie, a friend appeared, she was from the Kifissia family of Tzavela, who had been missing all winter. It was rumored that she had taken her piano and was playing piano on an island playing her piano. She was Eleni Tzavela, a very beautiful girl, who lived at her family’s house on Deligianni Street in Kifissia with her parents and siblings.

So the beautiful girl, Eleni Tzavela, was the first from the Kifissia group who spoke to us about this white island with the nice hospitable islanders, who spent the three months of winter gazing from the window at the waves as she released from her piano sounds of classical music.

That was it. It did not take long for a group of young people from Kifissia to find themselves in the small boat called “Moschanthi” or “Myrtidiotissa” or “Kostakis Togias” going to an unknown island in the Aegean called “Mykonos”.

When we arrived in the afternoon, a golden-red sun was setting over the neighboring islands with the ancient marbles, Delos, the spectacle was amazing and left us speechless. As the rowing boats took us to the beach, since the small boat could not fit in the even smaller port, we remembered the words of Eleni Tzavela “this island 10 hours from Piraeus lost and unknown in the Aegean, in a deep blue sea, with white low houses, with windmills, with huge sandy beaches and crystal clear sand, altogether it looks like a theater stage” this island said Eleni is called “Mykonos”. Of course, for a reader now, portraying the famous Mykonos in this way, does not seem very believable.

And it is a fact that this first group that arrived on the island “discovered” Mykonos with all its infinite beauties. Somewhat tired from the ten-hour journey we got comfortable in houses, rooms, and beds very clean for 5 drachmas the room or the bed, I don’t remember. When we woke up in the morning, the sun had risen above the sea.

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The next day, Mykonos had found its familiar weather, as we later became accustomed to, wind and stormy sea. But nothing could diminish its beauty. And later it got its famous nickname “the island of winds.” The people of Mykonos were accustomed to these weather conditions and they were not bothered at all. In fact, one afternoon some of us from the group sat on the pier watching a boat that was trying to cross from Tinos to Mykonos, as it would disappear and reappear because of the height of the waves, and eventually reached the port docked where we are sitting.

It was Captain Giannis Bonis, someone who did not understand from storms. I had met him at “Tria Pigadia”, the tavern owned by Fougis a few days ago and I told him “ power to you to go out to sea at such times.” to go out to sea at such times “. And he says to me with a smile, “Well, it’s just bunakia” (in the local dialect of Mykonos, “bunakia,” means “bunatsa” or calm weather). For the people of Mykonos, the sea is always calm. As we were talking, a door slammed open on the boat, and two sailors from inside appeared holding a woman as white as a ghost, with a lemon cup in her mouth and wet untangled hair. As soon as I saw her, I turned to Captain Bonnie and said “and with this one what happened…” and he says with a smile “We keep this one so the sea does not take her.” That’s all about Mykonos without central power, without lights and cables, without cars and their exhaust pipes, without the high-speed ships that arrive in three hours from Piraeus, but with the winds that make the church bells ring… and the people of Mykonos who are religious think that it’s time for evening prayer.

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