Just another week and then I will visit two Greek Cyclades Islands, Tinos and Ios. I don’t know both of them, so it will be all new and exciting. For both islands I received an invitation, what more could you want!
It was in November, at the WTM in London. I have had some nice appointments there, and even something concrete has come out. However, sometimes things could happen unexpectedly and spontaneously. I was in London, on the Poplar Station, waiting for the train of the Docklands Light Rail, which would bring me to the Excel building, and I already was wearing my badge. There I had a conversation with two gentlemen, also with badge, who were from the Greek island of Tinos and are renting apartments there, Kritikos Rooms.
Tinos? Sorry, I’ve never heard about it. It is next to the island of Mykonos, yes, I know that. One thing led to another, the invitation came in and on April 8 I will travel to Tinos, on invitation of Kritikos Rooms, father Michaelis and son Vaggelis Kritikos.
At Tinos the people are rather religious. Foreigners do not know it well, they go more often to Mykonos, the party island that is next to it. Mainly Greek tourists come to the island, for religious reasons; here on Tinos is the Church of the Holy Mother Mary, where every year thousands of believers come to pray. It is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites of Greece.
Tinos is also famous for its traditional villages. There are more than sixty of them, they resemble each other, but they are also different. And of course every village has its own church.
In some places on Tinos marble is found and processed. Especially in the village of Pyrgos, in the northeast of the island, the marble production is of great importance. This town is also the birth place of many famous Greek artists or the place where they have worked. It looks like an open air museum: everything is decorated with marble.
The island is mountainous and it seems to be beautiful for walks. Something I want to do for sure.
Furthermore all over the island there should be many dovecotes.
Departure on April 8 is because of a certain reason. I’m visiting Tinos especially because of Greek Easter, one week later than the Catholic Easter in Western Europe. It should be very special, not only on Tinos, but throughout Greece.
On the Saturday before Easter the dinner that will be served on Easter Sunday, is taken to the church and blessed by the priest. In the week before Easter they make preparations for this important feast in all villages. Preparations for Easter include: cleaning (sometimes painting) of the house, decorating the streets, baking the Easter bread and cookies and dyeing of Easter eggs.
On Good Friday there is an evening Mass in the church. Good Friday is the day of mourning. Christ’s death is commemorated. The icon of Christ is placed on the Epitafios, symbolizing the tomb of Christ. They have a procession outside the church. They are bringing the Epitafios through the village and many residents will join the procession. Along the route people are throwing flowers to the Epitafios. Believers walk under the Epitafios. (Text: Greek Guide)
Michaelis Kritikos has promised me that he will drive me around the island, to show me the villages. To be able to see everything, I do need at least a week. So I’ll stay there for a week! I definitely want to go for a walk one day, have good food, etc., exactly what you usually do in Greece.
Since Tinos has no airport, I will fly to Athens, again! I was there in October, yet, because of the TBEX Europe. At the airport there is a bus waiting to go to Rafina port, to take the ferry to Tinos. Upon arrival at the port I will be picked up, nice!
I don’t like package tours, but this is quite an adventure!
After that I will visit another island, Ios, on invitation of the Municipality of Ios. This is a contact of the past ITB Berlin, early March. We have been able to arrange it rather quick, so I only need one flight booking. I have tu take two different ferries, first from Tinos to Mykonos, and 2 hours after arrival further to Ios. Here I will stay 3 nights, and I will be offered a guided tour for one day.
Frankly, I have not prepared myself on Ios so far. They say that is a party island like Mykonos. I will not notice that in April, I suppose. When I look at the pictures, the scenery is quite similar.
It will be a very adventurous journey: 4 different ferries, and finally one overnight in Piraeus. Let’s hope that next week there are no storms, otherwise I will get seasick. I’m excited!
Has any of you ever been there?