Holiday.gr
July 16, 2018
Greek Greek Uk English
Home Page
 
Welcome
Login to add reviews, pages or discuss trips. If you're not already a member, you may register for free.
Username:

Password:

Remember me
[Forgot your password?]
MAP OF GREECE
Other Areas
+ LEFKADA
+ PAXI
+ KEFALONIA
+ CORFU
+ ITHAKI
+ ZAKYNTHOS
+ KYTHIRA
Top Destinations
+ KOS
360 view Panoramic


 
GREECE > IONIAN > KYTHIRA > The Greek island of Kythera charms Andrew Sonter
The Greek island of Kythera charms Andrew Sonter
The perennially casual vibe of the Greek island of Kythera charms Andrew Sonter on his voyage of discovery.

'G 'day mate." The greeting from the hobbling old man with the cane is certainly familiar, but the surrounds and the accent are a little different: the narrow street, the muddled architecture . . . welcome to "little Australia".

In the Aegean Sea, between the southern tip of the Peloponnese and Crete lies the Greek island of Kythera. At just 284 square kilometres, it is hard to fathom how this tiny rugged speck has developed such a strong bond with Australia. In the 1920s and '30s thousands of its inhabitants left behind their tough farming and fishing lifestyles to seek better in a distant land. One of them was my grandfather. Today, it is thought that as many as 50,000 Australians are of Kytherean descent.

Everyone, it seems, on this rugged rock has lived in Australia or has relatives there. And everyone knows plenty about the land Down Under. Kythera may be known to many as "little Australia", but plenty in Kythera refer to Australia as "big Kythera". And you don't have to look too hard to find similarities between the two. Kythereans are of the same laid-back nature you will find throughout Greece, and Australia.

It was the desire to find out more about my past that brought me here. I wanted to see my grandfather's island, his village, his home.

Having found what we thought to be the small northern village of Braeghi - apologies for the spelling but most of the locals had not even heard of it and it doesn't appear on any map in existence - it wasn't hard to tell why he had left. It was hot, dry and the bugs looked as though they were plotting against us.

There wasn't a soul in sight. Disheartened and disappointed we jumped back in the car, negotiated the goat track that passes for a road and dropped in at the coastal town of Aghia Pelagia. Now this was more like it: a classic fishing village where, you guessed it, everyone has been to Australia. The woman in the main shop had not long returned from Melbourne and her English was impeccable.

While my grandfather's village had been a bit of a let-down his island was anything but, and the more time we spent there the more we realised how much it has to offer. In many ways Kythera, the legendary birthplace of Venus (Aphrodite, the goddess of love), is a remnant of the past. This is how the Greek islands used to be and how discerning Greeks would like them to remain: rugged, beautiful, ramshackle and relatively unspoilt by tourism.

More on Litle Australia
OTHER ARTICLES
CAVES
USEFUL PHONE NUMBERS
HOW TO GO
KATOUNI
THE CASTLE OF CHORA
HISTORY
ANCIENT WRECK
ABOUT KYTHIRA
The Greek island of Kythera charms Andrew Sonter
Been to KYTHIRA ? Share your experiences!
[Upload photo]
Add Review [Reviews Guidelines]
Only registered Holiday members may write reviews. Register.
 
TOP 50 HOTELS
Videos
 
24 Kapodistriou Str., 185 31 Piraeus Greece,
Phone: +30 210 4101130, Fax: +30 210 4101132,
E - mail: info@holiday.gr
Holiday.gr © Copyright 2004 - 2018