GEORGE, RITA ETC. - ISLAND TELENDOS, DODEKANEAS NEARBY KALYMNOS, GREECE
THE ISLAND: rooms, rooms with breakfast or half-pension, vacation apartments, homes – all directly at the ocean; the description is different this time; the exception from th rule (including the description); a whole quiet island with glorious beaches and bays; Georges quote : "If you prefer the nightlife and discos of places like Kos or Corfu, then this is not the place for you... However, if peace, tranquility and real Greek hospitality appeals to you, you may have discovered your second home” (how true!).
I am the last person who should be allowed to describe Telendos, since Telendos is not an island for me, but foremost a wild card for yearning. I could say Telendos is a special sensation. Telendos is the past but also the always present, a constant for that I do not need the real Telendos necessary anymore.
It slips from reality and it is always present as a present memory, as assignability onto others and as a scent.
In my love, Telendos lives towards my wife, my dog, the literature, to Greece and the ocean. I can nott converge to Telendos within a commercial description – it its more like in all the other description I walk around the main part – Telendos is that, what I never declare and from that I never know if it is declarable, since it is with me and within me; kind of a metaphysical, maybe mythologic space, but it is close, that it should be declarable (But: vanity abolished will I fail).
I do not know for sure, but everybody is aware of it, it is something for everybody – a song, a scent, a deja Vu and you remember what is so important that you can not put it into words and you do not know if you even should speak it out loudly, since actually it is secret, even a little embarrassing. Each description here will turn into an exhibitionistic acrobatically act, a nightmare, an almost stupid equilibrium – and everything speaks against publishing it, am I contradicting myself and believe – after long consideration, but I still believe that I can live with it, to abolish it so that the death ca not bury the living (Nietzsche) since it goes on and on.
Everybody hit this point eventually in their lives, I am not the exception – like Proust in the doomed time, like Claude Simon in circles towards a reality, that will be blurred and at the end reborn into a new language. But also this tradition is boring. - if I say each then I mean each – it does not matter if I quote any intellectual constant or – if ones however, it is generally valid. It is sort of adhesion, it is so special as it is trivial, so profound as unique.
I try to the end some sort of description of the island, to solve it objective but still I use the space to do something else, an approach with words, aphorism, dreams, notes and I hold the middle.
One says, if you approach the few meters from Kalymnos to Telendos, one would see the figure of a large princess in the rocks. Less effort do I have to recognize a torn open muzzle – the mummified Hatshepsut, something with carnassials. Frightening but beautiful.
Telendos is the snake that ate the elephant.
If you do not see anything in its penuriousness you are blind.
Telendos was formerly a leprosy colony, the abandon visited goats, their huts are still present after hundred of years, totally decayed,- here is silence.
At nighttime you will be lonely and once you should be.
I do not climb into the ocean. It would be betrayal. I am happy, untrouble me not with mediation, to sit here and for once, sense the indefeasibility – should I really sink this certain something, only to feel better? Is it necessary for me, or for anybody? I am absolute nobody and if everything settles, I stare in my dust, into eternally and moan, is it too warm? That can not be? Leave it, leave it – yes it is a beach, beach is the word – does one have to deliquesce? It is no declaration! Maybe I am the whole, since who can hold all that, if not me? Therefore lets stop the gibberish.
One works bad in the spring, certainly and why? Because one feels. And because one will be a botcher if you believe the productive person is allowed to feel. Each true and honest artist smiles about the naivety of the botcher – error, - maybe melancholic, but he smiles. Since that what you say can not never be the main point but only the material that is composed out of esthetic shape in playful and relaxed supremacy. If you care too much about what you have to say, beats your heart warmly for it, you can be sure of a complete fiasco. You will be elevated and something sentimental bovine, uncontrollable, unironic, unspiced, boring, trivial will grow under your hands and nothing but casualness in the people, nothing but disappointment and misery will be there for yourself is the end ... (Thomas Mann, Tonio Krueger).
Therefore virtual objective:
It was a coincidence that I discovered Telendos and nothing was accidental in the end. I met two English girls on Kos, followed them to Kalymnos, separated from them in commotion and saw in Myrties on the pier a honking fishing boat with one guest on board, who was suppose to drive the approx. 800 meter to the island – a captain in Greek costume with large rubber boots and myrtle and thyme behind his ear. Since I did not have any other plans and already slightly drunken, I hauled my luggage, which consisted out of approx. 15 kg books and 5 kg remaining stuff, in May 1992 onto this rocking after fish smelling boat and for the first time I looked into the completely wind and sea torned face of T. He spoke no word and later, as he spoke, he was not comprehensible. And with this Telendos began and in the following 5 years I visited annually for 3 months.
What is so special about this island? Size: 4 – 5 soccer fields, meager, extremely high, 4 beaches, equal amount of bars and a few bays. But especially: here are people who listen, here are people who are off the separatism and who look to contents, a historical present and nothing naïve. I never before have seen such acceptance, with no disavowment (word force combats were the rule and commonalities stayed in tolerance).
I will now illustrate what really happened and this also agree with a few people who were involved – and I will skip somethings and only specify what might be interesting for people who are really prepared to step onto an island that demand a little bit more attention. I will open this island not for tourism and I advise everybody who declares himself a conqueror and tells his friend about serendipities – of tranquility, loneliness – I must make balance to publish something what can and should be attractive just for a few people.
I believe not to ask anybody. Everybody can image what happens if you live on the tiniest space with just a few tourists over a long period of time during a vacation, especially when most of the guests leave the island at nighttime. Then you have left 50 Greeks and 50 guests and from them many stay longer than 2 weeks. What happens then? You do not need a lot of fantasy to image that something like a small community will grow - with all sorts of possibilities ( I believe my history will then become totally needless) – all its starting problems and large opportunities, close connections, solidarity and more. You can messure your world perceptions against this new modifiable reality. You will not be a part of a mass but in every second you will be authentically and identifiable.
Lots of tranquility – true, but not essential. Great for children, danger less, good for dogs – but still not essential.
Forming of cliques?
If you climb into a train and there are already 4 people seated in one compartment you will be already excluded within this randomness. This ridiculousness will not be found in Telendos.
It is not that, even if those that always visit the island find important, to cherish close connections and even if I do not know a place on earth where you can value in private the social contacts.
Telendos is first of all a place where you will be alone and if you take it as a permanent residency you should know that you are depended on the island since you will not find a grocery store, no tourist entertainment, no discos or similarities – the groceries will be delivered via Kalymnos per boat and dinning out is still a component of social exchange. But before you will get the feeling of Greece outback: Telendos is mostly inhabited by people that once were in Australia or that still have relatives there, basically an emigrate generation with parents that once were sponge diver or fisher. You recognize those people within any mass since they show the typical diving illness symptoms – the streaking of a leg or some other kind of disability.
Since there are no stores (besides a small souvenir shop) existent on Telendos (no traffic and groceries need to be important from Kalymnos), it still makes sense to have vacation apartments or homes but they are not that important. The entire island (some exceptions) offers mainly double rooms for rent (apartments or homes would be organizable) that are mostly attached to the small, private bars. (George, Rita, Nico, Babis...) (And even if I talk against the line: total privacy will be in a home, less in an apartment and even less in a guest room. But this disadvantage is actually an advantage: within so little tourism is the family atmosphere considered as highly necessary.
To talk about Telendos itself:
You approach the island, like any other, via Kalymnos (harbor Myrties) and you will reach after 5 minutes the pier of Telendos – on the right side you will find the bar of Janni/ Petroula/ Rita – adjacent the tavern of Nico (perfect cuisine), further to the right two additional taverns and at the end, in front of one of the main beaches, the tavern of George ( in between and like pearls on a cord small bays). On the left side of the pier (where you also can buy cigarettes, drinks and small items), you will find two ways that lead via Telendos (tiny with church and cafe – cheese pies) to the largest beach and to a crap artist (left towards the pine forest) . This artist is a person, who embodies everything what actually is impossible. He has almost no education, is extraneous (everybody thinks he is a hopeless Irish guy), but still he creates art out of garbage that is left behind by the tourists. He is a collector and to ask him why he has been doing that does not make sense. The hill is covered with sculptures and the artists produces a very close original connection between nature and culture that can not be snigger by anybody.
As I stepped onto this island, whos hulk out of stone with nothing but ocean, sand, mountains, pebbles and true quietness – and it would be crazy to repeat here the personal story since nobody is interested in it nor is it anybodys business – I was lost, was foreign to myself. I came back less damaged, which hardness the fact to describe this text and explain the essentials. But at least Telendos (with all: Julia, Jani, Petroula, George, Nico, Tinka...) gave me the ability to transcend my job and give me the hope that this text will find an ear.
I wanted to talk about nature, I wanted to talk about that I actually worked on Telendos to care for the guests of the island, I wanted to talk about so much – but I believe it does not make sense – I should keep it to myself. I would end with some words that at one time or another were given to everybody on an island: “do not try to the smallest detail to define us, do not always talk too much, is it not enough that we have nice rooms or apartments in the most beautiful landscape ever, that we are endearing and open, love children and pets – which idiot do you want to address? Beaches? Our island is one single beach. Good cuisine? Your guests get anything they order. Ocean view? Do you see anything without ocean view. Therefore keep your travel agency talk!”
I believe almost that they were right.
That was it, if you are looking for a spot that I love and then get in contact with me! Telendos is something very special. And I want to thank all my friends on Telendos (George, Petroula, Jannis, Rita, 2 x Nico, Babis and Uncle George postmortem....)
To one of the last pictures: it is a chapel – very high in the mountain – it involves an insanely hart hiking tour to get there and you should bring plenty of water – it says (legend) one tourist never returned.
George asked me to talk also a little bit about the rooms and that I describe an example (you can see the equipments on the pictures and it is always lovingly, well maintained and with balcony and ocean view). He has two double-bed rooms and a room with four beds (double bed and a bunk bed) – you are always at the ocean, you are never away from swimming more than 20 seconds and equally close is the distant to food.
Georges rooms, for example, consists out of a bathroom with toilet, shower and hairdryer and iron, iron board, air conditioning, SAT-TV, SAT-radio, radio/ cd player, internet connection and fax access, first aid box, mosquito netting, electric mosquito repellant, refrigerator with freezer unit, fly nets on the windows, cooling bag for the beach, torches, lounge chairs, umbrellas for the beach, furnished balcony with perfect ocean view, double windows. The rooms have a size of approx. 30qm. And obviously you will enjoy (I quote) the most beautiful sunsets in the world.
Rental fee per week:
George as an example (there will be rooms that are slightly more expensive (30 Euro/ week) or slightly cheaper (30 Euro per week) – by Fontini, Hohlakas, Little post).
Two people four people
October- May 460,- 470,-
June/ September 440,- 490,-
July/ August 450,- 520,-
Breakfast 5,- per person/ day
Air condioning (if used) 10,- per day.
Rental fee per week:
Zimmer bei George pro Woche ohne Frühstück (für 2 pers - max 4 Pers. möglich)
Frühstück 5,- am Tag/Person - am besten vor Ort.
Jede weitere Person + 12,- am Tag
Air condition 7,- am Tag. (kann nach Energiepreisen auch steigen)
Studios mit Küche/Bettwäsche und Handtüchern sowie a/c:
Mai - Sept 590,-
Jede weitere Person + 12,- am Tag
Frühstück (alles, was Sie wünschen) 6,- pro Person/Tag
Klimaanlage (falls gebraucht) 10,- am Tag.
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