By Madison Butkus
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Didn’t have the chance to get away this summer? Maybe you wanted to go on a second trip? Well the Dover Town Library (DTL) had you covered with a virtual trip to some Greek Islands!
Sponsored by the Friends of the Tewksbury Public Library, the DTL shared their online event in which traveling librarian, Jeff Klapes, took us on a little vacation to some amazing Greek Islands. This very popular armchair travel presentation highlighted travel photography, stories, and travel tips.
Our journey took place within two out of 6,000 Greek Islands: Hydra and Kythera. One happens to be very popular and touristy while the other is very quiet yet has a great personality to it. Throughout the presentation, Klapes shared his personal insight into all the little details about each island. Having a home of his own in Greece, Klapes was an expert on the language, culture, and best kept secrets.
We started our getaway on Kythera, which is easily reached by ferry and takes about two hours to get there from the mainland. Only about eighteen miles long, one can think of it as the size of Martha’s Vineyard. This island is not very populated which means there is not much for people to do, but the views are absolutely incredible. Klapes stated, “There is very little to do there. Here I am just sitting on our terrace with a book, enjoying the view. We are going to explore the island a little bit more, but sometimes it's just nice to sit around and look at the world around you with a drink.”
Kythera happens to be known for its stunning beaches. If you don’t go during peak season in the summer, you will often find yourself completely secluded on the beach. Unlike the beaches we have here in Massachusetts, most of the beaches in Greece feature pebbles instead of sand. Additionally, you will find an abundance of chapels, goats, and cats all throughout the island.
Being a quiet little island, most people go just to enjoy the tranquility that it offers. Klapes went on to explain, “You won’t find any major resorts or highrises or anything like that on Kythera. It’s a very relaxed, comfortable island that's the kind of place if you want nightlife, if you want fancy beach bars and loud music and lots of shopping, Kythera is not for you. If you want peace and quiet and just a nice place to explore, then this is the place to go.”
We then traveled to the island of Hydra which is about twelve to thirteen miles long and only houses about 2,000 people. Klapes mentioned, “The thing that makes Hydra different from a lot of the other islands that you might visit is that it's fairly small, there are no vehicles allowed on the island. You cannot take a car there, you don’t really need a car there. With a very small exception of garbage trucks, there are no motorized vehicles on the island at all. There aren’t even any bicycles, although you could but you would be crazy to because it’s not a bicycle friendly kind of island. It tends to be very touristed because it’s so accessible and it’s one of the more beautiful islands to visit.”
Since there are no vehicles on the island, there are an abundance of walking paths you can find that are mostly paved all the way through. When walking these paths, you will see stunning landscapes/greenery, an abundance of cats, people riding donkeys, churches around every corner, and breathtaking architecture.
By the end of this presentation, everyone became their own type of expert about these two quaint islands. Klapes took some questions at the end, but for those he couldn’t get to, he left his email so attendees could continue to ask away. He hopes that by sharing his experience on these islands, that many will get to travel there and experience the beauty themselves.