Not just … A Girl’s Guide to Lesbos

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© Tzeli Hadjidimitriou

Mytilini, Lesbos, Greece (Weltexpress). An undiscovered jewel of the Aegean Sea the Greek island of Lesbos lies just a few miles off the coast of Turkey nestled in the Mytilene Straits. Its mountainous terrain rises from the sea, an oasis of green amongst the never ending blue of the Aegean.

A Girl’s Guide to Lesbos is the definitive guide to the island from a woman’s perspective and is an attempt to present the island in a way that explains its connection with the “L wor(l)d”. Birthplace of Sappho the Eressian venerated in Ancient Greece as one of the greatest poets of all time, her writings about female erotic love are the reason why Lesbians took their name from the island and why it has long been a mecca for women, lesbians and feminists. In addition to the beautiful photographs, the artistic design and the extensive information about the island and its inhabitants, this guide will help the traveller discover the connections between present day Lesbos and its history. Explaining the traditions and culture of the people and how they formed and strengthened their identity over centuries of invasion and endurance. The guide helps the visitor discover the flavours and colours of the island through its music and dance, food and the exuberance of its many festivals preserved through the generations.

Created by Tzeli Hadjidimitriou who was born and raised in the capital Mytilene this guide doesn’t seek to explain Lesbos but to present this fabled island’s geography, mythology, tradition and people in such a way as to enable the modern traveller to draw their own conclusions. Each entry is written with love and the commitment of someone who knows every corner of the island, its history and culture intimately.

A born adventurer with a contagious laugh and love of life Tzeli is a professional photographer and travel writer who creates emotive images that make you see the world anew and her poetic words resonate with a joyous truth. She has published six books of photography and four extended travel guides about Lesbos and Kythera. She is considered one of Greece’s most successful photo-journalists, as well as a pure artist in the way she deals with light in her images.

Lesbos is also birthplace of Theophrastus the father of Botany and the inspiration for Aristotles research into the animal world. Famous for its natural beauty since the time of Ancient Greece the island has one of the widest varieties of wild flowers in Europe as well as being one of the best bird watching locations in the world due to its position in the twice yearly migration routes. It’s beautiful forests attract many varieties of birds as do its famous salt lakes. The combination of all this natural beauty and variety of life has enchanted visitors for centuries and attracts many nature lovers today.

The combination of natural beauty and magical landscapes combined with a unique soft light has also attracted many artists and writers throughout the ages. Many settled and made lives here and all were inspired to create during their time on the island. For an insight into their lives on the island delve into the island’s museums which include the Teriade and Theophilos museums with their rich collection of artworks including works by Picasso, Chagal and Giacometti. Other museums include the Archeaological Museum of Mytilene, the Natural History Museum of the Petrified Forest in Sigri, the Vrana Olive Press Museum in Papados and the Museum of Industrial Olive Oil Production in Agia Paraskevi.

With a history spanning back 3000 years it has a unique architectural tradition that has been influenced by the many people that have passed through or settled here and this can be seen even in the smaller villages. There are a variety of picturesque settlements both mountainous and by the coast to explore all offering the visitor new and exciting discoveries. A taste of the islands world famous ouzo at a taverna by the sea, or a taste of sardines from the gulf of Kaloni will awaken your taste buds. The local cuisine is influenced by its proximity to the Turkey and the Middle East and by the many Greek refugees who settled from other countries. With thousands of olive groves the island is also famous for its olive oil production and there are various museums dedicated to the process of collecting, pressing and preserving olives and olive oil.

No crisis, classic or modern, can dent the soul of this intriguing island. A Girl’s Guide to Lesbos is an essential piece for anyone, regardless of gender, who is interested in unlocking the mysteries of this enchanting and magical place and its hidden harmony.

A Girl’s Guide should be the template for tourist guidebooks, it is well & widely researched, charming, witty and intriguing.

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