May 27, 2024

There isn’t much to see in the small port of Diafani (pop. 250) on the island of Karpathos: three streets, a few small shops and cafes, and the incongruous site of half-dressed beachgoers enjoying themselves along the stony strand cheek by jowl with little old Greek ladies dressed in head to toe black. Perhaps that’s what makes the town so appealing; few people visit Diafani, lending it an air of the undiscovered. In fact, a proper road connecting it to the more-populous southern end of the island was still only half-finished less than a generation ago. At that time the journey south through the mountains would have been made on a donkey, or via boat. (Can you imagine a trip to the hospital strapped to the back of a braying burrow?) The upside: such seclusion has allowed the people to keep their customs and traditions, more of which I’ll be sharing in later posts.

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