Spinalonga, the island of misfortuned

Hi all,

If today is one of these days , where you feel you have not read anything new about the world, here one post to update your history knowledge.

Near the town of Plaka, Crete there is one little island fully abandoned. Official name of this place is Kalydon. During Venetian times the island was carved out of the coast for defence purposes. During Venetian rule the island was used for salt harvesting and it was the Venetians who called it Spinalonga.

The lepers of whole Greece were once sent to exhile there and being treated from their disease on the island of Spinalonga.

The trip we did to this island was for us a way to learn who lepers were and how they lived there. Actually these people lived on the island completely isolated in the period 1903 to 1957. The last inhabitant left the island at 1962. Medical employees were disinfecting themselves fully after a visit to this place.

Patients who were sent to the island never knew what is going to happen to them there. At some point there were more than 1000 patients at this little island. All lepers from Greece were sent there. Nevertheless,  they got food, shelter and medical help there. Once medical cure was found most of them were cured and asked to leave. There were even some who were born in the lepers colony , who never knew how to continue  theirs lives outside the island. They went working in Athens hospital, as they were always taken as the ones that come from that place by society.

This island once a place of quarantine is now historical tour location, which you reach by boat and there are tours every 30mins from Plaka, Elounda and Agios Nikolaos.

On our trip to Spinalonga we made a short stop at Agios Nikolaos and on way back we swam at Elounda’s beach, where some nasty fishes were biting our legs in the water.

Since I was fully indulged in the Spinalonga tour I only took few photos. Here there are.

The boat that brings you to Spinalonga and the Island behind it

The shallow waters at Plaka, view from the restaurant where one octopus was eaten by me

Elounda beach

Agios Nikolaos

The Elounda bay

Hope this post was a nice good night read. Stay tuned for more Crete and Santorini.