First encounter with Milos

Milos, Summer 1970. I had a date with Paule from Paris on Milos after we had met the year before in Matala, Crete. Milos -why Milos? It had been her suggestion - a secluded island! The previous year my ship to Crete had passed Milos and people were still a bit scared, knowing that a few years earlier, on December 8th, 1966 the ferry "Heraklion" had sunk west of Milos in a storm, after a poorly secured truck had broken through the side of the ship. (Paule had intended taking that ship to Crete that year, but it had been fully booked and she could not get on it). Nearly 250 people drowned... My trip to Athens had been more or less normal. Hitchhiking from Hamburg to Piraeus, 3000 km altogether - one could make it in three or four days and I did...

It was on a Saturday morning, when MS "Kalymnos" left Piraeus and arrived in Milos after twelve hours. Would Paule be there waiting for me??? There were only two ships per week from Piraeus to Milos in those years, on Wednesday and Saturday. The ferries at that time were cargo ships, that also took passengers. Cars were placed by crane on deck. The western Cyclades had no pier, and travellers, animals and cargo were taken ashore in little boats (Landses). In Adamas/Milos though my ship could dock alongside a small jetty and lower her gangway.

From above I could see Paule hugging a guy very warmly, too warmly...But as things had changed in those years and we believed and tried to live a new kind of freedom, it was her business and fortunately I could immediately replace that guy. Nevertheless my love affair with Milos started with a little disappointment. Adamas was not very attractive in those years, especially as the trucks used the promenade to carry the mined Milos minerals to the waiting ships at the pier. They produced constant noise and dust. However, Luluka and her Kafenion existed already, one could feed the fish while sitting by the sea and enjoying the good Milos yoghurt with the even better Milos thyme honey... and Loukumades of course... A Kafedaki (still called turkish coffee at that time) cost 2.5 drachmas (1 German Mark was 7 Drs). Paule and I rented a room in Lulukas house, separated from her and her family by just a thin wooden floor...Luluka and her legendary kafeneion are history meanwhile...

Paule and Christian 2009
Paule and Christian 2009

One of the days before my arrival Paule had made a trip to Pollonia and had met Pagona who had told her about small plots of land close by the sea, that one could buy for very little money. And Paule knew about my dream of having a small place in this beautiful part of the world. Communication with Pagona had been easy for Paule, as Pagona - born on Milos - had lived and worked most of her life in Belgium and France. Pagona died in January 2011, a few weeks before her 100th birthday. Paule did return to Milos quite a few times, and was even a guest in one of our rooms in 2009.