Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island

Below is a house I see something I have never seen before elsewhere in Greece. An image of Christ who smiles. I go in and stare at him for a while. I liked the idea.
Photography / Text: Michael Pappas

It's November and I am in Olympos of Karpathos island.

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

This is the second time I'm here and I'm very excited. The first time I visited was a year ago, the week of Easter. It is not so easy to reach the island. The boat takes about 20 hours and arrives at the other side of the island, 43 km away. There is a bus that I can get, but it does not travel every day. Some locals are at the port with their farm car from Mount Olympus to load goods and I join them.

I arrive at night and go straight to bed. The next morning I go to the tavern of Lendaki to see them. I had met her on my previous trip here. She's alone in the shop. Soon her children, Anna and Vassilis, also come. Children do not remember me. I drink my coffee and I see that they are getting ready to leave. They are going to visit the animals in the neighbouring village, Avlona. I'm going with them too. Opportunity to see this village.

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

The village is located in fields between two hills, dry of vegetation. I think that their fields were here for a long time, and they made rough accommodations to stay near their fields so they do not have to go to their villages that were miles away. This is how the village was slowly created. At this moment they are guided by the few children of the village. The village is deserted. Suddenly in a house, I see a lady sitting on her steps and embroidering. I do not remember her name. She told me she was 95 years old. She is the oldest resident of the village.

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

At noon we eat something rough as they say. Salad as they make it with bean soup. The tastiest I've ever tasted.

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

The next morning I walk through Mount Olympus. I see a lady making handmade macaroni "macarons" as they say here. Very delicious food with pure ingredients. Serve it with a large bowl of mizithra and a toast on top. Below is a house I see something I have never seen before elsewhere in Greece. An image of Christ who smiles. I go in and stare at him for a while. I liked the idea.

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

At noon I am at the port of Diafani, on the boat that leaves for Tristomo, where the chapel of Archangel Michael is located. I have in mind to photograph the boat but the route is so beautiful. I think it's a corner of Greece that maybe I will not have the chance to see again and I'm going to stare at it.

After about an hour we enter the bay of Tristomus, a natural harbour that I hear from a local, that many times because of a storm, fishermen have found shelter here. I see the world shutting down their mobile phones. I ask and tell me that there is no signal in this place. For an emergency time, I will have to climb to the top of the mountain opposite to find a signal.

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

We get out of the boat and everyone with their luggage on the back goes to find a place to sleep in the evening. Some with tents and others go to to the warehouses they have there. At the same time, the young girls begin to wear traditional costumes because the evening dance is just about to begin. Next, to us, they light up the fire and cook for everyone that has joined.

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

The evening has arrived and a big feast is set up right away. There is plenty of food and drink. The local musicians play incessantly and the dance lasts until the morning. I also celebrate with them as it is my name day today. However, I have no signal on the phone to talk to my family and friends. Late in the morning, I lied on the table to sleep for a bit.

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

In the morning the bells woke me up. The weather was beautiful even though it was November. The world is coming to watch the morning mass. Then we sit for lunch and catch the boat for the port. We say goodbye to those who stay behind.

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Arriving at Diafani we divide, everyone sets his way and we promise we will be back next year.

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island - Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island
Greece. South Aegean. Karpathos. © Michael Pappas
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Location

Saint Michael the Archangel at Karpathos island

Olimpos GR
Karpathos, South Aegean, Greece

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