Dodecanese Bound and a Stroll Down Memory Lane

So begins my next Greek Oddity.  This isn’t going to be an exploration of off-the-beaten-track islands or crazy itineraries dashing from one region of Greece to another.  This trip is all about revisiting some islands from the past.  A very tame and short affair  – just two weeks and one where I am delighted to be joined by my husband! 

We begin this trip by flying into Kos with an overnight stay at the Kosta Palace Hotel, close to the port.  This is one of the hotels that we often book for our client’s when overnight stays are required (with reference to my day job).  Although we very rarely book stays for our clients of more than a few days on Kos, the island is definitely worth a longer visit.  Back in 2012 Peter and I had a wonderful two-week holiday here with a short re-visit to Nysiros in between.  This is another trip that I have yet to write about – but all will come in due course. Of course, I’ve had several short visits in between, as Kos is the gateway island to the Northern Dodecanese islands.

The main focus of this trip is the lovely little island of Lipsi where we will be staying for 8 nights – plenty of time to rest and relax which is much needed by us both. 

The last time that I was on Lipsi was 19 years ago.  It was part of an island hopping trip that had included Patmos, Astypalea and Kalymnos.  I don’t have many photographs of this trip due to the hard drive failure I had last year, but enough of a few key moments that will remain with me forever.  The reason why the year 2004 is so deeply etched into my brain is because of football!  Let me be clear – I’m not a football fan, but as we arrived on Lipsi, Euro 2004 and all the furore that comes with it, was well underway.  My partner at the time and I were staying at a small place close to the port – I forget its name but maybe I can try and track it down during this stay. 

The matches that were about to take place were of great significance to our hosts at the small harbourfront hotel. Greece had progressed very well and had made it through to the semi-finals.  The evening that we arrived, Greece was to play the Czech Republic.  The lovely family that we stayed with had brought a large, cumbersome TV up onto the terrace which I’m sure was no mean feat!  This was a huge event and similar scenes could be seen at neighbouring hotels and tavernas in and around the port.   

Greece won this match 1-0 which of course rocketed them into the final against host nation Portugal.  There were celebrations that evening, albeit somewhat muted.  I remember getting the sense that Greece getting to the semi-final was a major achievement but to win Portugal on their own turf, it would need a miracle. 

The final was to take place three days later, and in the meantime, our time was spent ambling around this small island.  I’m pretty sure that there was a boat trip to the surrounding islands involved too. I have very few memories of this part of the trip and no photographs to fire up the grey cells. Hopefully, something will spark up a memory or two on this visit.  

That night we were again to join our host family on the terrace to watch this significant event.   I vividly remember the sense of anticipation, of hope and of excitement.  Even I, who’d never considered myself a fan of this sport was gripped by Euro 2004 fever!   The frustrated “Ooohs” and the disappointed “Aaaaahs” could be heard en-masse from all directions.  Everyone was on tenterhooks – even me! 

In the 57th minute of this nail-biting match, Charisteas scored the goal that gave Greece the title of the tournament.  Nobody was more shocked than our kind hosts and I daresay of Greeks and football fans across the world.  David had defeated Goliath!   

The scenes on the TV of the celebrations in Athens were only dwarfed by the waves of cheers echoing in unison around the harbour of Lipsi.  The island went crazy!  Locals jumped into and onto all manner of vehicles – trucks, cars, motorbikes, mopeds – whatever was to hand.  A convoy was inadvertently formed and off around the island they set.  Up into the surrounding hillside behind the port, Greek flags in hand and absolute joy in their hearts.  This is probably my strongest memory of this trip that no matter where the string of vehicles were, their headlights could practically be seen at all times. 

Later that evening, we headed out to a nearby taverna for dinner.  The celebrations continued in the way that Greeks do it best – with wine aplenty and dance and song.  Do excuse the quality of the photographs. They were probably taken on a 2-megapixel camera 19 years ago!

I don’t expect my 2023 stay on Lipsi to deliver another experience as magnificent as this – and after all, that isn’t the responsibility of the island.  Sometimes it is risky to revisit islands where you had exceptional experiences. Still, my expectations are open – open to all possibilities and I will let the trip unfold at its own pace and wait for whatever the island has in store for us! 

Similar Posts


  1. I enjoyed my 2nd visit to Lipsi even more than my first – its such a magical island and I recognise the taverna on your pictures !! You won’t be disappointed.

    1. I can’t say that I remember Lipsi that well as it was 19 years since I was there last. However, it was as good as visiting a new island for the first time and it was absolutely amazing. I’d go back in a heart beat!

  2. I love your blog Stephanie, beautiful photos, excellent narrative. Do you have any plans to continue blogging your travels this year?

    1. Good morning Stuart. Thank you so much for your kind words – they are very much appreciated. I’m in the process of writing up about my recent trip to Lipsi, Kalymnos and Pserimos. I do also have another trip in the pipeline but that is very much still in the planning stages. I never book anything too far in advance. Doing the travelling is the easy bit. Downloading photo’s and getting the words from my head onto the keyboard is a bit more challenging! 🙂

Let me know what you think. ❤

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.