During our first few days on Lipsi, we were able to venture out in the evenings once the temperatures had dropped (by at least a few degrees!). I attempted to retrace my steps from 2004 by finding places that matched up with the small clutch of photographs I had from that trip. It was like an itch I needed to scratch.
The harbourfront did look different and I’m told that work had been done here in recent years. However, the essence of the town itself felt exactly the same. I remember the Church of Theologos that sits up above the village and this landmark is a good anchor for my memories. The little marina where the fishing caiques are moored seems to have been suspended in time. (I wish my body shape had done the same!)
had carried out a couple of internet searches prior to arriving on Lipsi to try and find the hotel that I’d stayed in. None of them had the same open brickwork that could be seen in the photographs. I guess architecture does change over time. My next spot of familiarity however was Ouzerie Nick and Loulis. This is most definitely the place where the post-Euro 2004 football tournament win was celebrated. It still had the same blue poles and blue and white striped canopy. Even the chairs looked the same except with a slightly different shade of blue paint. Hardly anything had changed about the place except maybe the clientele had got a little older. I stopped to speak to a man who was busy turning octopus on the grill outside. With the picture on my phone prepared I showed him the photograph and he confirmed that this was the place. He asked me a question in Greek and then pointed me in the direction of one of his patrons.
The very obliging gentleman looked at the photographs with interest and within seconds recognised the owners of the hotel that I had stayed at. “Panorama!” he tells me. “Thomas and Maria!” he further divulges. Perfect! I know exactly where Panorama is. It’s one of the first hotels that you come to as you exit the port though its frontage has most definitely changed since I stayed there. So that’s another place ticked off with another in the pipeline!
One day I did pop in to say hello to Thomas and Maria at the Panorama Hotel. Maria wasn’t there but Thomas looked thrilled to see the photographs. He told me that the photographs were taken in the cafe of the hotel but this no longer exists as work has been done to the hotel over the years. That is definitely the balcony at the side of the hotel where I’d had the photo below taken. He asked if I could send the photographs to him so that he could show them to Maria which of course I did after exchanging emails.
One day when we were unable to secure a spot under the shade on Lientou beach we decided to walk further around the bay to Kampos. Although the beach itself didn’t ring any bells visually, just beyond the beach definitely looked familiar. I remember the dirt track and I remember the goats! (probably not the very same goats) Beyond the main beach of Kampos (just look at that water!) there are a couple of tiny little beaches backed by tamarisk trees. We stop at one for a quick dip. A stone shelf sits beneath the shoreline which was quite slippery to walk on but we were desperate to throw out bodies in the refreshing waters. We didn’t linger, but it’s worth knowing about these little areas that were practically deserted.
So that was it – curiosity satisfied! The rest I will confine to the bowels of forgotten memories.
During those first few days on Lipsi apart from lots of beaching, we did plenty of eating at the island’s various hostelries. The one that had been at the top of our list was the award-winning Manoli Tastes. We had read that you had to book beforehand, however, one evening we turned up on the off-chance and were able to secure a table in the street (that’s not as bad as it may sound!). We must have timed it just right because we saw many other people turned away soon after.
The menu is impressive. With such a wide choice it is hard to choose what to have but we decide on a Greek salad and Santorini fava to start. Peter has lamb and I have a fillet of fish on pureed artichoke in a fennel sauce. My word this was absolutely the best!
The menu on their website is from 2021 but gives you a flavour of what’s on offer. Ignore the prices – they have definitely gone up since 2021 – I think we paid around 12€ for a Greek salad not the 6.50€ on the menu below. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I paid 6.50€ a Greek Salad! Check it out here: http://manolistastes.com/menu/