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Best of 2006

(January 1st - December 31st, 2006)

Rodolpho Pajuaba

The Cow Pa(no)rade

Nikos Pachtas

Chalki Island

Chalki Island, Aegean, Greece

August 1st, 2006

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© 2006 Nikos Pachtas, All Rights Reserved.

Halki is a tiny Greek island in the Aegean Sea, with no more than three hundred inhabitants. Although only a 3.5 nautical miles from the Island of Rhodes, a major tourism destination, Halki is more suited to visitors that love peace, quiet and total rest. In 1983 UNESCO and Greek government named Halki “island of piece and friendship”. And every summer, especially in September, young (in age and in heart) people from all over the world organize numerous musical and cultural events.

A characteristic image of the island is shown in this panorama. The panorama travels us in the unique village and port of the island, with its crystal clear waters that give the impression that the fishing boats are floating in thin air. You can also see the bell tower of St. Nicolas, the tallest bell tower in the Dodecanese Islands. And if you wonder why an island of 300 inhabitants has such a tall bell tower, you have to know that in 1900 Halki’s population was more than 6000 people. At that time the island was prosperous because of sponge collecting and trading but the production of synthetic sponge, together with Italian occupation and World War II, forced a big part of the population to leave the island. Many of then immigrated to Florida USA, and for that reason the main street of the tiny village is named with a sense of humor, Tarpon Springs Boulevard.

Halki has many loyal friends from all over the world. Many of them are visiting islands once or twice a year for more than 15 years. One of them is Graham Clarke, author, illustrator and humorist, one of Britain’s the most popular artists. Graham published a very delightful book with hand-colored etchings named “Octapolis to Halki”, as a gift of gratitude to the island community of Halki, in memory of good friends and in gratitude for many splendid holidays spent there.

As Graham says in his book you can’t be a tourist in Halki, you are a visitor and a fortunate and most welcome too. And you can never leave from Halki. You always carry its image in your heart, till your next visit.

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