My name is Dimitris. After living for more than twenty years in the Netherlands In 1998 I returned to the island of my birth Crete. Since 1998 I have acted as a guide to Dutch and Flemish tourists who which go on an excursion to the island of Spinalonga and who want to learn about the islands fascinating history.
Spinalonga has lots of things to see: the impressive Venetian Fortezza, the ancient village between the walls and lots of remains which remind us of what it was like during the time of the leprosy Colony.
My story is about people who had the misfortune to become lepers during a time when there was no chance of recovery from this terrifying disease. The story is also about how the leper residents of Spinalonga successful in making the colony a lively and active community, despite the problems which their disease brought them. A tight knit community in which the life was as normal as possible and where care was getting better and better for those who needed it.
It is a story of a leper colony like the one my father saw when he visited family during his youth. And they are the memories of my uncle Jannis, who was born into the leper colony. He kept telling his story about his years in the leper-village, long after a cure for leprosy was found and when in the early 1950’s the colony was eventually closed.
The boat trips to Spinalonga that I accompany, depart daily from the harbor
of the city Agios Nikolaos. You are very welcome.