Saturday, 2 June 2012

The spiritual Lesvos

Lesvos, which in Ottoman times was called the green garden of the Aegean, has more than sea, sun and sea grass to make sure that you have a healthy holiday. Many people agree that the island radiates a spiritual energy because of its hot springs and magic nature. The island has been the native ground of many a poet, writer and painter; the poet Sappho ¬– the best known of them. Most work of Sappho, who lived around the sixth century BC, has not survived, but her fame has. However it’s a guess how she really lived. Some historians think she led a school for girls, where they were taught poetry, music and dancing. School or not, she must have had a circle of admirers around her, to whom she taught her art, as was common for all famous people in ancient Greece.

In those times there was no mass tourism, only small numbers of travellers, not enough to fill a small school (although centuries later Lesvos became a popular tourist resort for the Romans). Were Sappho to live in our times, she would probably start a school to teach her art and this school would grow into a famous institute for well being. Praising life and people, she might well become a famous Greek guru. Somewhat like German Robert Betz, who today is fast becoming a rich man – thanks to his self developed transformation-therapy based on scientific and spiritual knowledge.

Robert Betz has chosen Lesvos as the ultimate holiday destination for his clients/ followers who are brought by the planeload to this energetic island, which is great for the island whose economy is declining quickly due to the crisis. Nowadays when going out for dinner you risk being confronted with a terrace full of Robert Betz people. Each night they go out to eat in a group of about twenty people, their exuberant presence ensuring that you will not be able to have a normal table conversation.

Robert Betz is smart because besides his therapies and books, he also sells native island products: olive oil and salt from the “island of love”. And this is how Robert Betz is becoming the new benefactor of the north of the island.

One way or another this island radiates positive energy and this has been long known to other spiritual people, who have organized seminars and classes in a more modest ways, that better suit the island and does not bother other people.

As example – famous in international yoga-circles, Angela Farmer and Victor van Kooten who set up their school many years ago in Eftalou, where they teach their unique yoga classes when they are not travelling the world spreading their knowledge.

Also, Ursula Hasenburg and Irene Asbach who for years, in the beautiful Milelja Island garden , have been holding classes like dancing, mandala painting, aqua therapy, etc.

You do not have to follow any of these classes to feel happy. Just walking on the island will be a revelation and give you a refreshing look inwards. There are various walking guides that might be of a help, like On foot. Circular walks of Lesvos.

There are many more people who contribute to the wellbeing of tourists: guides who will take you on a walk through nature and its flowers and herbs and tell you plenty of stories; others can steer you on a jeep safari across exciting dirt tracks, through wonderful forests, to breath-taking views and sleepy villages or who walk with you through Molyvos and tell you about its amazing history.

There are so many possibilities that you often don’t know what to choose. Next week however you will be presented with many of these possibilities: Moving in Molyvos is a three days festival – taking place from June 7 until 9 – intended to help promote the tourism in Molyvos. The rich program offers a sampling of the different tourist activities offered by various small independent operators around Molyvos, ranging from nature walks, folk dancing, oriental belly dancing, nia and tai chi, to yoga and exhibitions of the works of local artists.

The program is centered on the well being of the tourists and offers a colourful view of what is on offer in this small tourist town in the North of Lesvos (apart from the programs offered by the main tourist operators). No way can you say that this holiday destination is boring!

(with thanks to Mary Staples)

@ Smitaki 2012

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