Film info

Creator / Collector

Views from the ship as it enters the port of Astypalaia that is called Pera Gialos. In front of us rises the hill where the capital Chora or Astypalaia is built with white houses embracing it. At the top of the hill is the Venetian castle of Querini or Astroplia.

We arrive at the port and we see the hill that is flooded with white houses as a background and the crowded port. Disembarkation of passengers and vehicles. The ship Nireus reloads with people and vehicles to sail full for Piraeus.

A large octopus is beaten hard by a proud fisherman who shows it to the lens. Fishing boats full of fish are approaching the small staircase of the port to sell their fresh products. Panoramic view in Pera Gialos. A beautiful beach, a fishing boat, white buildings that look like hotels and on our side a large white building with a sign on a wall that says "Paradise Hotel".

An entrance with a traditional wooden door and above of it a sign that says "Cultural Educational Association of Astypalaia". Footage from torn posters advertising Astypalaia’s wines, a graffiti from the Communist Party of Greece with its logo, a sign on the wall for a pub that is called "Nefeli" and a travel agency. Some fishermen are fixing their fishing nets.

In the afternoon, some people in traditional cafes drink their coffee and smok while they are watching the sunset, some of them take their children for a walk or shop and some others do their daily duties. The sea is extremely calm and there is a summer breeze. The hill with the white houses of the country and the castle, invite you to visit them.


Film Information

Bonar, Andrew Graham

HD (1440x1080)



Duration (seconds)

Super 8mm

Creator's description

Here we are, though. We are in sight of Astypalaia, with its castro perched on the top of the hill surrounded by gleaming white houses.

My goodness –what a crowd of people on the quayside! But of course the arrival of the steamer from Piraeus is a major event in the daily lives of the islanders. Unloading begins as soon as the boat docks, and then it is loaded again and sails off on its return journey to Piraeus.

We’ll begin with a look at the harbour area, in the little bay of Skala. Fishing is obviously an important activity, though in decline no doubt -fish are not nearly so plentiful in these waters as they once were. There are said to be good sponges in the vicinity of the island, but the Astypalaians leave them to the expert sponge-divers of Kalymnos to collect.

Here is the whole sweep of the bay, with its little shaded embankment concealing a restaurant and a coffee-shop or two … and over on the left the rather optimistically named Paradise Hotel… There is a Cultural and Educational Society here too, somewhat surprisingly… and ragged remnants of an advertisement for local wines, which appear to be non-existent… The Communist Party is here, though, leading the faithful to the promised land… The pernicious influence of British culture also seems to have reached these shores… Incidentally, when you want to get off the island this is where you come to buy your ticket.

Time to relax, drink an ouzo or a coffee and watch the sun go down. It is late afternoon and the villagers are out and about, some shopping, some taking the kids for a walk, others finishing off some job or other.

The view across the bay towards the square-built castro crowning the hill is very impressive at this hour. I must make the effort to climb up there tomorrow.
Bonar, Andrew Graham