Every summer for about the last ten years, I’ve tried to retrace steps to the other side of the island where we usually don’t visit very often. The reason is that getting back is difficult because there’s no bus to take you back and its usually too hot or too dark to walk both ways in August.
This year we worked out the logistics with motorbikes and Latham and set off early evening to find an old abandoned house that I remember from years back, Hara. It’s distinctive gate has its name written above in rusting letters, “Xara” (Hara) meaning “joy” in Greek. I hadn’t seen it for about fifteen years and remembered little except that distinctive gate. I did recall though that it had an intact roof and locked doors and windows, which wasn’t the case when we visited this time.
The roof had collapsed in many places, some rooms were filled with broken rafters and tiles, but a few still remained recognizable as their original function. We wandered around, exploring the nooks and crannies of what was once someone’s home. The house once belonged to the poet sisters Mary and Irene Botassi, and Irene’s husband Herman, after they retired from living in Switzerland. As far as I can figure, the house has been abandoned for over fifty years. It was both fascinating and sad to see it slowly crumble.