One Sunday morning… as I am going through some old photographs… my hands start to smell old developer fluid…
Stuffed at the bottom of the box there is a yellowed booklet…. “Raches of Icaria, an excellent locus for summer accommodation”.
The stamp on it… Touristic Board of Raches, Icaria…. On the first page… April 20th 1932.
I always had this image in my head, from what I heard and knew, that Icarians were quite independent and avant garde throughout their history… had their own currency… their own constitution…
Suddenly I realized that this guide was published at least two generations earlier….
Which means, that all the people that taught me the island, made me love it, were not even born yet… or they were merely babies….
….it was something outside the sphere of family memory.
That Sunday morning I felt like…. I had a date with history…
(From the Archive of Gkiouremou family)
Image 1 (above): About the declaration of the municipality of Raches, Icaria as locus for summer vacation
Considering the provision of article 8 of the law no.1698, and the recommendations of the Minister of Finance and the consultation of the Board of Directors of the Foreign and Exhibitions Bureau , we acknowledge Raches of Icaria as a locus of summer vacation. […]
Image2: […] But this is an advantage, that makes this place even more precious as a destination for summer vacation, as it is exceptionally clean and tourists can enjoy the true countryside, each one into their own house, surrounded by their private garden, free to dress however they like, with no formalities, feeling free and seeing real change in their way of living. The area is surrounded by other settlements that are divided by Raches, through leafy acreages.
The seashore is about 50 minutes away from the village of Raches. There are no incidents of argue or mosquitoes. It is forbitten to people with infectious diseases to stay in Raches, as it a place recognized as a locus for summer vacation.
There is a doctor and pharmacist on call, and everything necessary to perform an operation is readily available. All kinds of food can be found, like cow, goat, and sheep milk and excellent, fresh, local fruits. […]
Image 3: April 20th 1932
Instructions: Every foreigner that wishes to spend their vacation at Raches, Icaria must come in contact through mail or telegram with the Touristic Bureau, in search for any type of information (such as locating a furnished house, hotel rooms, hotel prices etc) so that they can be better and fully served. If they chose to arrive to the island without any prior communication, they do not have the right to complain for not finding lodging etc. A member of the Touristic Bureau will be in Armenistis, during the arrival of the tourists, to guide them to Raches.
Information about Raches can be obtained through the Hellenic Organization for Tourism in Athens. The Bureau makes sure that the rent, food etc. prices are accessible. It hopes that the future tourist will remain content. Proof to that are the tourists that once they visited the island they keep coming back every year.
(pictured the steamboat Frinton, of the Samos shipping company, the best of its kind, that connects Piraeus with Syros, Tinos, Mykonos, Armenistis, and Samos. It leaves Piraeus at 9a.m every Friday and arrives at Armenistis at 10a.m. the following Saturday. It returns to Piraeus on Sunday.)
Myrto Axarli. Translation: ikariamag.gr