The Almonds of Longevity

Ikaria 112 by Eleni Ikanou on Flickr
Ikaria 112 
by isl_gr (Mnesterophonia)

in case you don’t know me, I am Nana (to agrimi),co-author in Eleni’s blog

About Nana

who though I have a blog of my own, chose to write and post this entry here. The reason is that lately the views of our blogs took off very suddenly! This blog in particular has received several hundred views over the last days!

What was the matter?

The last time we were that popular was in Minoan times when we recorded the fall of Icarus at the shores of the island.


Centuries after that we made a good score when we covered the declaration of independence of Ikaria as a communist state, making us another pocket of resistance to capitalism between Cuba and North Korea.


Asking around we found out that the reason of our sudden recent popularity was the issuing of this seven page article by Dan Buettner in the prestigious NY Times:

The Island Where People Forget to Die

Therefore it seems that the dream of flight and freedom and the dream of a communist egalitarian society both fade against the biggest dream of all:


which perhaps (if aging wasn’t involved) the next best thing to
Immortality 😇

A set from Ikaria by karstalipp on Flickr


But why does our island generate so many dreams?

I will tell you my opinion. I am an accountant and therefore, unfortunately sometimes I am on the practical side of things. The reason is nostalgia. The rough mysterious landscape (to the extent that outsiders are familiar with it) and our way of life (to the extent that outsiders are familiar with it) generates a nostalgia, a homesickness for old values, old raw ways, direct approaches to life, supposedly carefree and happy, forever lost in urbanization and globalization.

That was all I had to say.

We actually spend our evenings cracking almond shells. We have picked them from Eleni’s famous tree in the intro picture above. We sprayed the nuts with salt water, we roasted them and after they cooled off we stored them in glass jars. On these jars we have written:

Almonds of Longevity

The Almonds of Longevity

It’s funny. They taste slightly different – we think they are better than last year’s.

Do dreams have an effect on reality? Who knows? Come and see for yourselves.

Kisses from Ikaria


Nana to agrimi's blog



10 Σχόλια on “The Almonds of Longevity”

  1. Ο/Η Eleni λέει:

    Oh our almonds of longevity! Save some for me ’cause after so many months away at work I am feeling old … 😉
    And keep life on the island as normal as always. Media pass, rocks stay.

    Αρέσει σε 5 άτομα

  2. Ο/Η Angelos Ka λέει:

    Πολύ όμορφα γραμμένο, αγρίμι!
    Καλοφάγωτα, πολύχρονα τα αμύγδαλα! Κάναμε κι εμείς.

    Αρέσει σε 2 άτομα

  3. Ο/Η Greg λέει:

    For the native people here, dreams were/are reality. The dreamer prophet Smohalla said when his people ripped open the Earth to plant crops and worked at white man’s jobs they could no longer dream. Better to take what she gave and listen to the dreams. Today we call it sustainability!

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  4. Ο/Η jenniferdwalker λέει:

    Hi Eleni,

    I just came across your blog and I’ve really enjoyed reading through it. I was wondering if I might pick your brain over something.

    I work as a writer (both fiction and non-fiction) and I’m looking for a place to go to for a month or two in the summer to finish off my novel. Ideally, what I’m looking for is a Greek Island that’s off the general tourist track, inspiringly beautiful and full of history. It looks like Ikaria is the ideal place to take a writing retreat – do you think it would fit what I’m looking for? Last summer I was in Georgia and Armenia, but I found there was just so much to see and do that I was too distracted to focus on my own work. This is why I’m looking for somewhere that’s inspiring, yet not too distracting 😉 Other places I’ve been thinking about include Ithaca and Samothrace, but Ikaria does look divine!

    Also, what’s the best way to travel there? I live in Madrid, Spain, so my options to travel to Greece within a decent price are limited to Athens mostly, or if I’m lucky there are some flights to Crete or Lesbos. Are there decent boat connections to the island? Also, I would ideally like to stay 1-2 months, so how easy would it be to rent a room or an apartment?

    Sorry for inundating you with a ton of questions, and for hijacking your comments page. Thank you so much in advance and I look forward to reading the rest of your blog. 🙂

    All the best,

    Jennifer 🙂

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    • Ο/Η Eleni λέει:
      Hello Jennifer!
      Thanks for the comment and let me assure you are not hijacking at all. In keeping a blog about my island questions like yours come up frequently and naturally. The latest were from Jeff from the Isle of Man who was asking about camping in Ikaria in wintertime and before him there was Ahmed, an Algerian from France who was interested in visiting Ikaria on his bicycle.
      As to your question, in spite it’s recent reputation about longevity etc. Ikaria is as off the beaten track and as quiet as


      Old Bike




      resembling more to the latter, being as mountainous and natural, only that

      Ikaria is longer and larger.

      2008 Ikaria (on the way back from Cyprus)

      There is a regular

      ferry connection

      Evdilos ikaria

      to the island from Pireus/Athens and the trip takes about 9 hours, but since you are in Spain the best choice is to fly from Madrid to Athens and then board

      the small propeller plane

      airport in faros ikaria

      to Ikaria’s airport. There are flights every day and you will have the chance to watch the whole Aegean sea and the islands running under your feet through the window.

      Once on the ground take a taxi (there are no reliable buses)

      to Nas

      Goodbye sun

      This is my suggestion as to where to stay. It’s a very small place and very quiet but at the same time cosmopolitan and welcoming, unless of course you are planning to visit in August (a month in which I would disencourage anybody to visit any Greek island!) So, choose May, June and July and I think you will have no complain if you like nature, quietness, a simple lifestyle and unpretentious people, so that your sejourn will be inspiring and creative.
      For more practical info address any travel agency. Ikaria island is quite well known in Spain, believe me 😉
      In the hope that I have helped, I wish you a pleasant winter.

      All the best
      Eleni 🙂

      Αρέσει σε 6 άτομα

      • Ο/Η jenniferdwalker λέει:

        Hi Eleni,

        Thank you so much for the practical information – it’ll definitely be useful for planning the trip. Unfortunately, I’d probably be going out in July/August since this is the time that Madrid becomes utterly dead and my teaching work finishes. The heat won’t bother me though, since Madrid gets up to more than 40ºC in the summer anyway and I have this habit of staying in hot places in the middle of summer (Rome in 2011, and Tbilisi/Tiflis this year) at least being by the sea would be fresher 😉

        I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog!

        Thanks again,

        Jennifer 🙂

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