His name was George, and I liked him right away because I knew that everything he said was going to go directly into this story. It was our first night on Folegandros. A mischievous, slightly rodentlike man with a keen smile and a mustache, George looked us over. What, he wanted to know, did we make of Folegandros, this remote and humble outpost of the Cyclades? We told him the truth—that we’d just come in on a boat from Santorini and hadn’t made much of it yet. We knew we were somewhere far away, just not quite sure where. “Ahhh,” he said, and then directed at us such a sustained nodding grin that I began to worry he might not know any more words in English. But it was our innocence that made him smile.

Finally he declared, “I know that you know that Santorini is an island famous for its exceptional natural beauty. Santorini is… “—he enunciated with flair, holding each word in his mouth like a candy before letting it out—”Santorini is for professional photographers. But Folegandros is for amateur lovers.”

Greece Index