So that we don't only get to know the marina, we rent a car for a day to explore the island. We are amazed at how beautiful the island is, which looks so barren from the sea. Bays that are also good for anchoring, beautiful beaches. And every place is different. We climb up to the Kastro from Agia Marina, look out from the bay of Pandeli to the windmills and visit the small crab church in the south of the island. It is built directly into the rock by the sea. Here are some pictures from our island tour:
Lakki, the largest village on the island, on the edge of which our marina is located, is architecturally out of the ordinary. The Italians occupied the island from 1913 to 1943 and used Lakki as a military base. During this time, they rebuilt the place in the Art Deco style of the 1920s and 1930s. Much of this can still be seen. However, only a few buildings are well preserved.
When we read up on the history of the island, we were struck by how it was "misused" again and again for various purposes: Although the island had taken part in the Greek liberation struggle, it was reassigned to the Ottoman Empire. After the Italian-Turkish war, Italian occupation (the whole island became an arms depot), Italian military and naval base, British occupation after the Second World War. In 1948 it was integrated into the Greek state.
Leros was also a place of exile for a long time: first a leper station, later during the 1967-1974 dictatorship an internment camp for political dissidents and a re-education camp for the children of communists. In 1957, the largest psychiatric clinic in Greece was set up here, where people were locked up in undignified conditions. From the 1980s onwards, the EU campaigned for qualified treatment methods.
Since 2008 there has been a camp for refugees on Leros, for many years it was overcrowded. Probably not any more. And today? We can see the camp from our boat mooring. It is fenced in and brightly lit at night. We can't find any information about it. We don't see any refugees in the town. It is obviously to keep them away from the tourists. But they are there anyway. And what is the EU doing?
There is just not only sailing, beautiful bays and picturesque villages. Leros has many faces, not only beautiful ones.