I now back from spending some time in Mytilini, a mountian village on the island of Samos, Greece. Samos is located a mile off the Turkish coast. This is the second time I have spent over four weeks there. I have a friend who has house in Mytilini and I feel fortunate to be able to live in a real house rather than tourist accommodations. Samos is an island that Americans seem to ignore unless they have relatives here. Most visitors are from Northern Europe and they gather in the seaside towns and resorts. Mytilini is a mountian village and tends to mostly bring in visitors who are seeing family.
At the end of World War Two Mytilini had about 7,000 inhabitants. During the four year civil war between the Communists who fought in the resistance and the exiled prior government, the population dropped to about 2,000. There was little work and people went elsewhere, often to other countries. As a result about half the houses in the town are abandoned. Those that are lived in are very well cared for but they are often located next to falling down houses. The houses are built right next to each other and often share a common wall to reduce the amount of construction.
Many of the shutters and doors on the abandoned homes are aging gracefully and becoming works of art. I enjoyed seeing them on our many walks in the town. here are some of the best.