Telendos to Agios Konstantinos

A ‘Moment of dedication to Agios Konstantinos on Telendos’.

It was May the 21st & at 06.00am I find myself standing on the jetty at Mirties, camera in hand, along with about 25 other folk, & a priest, ready to board the ferry boat to Telendo for the annual dedication service to Agios Konstantinos on Telendos.  It was a beautiful morning & I was pleased to see so many youngsters in our group, keen to experience this unique annual religious pilgrimage event, supporting those of older years.

The crossing to Telendo takes only 10 minutes, & there on the Teledo jetty, a group of ten more island folk, who climb aboard laden with food for the celebrations following the dedication service: they join us for the short  15 minute boat journey to the small bay beneath Agios Konstantinos: along the way there is much talk of our expectations for the day.

Our boat pulls into the tiny jetty to the pathway leading, high above, to the tiny church of Agios Konstantinos, & carefully we climb off the boat & start our climb upward towards the church, the young helping the elderly on their pilgrimage. As I climb the steep pathway, all around, I see the remnants of ancient settlements: cisterns, tumbled walls, and the clear evidence of what was a  castle built to defend those settlements, that no longer exist, from piracy. In this early morning sunrise there is a somewhat ghostly presence about this place, & my thoughts consider its past culture, & what previous settlements must have been like before the Great Earthquake.

After a somewhat exhausting climb, we gather in the early morning light, around the tiny church, & the priest starts the Service. I pause, & in a moment of reflection, savour the unique atmosphere: voices raised in response to the priests pronouncements, echoing across normally empty caves and rock faces, disturbing the spirits of time long past, solemn moments for consideration & contemplation.

The service & dedications complete, I sit for a while, as a fire is lit & the woman-folk boil the ‘filla’, the Kalymnian food that is a tradition to serve, &  plates of cheese, egg, leaves and bread are shared in the round. I quietly walk away with my thoughts, & climb high above the church to a ‘hooded’ rock-face, there to sit awhile & take in this total settlement view, a unique experience. From this vantage point I record on camera, “The Moments”, then again, still  lost in my thoughts, I realize that time has flown, & that our boat is ready to depart the pathway jetty far below. I scramble at speed, almost running, careful not to lose my footing, find the downward pathway again, and breathless, climb aboard our boat; as it pulls away from that place, I sit and compose myself & my thoughts.

My friends: You have to go at least once to experience it.

Story: Stathis Klimis
Translation: Brian Glanville

Photographs: Stathis Klimis

The Agios Konstantinos Collection

All prints available to purchase in the Kalymnos Moments Store

Arrival Agios Konstantinos

The Departure

© 2022 All Rights Reserved.