Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 8 September 2018
8 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 8 SEPTEMBER 2018 GREECE 95-year-old WWII veteran breaks his own record for scuba-diving Ray Woolley managed to stay in the water for 44 minutes and dive to 40.6 metres deep Dozens gathered on Saturday morning near the city of Larnaca in Cyprus to witness 95-year-old Ray Woolley break the record that he had previously set for scuba-diving at the eldest age. Woolley, a World War II veteran, dove into the waters near the wreckage of the Zenobia cargo ship that had been sunk back in 1980. The 95-year-old had already set the record last year, when he dove at 38.1 metres, staying underwater for 41 minutes. This time he raised the bar up to 44 minutes and 40.6 metres deep. "We did it... I feel great. It's great to break my record again and I hope if I can keep fit I can break it again next year with all of you", said the wartime radio operator as he came out of the water. The Englishman claims that he does this to show the significance of keeping one’s body in a good state: "I am trying to prove to myself, and I hope to other people, that exercise, especially when you are getting to around my age, is most important to do." Woolley was a former resident of Port Sunlight in England but has relocated to Cyprus and has been a scuba-diver for the past 58 years. He first saw the wreck of the Zenobia back in 1982. Conde Nast Traveller names Greek islands best destination in the world DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM The Greek Australian family Robinson Pantelis and Katina Aimilianos and their children are the sole inhabitants of the Marathi islet THEODORA MAIOS Tourism is at an all time high this year in Greece with the number of arrivals reaching record levels at both the country's major airports and ports. The annual Condé Nast Traveller 21st readers' awards gala in London earlier this week, where Greece nailed first place in three separate categories, came to verify exactly that. Hundreds of thousands of CNT readers chose the Greek islands as the Top Destination in the 'The World's Top 100' category, while Greece also ranked first in the 'Best islands / Favourite island' category, and second in the 'Best countries / Favourite countries' category. "Despite all those staycations, the Channel Islands are as close as you get to the UK, when it comes to water-surround- ed land masses: you prefer to cast your net wider, to the warmer Indian Ocean, Caribbean or Mediterranean – and, increasingly, as far as the Philippines, which has more than 7,600 islands to choose between. The Greek Islands were the classical winners though, and this year's overall number one, scoring highly for scenery and people," noted CNT. The Top 10 Islands in the world according to Condé Nast readers for 2018: 1.Greek Islands 2. The Maldives 3. Balearic Islands 4. Hawaii 5. St Lucia 6. Bali 7. Sicily 8. Mauritius 9. Koh Samui 10. The Canary Islands Originally from Samos, Pantelis and Katina Aimilianos farewelled Greece at a young age, seeking a better future in Australia. After settling in Melbourne, the young couple married, bore two children and spent fifteen years working in factories, in order to provide for their growing family. Despite the hardships they endured, as well as the successes they celebrated, the possibility of one day returning home never left their thoughts. Their real adventure began in 1977, when the family visited Greece for a holiday. "As much as they loved Australia, my parents soon realised that they just couldn't cope with being away from Greece. It was time for us to go home," says the couple's 47-yearold daughter Toula, in an interview with Neos Kosmos. Pantelis and his family moved back to Greece. The couple used all their savings to purchase a small piece of land on the Greek islet of Marathi, which lies eastwards from Patmos with a combined coastline of approximately 4 km. According to the now 73-year-old family patriarch, establishing a new life in Greece during the 1970s was not a task for the faint-hearted. "Back in 1977, when we visited Marathi for the very first time, there were no trees in sight, no water or electricity," he says. It certainly took a lot of hard work and great effort to turn the island into a small green hideaway for the island, they swim in the beautiful clear waters of the Aegean and they eny top quality fresh food and hospitality, offered by the family, who has built a small block of apartments and a traditional taverna by the seaside. There are still no roads, cars or stores on the 355acre islet. Pantelis and Katina Aimilianos never regretted their choice to leave Australia. the family and for the few visitors who, only in recent years have started to visit during the summer months to get away from civiliza- tion and urban stress, seeking to experience the tranquillity of nature; they relax on the one and only sandy beach that exists on The Aimilianos family settled in Marathi in the late ‘70s. A beautiful green garden with palm and pine trees and a variety of colourful flowers welcome the guests who indulge in a east of culinary flavours during their stay. "All our products are organic, either grown in our own garden or supplied by local producers and fishermen from the islands of Leros, Lipsi, Samos, Arki and Makronisi," says the couple's 49-yearold son Manolis, who also works in the family business. "Homemade bread, traditional Greek dishes and delicacies are all prepared by my mother Katina who puts all her love and passion into the dishes we present to our few selected guests," he adds. The migration story of the Aimilianos family is certainly an unusual one, nevertheless, it's a testament that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. "We certainly don't regret moving back to Greece, but that doesn't mean that we don't also have fond memories of the years we spent growing up in Australia. "We love both countries, but ultimately it was Greece that was destined to become our family's heaven on earth and, to be frank, we couldn't be happier about that," concludes Toula Aimilianou.
01 September 2018
15 September 2018