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I couldn’t think of a better topic for the first article of this blog and a way to launch our new and refreshed website, than to write about our “First Guests”. It was 5 summers ago, when a couple from Austria crossed our threshold around the end of May, they were in fact our first guests for summer 2014. From day one, Vera & Edi spread goodness, happiness and positive energy around them, making us feel that they have been part of our company since forever! I remember that one of the first things that they have told us, was that they hoped that they would bring us good luck for the rest of the summer season, and in fact they have done so for 4 summers in a row! They have also worked their magic with my spring semester exams, as back then it was my first year at Uni, and during their stay I had to fly to Athens to sit for the exams and then get back again to Astypalaia. Last summer, I finally graduated and I certainly owe a part of my success to them, as every time prior to entering the exam hall, they had always efficiently and without-a-miss “mir die Daumen gedrückt”.

During their first stay, we all loved spending our mornings, at breakfast time, hanging around chatting with them, while the evenings when they got back from their exploration, they shared with us with such joy their experiences and adventures, giving us the chance to see the island through their eyes, rediscover our place. Since then, we have shared many joyful, as well as meaningful moments with them, that we keep looking back on when they are back home.  That is the magic moment when you get to know better your guests, people about whom you practically knew nothing before, and a sense of intimacy is being created between you. The development of that closer connection among us made us feel that there is the potential to build a stronger relationship, even a friendship, and I admit that by now we are all honoured to consider that happy shiny couple from Austria our friends, to whom we are looking forward to meet every summer, as well as to the mouth-watering Linzertorte that they bring with them every time! Since 2015, they may not be the first to arrive at the beginning of each summer period, but undoubtedly they will always remain our First Guests.

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As I reached the top of the hill, I stopped running, I paused the music, I could hear my breathing quite loud and my leg muscles were rather tense, but nothing of these really mattered once the entrancing beauty of the landscape struck me to my very core. Standing there alone beside the old windmill, shortly before dusk, the quiet stillness blanketing everything around me, the open sea, stretching out in its boundless infinity, breathing in the dense, heady smells of sage and thyme blending with the smell of sea salt in the air, I was in an odd state of perfect lucidity; I felt so clear, my senses were so acute, I wasn't really thinking, more like sensing, everything.

Looking back at my run that summer evening, I wonder if that moment would have been different if I had just taken the car and walked around for a bit. I believe that somehow the magic would’ve been diminished, my experience would have been less vigorous, less earned, less real.

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