The island of infinite tears

Aged by time on a rocky outcrop


Bent crooked by seasons of Meltemes
All that remains is a feint glimpse into an untenable life
A life removed from a life, just a few breaststrokes away


A futile future of pain, scant hope and isolation.

 For this quiet island of endurance, solitude and tears

Is the island of no return, where man and nature meld as one.

The island of the damned.

Where dreams never escape the shadows and laughter lies strangled by ghosts of past

This is Spinalonga.   
Lonely Spinalonga.   
The remains of last leper colony in Europe.

A means of removing the intractable invasion

A means to an end.   
The beginning of the end. 

On the island of infinite tears.

© 2013 Francesca Muir

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  • Mum October 6, 2013   Reply →

    Too painful for words – but the spring flowers do make a bright difference.

  • bagnidilucca October 6, 2013   Reply →

    I have read a book about this island. How tragic for people to be isolated here, despite its beauty.

  • Loree October 6, 2013   Reply →

    That's very moving and beautiful. I had never heard of Spinalonga yet the landscape and architecture is very familiar. It looks very much like my own island home.

  • I have been there Francesca.
    One can still feel in the atmosphere, the pain of all those who suffered there..!!
    Great photographs..!!

  • nicki storey October 7, 2013   Reply →

    I read a book about it too, I'd love to visit there. Last year we visited the abandoned town of Roscigno which was amazing.

  • So bitter sweet Fran. Beautiful photos and textures but such a tragic past.

  • Margaret Hogan October 7, 2013   Reply →

    So bitter sweet Fran. Gorgeous shots but such a tragic history.

  • Francesca Muir October 7, 2013   Reply →

    Thank you Kostas. It is an extraordinary place and one I visit every time I go to Crete. As you so rightly say – you can feel the pain there.

  • Francesca Muir October 7, 2013   Reply →

    Thank you Loree – it is an extraordinary place with a huge history. Victoria Hislop wrote a novel called The Island about Spinalonga. F

  • Francesca Muir October 7, 2013   Reply →

    Thank you Deb – it's so beautiful and so close to the mainland – it must have been heartbreaking for them all. Tragic. F x

  • Francesca Muir October 7, 2013   Reply →

    Thank you Mum – the best time to visit is in spring – it's alleviates the ghosts somehow. xx

  • Francesca Muir October 7, 2013   Reply →

    Thanks Marg – it is just that – bitter sweet, but somewhere one must visit when travelling through Eastern Crete. F x

  • Francesca Muir October 7, 2013   Reply →

    Thank you Nicki – I don't know about Roscigno – I will now investigate! Abandoned places tell such stories don't they and hold so many ghosts. Fx

  • Rambling Tart October 10, 2013   Reply →

    How desperately sad and heart-breaking, yet so peaceful and beautiful at the same time. Those poor, poor people. I hope they were able to build a family with their fellow lepers to somehow assuage their grief and loss.

  • lisa | renovating italy October 10, 2013   Reply →

    Thanks so much for sharing this, I was just reading some of the information about Spinalonga and the inspiring people who lived here. What an amazing story and to think people were still here right up until the 50's. What an amazing man the law student must have been to bring about such dramatic changes xx
    Absolutely Fascinating x

  • This is Belgium October 10, 2013   Reply →

    I was not familiar with this. The combination of your pictures and text is wonderful, very moving too.

  • Francesca Muir October 10, 2013   Reply →

    Hi Anni – thank you for your comments – it is such an emotional journey across the water to Spinalonga – even today. The sadness is palpable. I am so glad I have managed to convey this. Fx

  • Francesca Muir October 10, 2013   Reply →

    Thank you Lisa – it has such an interesting history and in a sense such an important history – another of Crete's hidden treasures – albeit it an emotional one. F x

  • Francesca Muir October 10, 2013   Reply →

    Thank you – it is an extraordinary place and every one I know is drawn back to it time and time again. It's as if the ghosts of the past want us to never forget! F x

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