The House of Orania

Orania is a house at Agios Sostis, Panormos Bay, Mykonos, Greece. It has been a paradise stay for our family and friends for nearly 50 years. It was built in 1975, when there were no houses in the area, apart from our first house (now Kicki’s Taverna), and the church and panagyri (festival) house. The whole of Agios Sostis was just a stony walley then.

50+ years ago we could choose the plot of land for the house as being very close to the small perfect beach (now some calls it ‘Lovers beach’) – and shielded from the dreaded North Wind. The best plot at Agios Sostis. The best plot in the world.

I inherited the house when my mother died, and named it after her. ‘Orania’ was the mykonians take on her name. Her first name was Jorunn – but that sounds too close to the greek word for pig, and the people loved her, so they named her Orania instead. She was a medical doctor, and worked on Mykonos as the only doctor the first years when she was here. My father was an actor, and a very good one. He was excellent with languages – a polyglot – and spoke english like the english, german like the germans, french like the french, island greek like the islanders, athenian greek like he city people and catarevusa(?) like the greek lawyers. He shared his thoughts (in greek) in the local paper. He helped the famers with official papers. Both were very visible, and there was never any chance of paying for a taxi. One taxidriver had a mother with a disability that she had been going to Athens for 15 years to fix – Orania fixed it in a week. etc.

The house is well built in traditional ways with thick stone walls which makes it cool in the summer heat. We bought furniture in an antique shop/flea market in Athens/Monasteri in 1975. There was no electricity, no in-house water, no internet, and almost no road. It was Paradise. Today it has all of it; a washing machine, dishwasher, AC, very fast internet, car park and charging station for electric vehicles – and it is still Paradise.

Today we sometimes rent Orania out – to nice people.


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