Lesbians flock to Greece's Lesbos Island for festival

Posted By: Nairita Das
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London, Sep 15 (ANI): Lesbos Island in Greece witnessed huge numbers of lesbians from across Europe who have gathered there for the tenth annual International Women's Festival.

Since a decade of its commencement, attendance at the two-week International Women's Festival in the village of Eressos has jumped from 30 to hundreds of women - mainly German, British, Dutch and Scandinavian, but also Greek and Italian.

The busy programme of events-from Sep 4 to 18, 2010-includes women-only walks and sunset cruises, breathing and drumming workshops, Greek dance classes and lesbian film screenings.

"I've been blown away, there's no unease at all," the Telegraph quoted Lauren Bianchi, a Scottish woman, who is at the festival for the first time.

However, in 2000, when the festival was launched, tensions ran high.

Lesbian holidaymakers have been coming to Lesbos since the 1970s, attracted by the island's association with Sappho, the seventh century Greek poet who wrote about her love for women and was born in Eressos.

According to the Sappho travel agency, lesbians now make up 60 per cent of visitors to the village, rising to 90 per cent in September when the festival takes place.

"My rooms are full for the next two weeks. We'd usually be dead in September, but now it's booming," said Andreas, who runs the Sappho cafi bar and rents rooms on the village seafront.

As the economic crisis continues to pinch, he said Greek holidaymakers spent less this summer and he is grateful for the extended season brought by lesbian tourism.

"People in the village have got used it, especially the young people, but the old people still discuss it among themselves," he added. (ANI)

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