“I’m not from here, but I lost my heart to this island a long time ago” – this is something you hear a lot when talking to people on the Greek island of Astypalea. The number of locals born here has dwindled in recent decades. But tourism has opened up new sources of revenue and attracted new people to the island – predominantly from Greece, but also from abroad. People like Bettina Mohn from Frankfurt.
German ex-pat Bettina first visited the island in the southern Aegean back in 1982. She moved to Astypalea in 1996. These days Bettina’s favourite pastime is taking care of her large garden, where rosemary grows as high as small trees do in other places. Old basil shrubs with woody stems are dotted between fig and olive trees. Bettina values living from and with nature, understanding and respecting its gifts, and has done so throughout her life.
“Nature gives us everything we need if we understand it and treat it well,” says Bettina. This basic idea fits in really well with the plan to set up a sustainable mobility and energy system on the island, which will rely almost exclusively on electricity generated locally by the sun and wind.