Shipwreck Beach: Digging up the past

Zakynthos…White sands, heavenly turquoise water and the most incredible sky that covers the earth and blah blah blah. Sure thing, everyone knows that. But let’s dig a little bit in one the greatest unsolved myths ever. Many theories about how happened but it’s definitely a story -movie screenplay award-worthy- that deserves our attention. At least mine.

It is well known as the “Shipwreck” or as the local call it: “Ναυάγιο”. According to legend coastal Panagiotis was making its way from Turkey with a freight of contraband cigarettes. People say The Panagiotis spent the later part of her life as a smuggling ship…hmm, Han Solo? Millennium Falcon? I was already intrigued creating a photo project of the ship and convincing my wife to go on vacation to Greece.

As the reaction was kinda welcomed I kept myself investigating about this Panagiotis ship. More facts started appearing and when I read the word Mafia I was completely sure my trip was a go. Cigarettes belonged to the Italian Mafia.

So in the middle of a perfect storm, the Panagiotis Falcon was persued by the Greek Navy until the ship ran aground in a cove on the west coast of Zakynthos. I had already the tickets confirmation on my email and my camera bag ready to go.
The year is 2012 and we are in Athens waiting for the bus that took us to Pyrgos where we’d get the ferry heading to Zakynthos.

Zakynthos is located in the Ionian Islands and are known as the Heptanese which means the Seven Islands. Mostly you can find Nordic and British tourists on vacation and it takes an hour to go around the whole island by car.
By this time, I was thinking of dipping bread in Tzatziki and having salads with Feta cheese and tons of lemon.
On Site:
We managed our way to get to the little cove and took me by surprise the amount of people on the small beach. Many local companies are making profit out of the remains of the once almighty vessel. The sand and salt ended up destroying the whole hull that looks rusty and full of graffiti scars people leave behind as an ignorant reminder of they were there.
The experience is magnificent, 100% recommended to all of you plus a little secret: try to take a portable disposable grill with you and have a surf and turf barbecue before sunset. You’ll never forget the view, the smell of salt and a little piece of history behind your back.

-The coastal trading vessel was built in 1937 by Scot & Sons in Bowling, north bank of the Firth of Clyde, Scotland.
-Contact me for details or how to schedule/arrange your trip and photography workshops.

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