Thursday, April 6, 2017

In Greece ~ The Solitude of the Sea

“My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea..
And the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.
      -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Life is simply about the sea here. 

Sunset in Kardamyli, Greece
We use it to gauge the weather with phrases like ’i thalassa vrazier’ – 'the sea is boiling'. We celebrate festivals spawned from its bounty. It is a constant in everyday life; the comings and goings of fishermen, the wave action, the colors.

Even sunbeams striking the water’s surface or cloud formations dancing across it can cause us to pause our everyday activities for just a moment ~ we take a deep breath as if inhaling a restorative bit of the sea and its solitude.

Sunset on the Messinian Bay

Ships at Sea

We delight in watching freighters off in the distance, traveling to and from Kalamata. We focus on the fishermen in their tiny boats bouncing and bobbing to the wave action as they come and go from nearby harbors. 

Such seafaring has been a focus since, according to Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts, (named for their ship the Argo) sailed off in search of the Golden Fleece.  Some say his ship was the first ship to sail these Greek waters.

Kafenion in Agios Nikolaos overlooks the harbor - the fish scale hangs close by
It was the vistas of the sea that drew us to this area of the Greek Peloponnese where small fishing villages dot the coastlines at regular intervals. Now we are discovering its centuries-old rhythms and routines are providing new wonders to our everyday life.

Kitries boat harbor - Peloponnese
When we hear the early morning chug-a-chug of the small boat engine echo from the sea below our home we pause to watch it heading back to the harbor. Over dinner with friends – those also new to the area – our conversations stop as we pause to watch the fishermen coming or going, depending  on the season, the tides, the catch. It is as if each sighting is our first and certainly not one to be missed.

Fisherman returning to Kardamyli harbor
I still grab the camera wanting to capture a moment to relive again when life has taken us far away from this setting of sea and solitude.

Kardamyli Harbor - Peloponnese
We are, over time, learning the words of the sea. Kimas (key-mahs)  waves – not to be confused with kimas (key-MAS) minced meat (or hamburger).  One of our favorites, is Limeni, the harbor; perhaps because the word rolls off our tongues or because each harbor is so distinctly different, yet stunning.

Harbor in Agios Nikolaos village - The Mani

Although we don’t yet know their names, we are recognizing fishermen, by this our third year in the area. The Captain, as we call him, dressed in dark coveralls rides his bike to the harbor about 6 p.m – a routine so regular you can almost set your watch by it. Another, whose name we also don’t know, always makes us pause in the heat of the mid-day sun just to watch him organize his nets – an art, not just a skill, we've concluded.

Preparing the nets - Agios Nikolaos, Peloponnese
We imagine the weight of those nets that must be tossed into the sea and then retrieved by the lone fisherman, in what we speculate must be a very solitary life. On the other hand, perhaps it is the sea and its solitude that has captured his heart as it has ours.

Kitries harbor, Peloponnese
'Perhaps I should not have been a fisherman,’ he thought.
'But that was the thing that I was born for.'
--- Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and The Sea

The solitude of the sea
That’s life at The Stone House on the Hill this week.  We plan to do some sea gazing while we wait to resume our journey on the 'Road to Greek Residency'.  As soon as we do, we'll tell you where the adventure has taken us on this side of the Atlantic. Hope you are having a great week and that you’ll be back with us next week for another look at life in Greece.

Safe travels to you and yours and as always, thanks so much for the time you spend with us!

Linking this week with:
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday
Wordless Wednesday
Travel Photo Thursday
Photo Friday
Weekend Travel Inspiration


  1. I can see how the sea has captured your hearts. So nice to experience the local comings and goings. Your photos are enticing.

    1. Thanks for the visit Gaelyn. I am never sure which moves us more, the vastness of the sea or of the high plains where you are! Both are pretty spectacular, aren't they?

  2. Such an endless source of interest and inspiration. :-)

  3. I know that feeling Jackie. Just sitting there staring at the sea. I have another term for you. When there is lots of wind and the sea is frothy I say to my husband there are sheep in the sea. "Probata"

    1. Thanks Mary for the new word; siga, siga as they say here our vocabulary is growing. This is my word for today (hopefully I will remember it without having to look at my cheat sheet!)

  4. What a luxury to have a view of the ocean every day. Keep on taking photos - you should make a Ocean Book.

    1. Oh Jan - you always bring a smile to my face with your comments! It is nice to have a cheerleader out there!

  5. LOVE the images! They so remind me of our time in Greece, and all the fishing boats and beautiful sunsets.

    1. They really do seem to be the ubiquitous image of Greece, don't they? Glad they brought back good memories!

  6. Life about the sea sounds endlessly interesting and serene.

    1. We opted not to get a television (and thankfully if we did, we still wouldn't get US news) but have opted to watch the sea instead. . .a much healthier choice I think!

  7. As we continue to explore the Greek islands, we love watching the fishermen leave the harbour and return, seeing the boats back in the harbour at the end of the day and fixing their nets. At other times, I just sit and stare at the water for ages! It's so relaxing!

    1. It is amazing to me, how long I can stare at the water - not thinking any thoughts at all and just be content and calm. Thanks for the visit, Jenny.

  8. Beautiful photos, Jackie, of the sea near your Stone House on the Hill. I love the little harbour in Kitries, so pretty! Being a Pisces, I am drawn to water, and especially, Crete's gorgeous coastlines. Luckily, we don't live far from some of the most spectacular beaches on the island, which I can't wait to swim in as soon as the weather warms up. The sea is something I missed terribly during my stay in Canada, so I can completely understand why you would want to take as many photos of it to have when you are across the pond.


    1. We went to the beach near our house for an evening Krasi yesterday and watched a family play at the seaside - the kids seemed oblivious to the water's chilly temperature. It really is a special place, the sea. Enjoy your bit of it as much as we do ours! Happy Easter Poppy!

  9. Your choice of "solitude" was perfect. Looking at your pictures and reading about the fisherman somehow brought a calmness and peacefulness. No wonder you're living there! Good for your health and soul.

    1. There is a calmness around the sea that is hard to explain to someone whose never had the benefit of enjoying it. I tell myself it is a healthier lifestyle, I know it is a soul restorative!

  10. I enjoyed reading this! It all sounds so peaceful. And I bet you can buy wonderful fresh fish too!

  11. Having the vastness of the sea nearby seems to put all of life's problems and frets into perspective, doesn't it? Your post manages to weave both tranquility and happiness into each paragraph and it's easy to see that Greece has captured your hearts as surely as a net captures fish! Happy Easter, Jackie!

  12. I'm behind with my reading and have just caught up with the blog in the midst of packing to move home and now for the holiday in three weeks. Looking at the photos has made me realize just how much the peace and serenity on the terrace will mean to both of us. I need to see the sea to relieve the stress!! Yamas!

  13. I would like to enjoy views like these every day. There is something so soothing about being next to the sea. it makes you feel like nothing else matters. Thanks for sharing your beautiful experiences in Greece! #TPThursday

  14. Your photos really capture what Longfellow was saying about the sea. He certainly had a way with words, didn't he? :) And so do you. Looking forward to experience a bit of solitude in Greece sometime.

  15. The sea always tells such intricate stories. Your photos are stunning, Jackie. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday


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