Showing posts with label Greek sea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greek sea. Show all posts

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


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