Urban travel tales

To the Lighthouse of Saint Nicolas/ Προς το Φάρο του Άη Νικόλα

For Greek click here or look under Ταξιδιωτικά μου ημερολόγια ‘Προς το Φάρο Αγίου Νικολάου Κέας’ 

Promoting the benefits from the embracing of Cultural Heritage & Ecology, these posts feature in En & Gr thoroughly edited and researched, illustrated by my photos. Enjoy the journey!

2012 © Copyright. All rights reserved – revised September 2018

Lighthouses are terrifying as they stand isolated on rocks to the mercy of weather, encircled by the sea. From their solitary presence, austere and minimal usually, they blink at regular intervals; the predictability of the signals emit comfort and reassurance.

Lighthouses mark endings as they stand erect at the peak of rocks, at the pinpoint of a peninsula; they welcome debarkations for fresh beginnings.

urban travel tales, Kea, Tzia
I am looking at the lighthouse of Agios Nikolaos at the fingertip of the peninsula of Kokka which borders the gulf of Vourkari, one of the safest natural ports of the Mediterranean sea.

urban travel tales, Kea, Tzia, Vourkari

The lighthouse is located just across the main port of Korissia; it marks the opening to the Aegean sea.

urban travel tales, Kea, Tzia, Lighthouse

The lighthouse is built on the ruins of a temple of Poseidon. Today it looks like a whitewashed stone fortress glued to the church of Saint Nicolas – protector of the mariners for the Christians.
urban travel tales, Kea, Tzia, Lighthouse
Built in 1831 by The French Company of Lighthouses, it is one of the two oldest beacons in the Greek network.

It is the first that was ever lit in Cyclades and the second in Greece. It belongs to the traditional Greek beacons, the square type, with a height of 8 meters and focal height 32 meters.

Where the affluent industrial community of Kokka used to be, today there are only ruins to be seen on the peninsula which borders the gulf of Vourkari, one of the safest natural ports of the Mediterranean sea. Consisting of warehouses and housing facilities installed at the end of the 19th century by the British owners, it was supplying with coal the passing steamboats on their way to the busier ports of the time, those of Syros or Chios were abandoned.

urban travel tales, Kea, Tzia, Lighthouse

Fascinated by the best sunset view in the island, for those still interested in the historic associations this is a landmark known as “The passage of Lambros Katsonis”.

The story goes that in August 1789 the captain Lambros Katsonis pulled his ship, buttered with pig fat over wood planks placed on the rocky soil and escaped the Turkish fleet who had entrapped him in the bay of Vourkari.

Can you imagine the state of mind of the man who turned from Russian officer into a pirate to combat the Turks in the Aegean? Can you visualize the revolutionary when he heard about the repercussions his escape had for the islanders of Kea by the enraged Turks?

urban travel tales, Kea, Tzia, Lighthouse

I have refreshed my memory reading the marble inscription providing some historical information about Lambros Katsonis.

I walk the path to the lighthouse.

The peninsula lies like a dormant camel with two hunches: on top of the one, still erect, stand two adjacent squares out of rock, stubborn and resistant to the weather and the human neglect.

They are supervising inside and outside of the harbor. At this point used to sit the men assigned to signal for the arrival of the boats (simatoreio) and to help the boats navigate safely inside-out (pilotagio).

urban travel tales, Kea, Tzia, Lighthouse

Every time I walk to the lighthouse the experience is new and amazing. Is it the light, the air, or just my mood that enfolds me in different atmosphere each time, as if I am a character in a film or a novel: it varies from the romantic to the thriller.

urban travel tales, Kea, Tzia, Lighthouse

If you visit the island of Kea or Tzia do not miss to walk to the lighthouse. Stop to look around and absorb the sounds, the air, the light. 

Which scenes from film set in a lighthouse come to your mind?

Have you read Virginia Woolf’s novel ‘To the Lighthouse’?

the only photo of sun rise, early September

I can tell you from personal experience that the more we enrich our imagination with references and memories the denser becomes the landscape – ‘it talks more to us’, it becomes more eloquent. As for us, we connect to the landscape, with the place, we understand it, we establish a lively relationship with it.

Thus, the place becomes a character too, with traits, a personality, even mannerisms.

If you were to play or write your own script which atmosphere would you choose?

Would you favor the sunset, a sunny or a stormy day with strong winds and clouds?Would you add lightings? Give it a try!

For more about Greek Lighthouses do not miss to visit the wonderful
LIGHTHOUSES OF GREECE http://www.faroi.com/

You will find more of bilingual posts about Kea from an insider’s point of view, if you take some time to navigate my blog:
http://to.ly/jEbC   http://to.ly/jTjk   http://to.ly/jEbD   

2012 © Copyright. All rights reserved 

Google maps – click to locate  http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=el&geocode=&q=%CE%9A%CE%95%CE%91+%CE%95%CE%9B%CE%9B%CE%91%CE%A3&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=33.626896,56.513672&ie=UTF8&t=h&ll=37.667121,24.31386&spn=0.001486,0.00228&z=18&output=embed


  1. Peny Toya

    Θα διαλεγα Ηλιοβασίλεμα με αυγουστιατκους ανέμους ,όπως ακριβώς το περπάτησαμε …….!
    Πολύ καλο!!!! Περιμένουμε κι ´αλλο.

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