Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Kea

Would you like to see some photos of Kea: a boring, gorgeous island off the tip of Athens? 

Phil found Kea while researching islands in our Lonely Planet guide book. We decided to go a few weekends ago, during Greece's 28 October holiday weekend. Oxi Day is a celebration of Greece's refusal to allow Italian troops to occupy the country during WWII, effectively dragging them into the War against the Axis powers. As Phil's coworker put it, it's the only holiday he knows where people celebrate the beginning of a war.

We took a ferry from Lavrio, a port town next door to Poseidon's Temple in Sounio. It was windy when we left, and the sea was moderately choppy. I got sick. Phil and The Kid were fine. The ferry route goes through the same area where the Titanic's sister ship, the Britannic, sank in 1916. There are two other big wrecks nearby. I did not know this before we got on the boat.

The ferry ride wasn't actually all that bad. It was short, only about an hour, and the boat had a snack bar, game room, and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. We took our car, so we could drive around the island and take pictures. The main road is paved, but everything off to the side was gravel or dirt. Phil loved it. 


On Kea, looking North-ish.

Down there is one of the more popular beaches in Kea. Deserted, because it's off-season, and because it was unseasonably chilly.

I don't remember what I wanted to show you here. It's pretty.

The whole island was terraced, just like Mani Peninsula. I can't imagine how long it's taken people to do that. 

We drove through that valley, then up onto this ridge. I was looking in all directions at once. Also, I saw a bird sitting on a cow, and a dog sitting on a chair. They each happened too fast for a photo. Please believe me.

There was quite a bit of livestock on the island--mainly sheep and goats, but we saw cows, horses, donkeys, chickens, and probably other things that I can't remember now.

This is the main square of the main village on the island. The village is not accessible by car. You have to park below it, or above it, and walk through it. We saw a local walking through town with his kids, and his donkey. The donkey was carrying the recycling.

The villages on the island are connected by trails. Some are nice, some are ancient (literally). We saw a sign in this village with distances to other villages given in time. As in, "4.5 hours to Such and Such Village."

A view of the main village.

This is the reason we came to Kea. We came to see the ancient lion statue. Look at it. Look at that thing. It's hilarious.

The mythology is that Kea was once a beautiful island, and the Gods became jealous. They sent down a lion who ravaged the place, and turned it into a desert. In my opinion, he didn't do a good enough job. Athenians are starting to develop the place with vacation homes and rental properties. It's really beautiful.

This gorgeous, deserted beach was home to three Athenian vacation homes. The houses, which were only yards from the spot where I took this photo, are going for about 400,000 euros apiece. Can anyone loan me 400,000 euros?

Farewell view from the ferry.

I rode on the outside for the return journey. I did not get sick.
I wanted to tell you more about Kea two weeks ago, but time and distance have taken their toll, and now I just don't care. It's a gorgeous, dull little island, and I would happily return to take up residence in that 400,000 euro house on the beach.

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