Friday, 18 August 2006


But the danger was past -- they had landed at last,
With their boxes, portmanteaus, and bags:
Yet at first sight the crew were not pleased with the view,
Which consisted to chasms and crags.
So wrote Lewis Carroll in ‘Fit the Second’ of The Hunting of the Snark.

Here, on Kalymnos, we like chasms and crags. There are, doubtless, those who yearn for the green shades and hues of more verdant landscapes, but in a place where there is little else to do but linger and look, the seemingly stark and barren bones of this island daily reveal themselves a backdrop of exquisite and ever-changing subtlety…

The scene is constantly transforming from sunrise to sunset: the first light of dawn kisses the crown of the nearby island of Telendos with a pale roseate light that accentuates the dramatic features of its cliff face and reveals the minute white dot that is, in fact, a tiny chapel perched perilously half-way up its height: the stones of faith symbolically erected in a place of apparent total inaccessibility.

The full glare of the midday sun makes the peaks that rise above Emporios seem harsh - even forbiddingly cruel: the rocky outcrops of pumice grey, pitted and pockmarked with deeper, darker shades of slate blue.

But then, in the final florid flush of the setting sun, those same hills are painted, first, salmon pink and - just before light fails - a rich red gold…

There’s nothing wrong with chasms and crags and, in some of those chasms - who knows - there might even lurk the Greek mythological equivalent of a Snark or, of course (because one can never be entirely sure about such things), possibly a Boojum


Scrooge said...

stop it with the flowery stuff... you're making me almost wish I wasn't off to my tent in Scarborough over the Bank Holiday !

dodos said...

This is a lovely description! And ...colourful, too! (having spent so many summerdays on Greek islands, i couldn't agree more with it).

The Emporio i remember (many-many years ago) wouldn't even dream of an internet connection!