Kioni harbour was reached in half a days motoring in the windless morning. A good idea to be early, it seemed to us, for the smaller places like this, and we successfully made the quay ( last boat but one) in the middle of the day. Our requirement was water, and later the motorbike kid turned up to turn it on, filling us up at 6 cents pr litre. ( about 250 litres was all we could take, being minded to do this before actually being empty).
The small square harbour had about 30 yachts in, and across the bay a similar number were anchored stern to the rocks. Just outside the quay was a swimming ladder down into the clear bright water, which we used a lot over the two nights that we stayed. The village nestled at the bottom of the wooded hills, with pines, cypress, olives and maquis undergrowth.
Parrot sometimes asks us on our boat is to think of three names of colours for what we are looking at. For example: for the sea….. Retsina ( near the beach)….Cobalt….Turquoise. In Virgil describing the Odyssey, sea scenes are always “the wine-dark sea….” Did he mean red wine or the thick yellow Greek Retsina ? Our Latin teacher was too dull to speculate. As for the colours of dawn….Cadmium yellow,…..Jaune……Transparent Gold. Virgil sticks to “rosy fingered dawn “….. the Parrot explains why this repetition occurs: he had to use a stock phrase with the right number of syllables in, to complete the pentameters or whatever.
So when an architect looks at a palette for a whole village such as Kioni, the colours that are actually used, not co-ordinated by a professional, are a feast of yellow ochre, renaissance gold, copper, sienna, rose madder, all the yellows……. And that’s just the stones and render before the bright splashes of painted timbers. ( yes Greek duck egg blue is still a favourite). The Ionians are not the colours of other Greek stereotypes, just white and blue.
In my first job with an architect during my final school summer holidays ( Piper Whalley), I had to schedule whole housing estates of different roof colours. Something that not all developers bother to do any more. Perhaps in new estates, just as in exploring pretty villages, we seek to be entertained by non-standard variety. Historical flavours of things to gaze upon are easy on the eye and give us a pleasant connection with heritage.
This month a terrible earthquake has caused much loss of life in central Italy. Rotary Clubs are busy sending shelter boxes from England. Parrot reminds us that all these villages have been re-built since the earthquakes, so cut the heritage, but it looks nice.