submitted by James Victor Prineas on 30.03.2008
Flying over Kythera
This might interest a few of you: probably about the same time as you are reading this – early April – I'll flying over Kythera on a helicopter to photograph the island for a “Kythera from the Air” book. Planned is a large hard-cover coffee-table edition of our favourite island from an angle which most of us only see from the hazy windows of the plane when we fly in. Now before you all start calling your relatives on Kythera to search for me so they remind me to photograph YOUR village, don’t worry: I’ll be trying to photograph EVERY village on the island. Even the ones which only consist of a few ruined houses. And I’ll shoot as much of the coastline, as many of the monasteries and churches, and everything else which looks good, as I can. I've been lucky that a few enthusiastic Kytherians have send me lists of potentially mind-boggling vistas which I will certainly do my best to shoot. Just today Antonis Bartsiokas, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Demokritus University of Thrace and whose mother, Maria Trifylli, hailed from Kythera's Trifyllianika (I bet you could have guessed that...) suggested that I photograph the following:
1. Village Riza off Mylopotamos,
2. Unknown village over the mountain that limits the
3. Chytra island from the top.
4. Dragonares islands to show the falts.
5. The gorge at the north of Myrtidiotissa that ends at the sea.
6. Palaeochora from the trilagado.
7. The gorge that ends in the beach just west of the
light house in the north.
8. The hill west of Kastro Choras
9. The fault of Agia Elessa
10. Finikies from the coast
11. Kokkala of Kapelo Kalamou from the coast
12. Koutsokefalo mountain from the top to show the
church and the shaft.
The first thing I thought when I received the list was: "what unknown village over the mountain that limits the airport"? Aren't there only cliffs between the Kaki Langkatha south-east of Pelagia and Diakofti? Even on my quite detailed satellite picture of the island (which is the subject of another book project I'll tell you about another time...) there's nothing to be seen. But sure enough, on my new "Road Edition" map of the island which is the most detailed map I have come across, there it is. A few houses grouped under the name "Friatsi". I'd never heard of it. Can anyone tell me the history of Friatsi? I'll include it in my next article if someone does. What the good professor's list did was remind me that, even after 20 years of almost yearly visits to the island, I don't know HALF of it. 8 of the 12 suggestions on Antonis' list were new to me, and even the ones I'd heard of were mysterious. What "faults" was he referring to at Elessa and on Dragonares? Where is Koutsokefalo Mountain and what is the church shaft he's referring to? I think I'll have to arrange for Professor Bartsiokas to give me a tour of the island. Would anyone like to join me?
My wife and I hope to have the "Kythera from the Air" book finished around the middle of the year. If you think you'll probably order 5 or more to distribute or sell to your contacts, please let me know so we can get a rough idea of how many we should have printed. My email and fax number are at the end of the article.
Living on Kythera
It's taken years of work and organisation, but one of my family's dreams appears close to fulfilment: my two boys, my wife and I will be moving to Kythera in September for a six-month “time-out” from the rat-race. It will allow my family to learn some Greek and for us all to discover the island in detail. Trekking up to the top of St. George from Avlemonas, or finally discovering the magical beauty of all those hidden coves along the neglected west side of the island... I'd better start writing a list. If you'll be on the island then and you might like the occasional company of noisy young lads and their parents, or if you too are in a position to let go of the reigns for a time and can escape to the island, we'd enjoy some more crew on board.
We also hope to find some private teachers for the boys and a nice warm house to rent. And other English, German or Danish speakers - especially children - who will be there at the same time. If you have any suggestions for us they would be much appreciated.
Website Launch in Brisbane
And if you've somehow managed to miss the news, there's a gala presentation of our website in Brisbane on the 15th of April at the Kapsali Restaurant. So let all your cousins in Brisbane know about it!
James Prineas, email@example.com
Fax: +49.30.69 59 66 15
Teacher, journalist, poet and author, Sydney NSW Australia
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