Here lies harmony, here lies human scale. Le Corbusier, 1936
Say ‘Greek island’, and most people picture one of the Cyclades (the ‘circling’ islands, surrounding sacred Délos): barren rocks rising from the bluest of seas, where crags spill over with villages of asymmetrical white houses, with a pocket-sized church squeezed in at every corner. Few places are so irresistibly stark and clear, so visually pure and honest, so sharply defined in light and shadow. The Cyclades are relatively small and numerous, and as you sail or look out to sea you can always see several floating on the horizon, beckoning, framing a sunset or a rosy-fingered dawn.
The light in the Cyclades is so pure because the Aegean is a fairly arid place, knocked about by winds. In winter, when many islanders take refuge in Athens, the islands are plagued by the northerly voreas that turns ship schedules into fiction. After March the sirocco warms islands still green from winter rains. From July to September, when many of the Cyclades look parched, the meltémi from the Russian steppes huffs and puffs, providing natural air-conditioning.
Images by Cedric B, GNU Commons License, Dan Diffendale, Evangelos Mpikakis on Unsplash, Marsyas, Creative Commons License, original image by Martin Dürrschnabel, sailko, Tilemahos Efthimiadis, Unknown authorUnknown author , Zde