Odysseus (he of the Odyssey) was a complex character – but it was fair to say that he was a man of his time, when women were expected to stay faithful but men were granted a more … flexible morality.
But his relationship with Nausicaa was even more complex than most.
The story goes that Odysseus is shipwrecked on an island, and (naked) wanders into a small bay where he finds an equally naked Nausicaa and her handmaidens washing their clothes.
After Nausicaa lends Odysseus some clothes, she directs him to her father, the king – who eventually loans him the ships that allow him to return home to Ithaca, ending his 10-year journey.
He clearly was attracted to this nubile young thing, and she was clearly in love with him – but they kept the relationship chaste.
So why am I mentioning this?
Because today’s #travelpic is one we took at Palaiokastrista, on the island of Corfu… and legend has it that this was the island of Nausicaa’s Phaeacian people – and that the bay seen here was where the legendary meeting took place.
I don’t know if that’s true (well, duh! that’s the nature of legends!) but in any case, the beauty of this place is legendary.
And a bit like Odysseus, we came upon the place unexpectedly.
We were on a cruise ship had a day in Corfu – so we grabbed a couple of local cabbies, telling them “take us to interesting places”. This was one of those places.
And, like Odysseus, we fell in love – but only had a short time, so left with that love unrequited.
Hmmm – legend has it that Odysseus’ son, Telemachus, later married Nausicaa. Maybe one of our children might one day head to Palaiokastrista to renew the love affair?
Such are the stuff of legends, after all 🙂