On the northern coast of the Corinthian gulf sits the town of Nafpaktos. The large port town lines the shore with shops, cafes and restaurants; creating a welcoming environment for the visitors. We were lucky enough to explore during our warmly greeted study breaks for midterms. Once we finished our exams, we saw the major attraction of the area, the Venetian Castle of Nafpaktos that overlooks town and the port.
The castle is one of the most preserved castles in Greece. It’s fortification clings to the mountain as it stood throughout history. It was built during ancient times, followed by the Venetians during the Middle Ages until the Turks took over during the 15th century. The five-wall fort is constructed on different levels of the mountain for maximum security. Two of them were built down toward the sea. This provided not only a base for conquerors, but a safe haven for the town’s people who would file into the fort for protection during war.
For us today, it provided a beautiful view of the town we had resided in for two nights. We were surrounded by wild flowers after a day of gray dreary weather and rain. It was our place to explore. People were on every level of the fort, as if preparing for battle. We were the soldiers and the town’s people who wanted to protect our momentary home and our community. After seven weeks of unbelievable experiences and close quarters, we have become a small community, one that we must protect. We are the fort, we are the fight, and we are the beauty for that moment. Perhaps we felt one and a sense of peace there in our momentary place, but we filed in our vans, our true fort and our home on the road.