Holiday in Kefalonia – last day

Wednesday 31st May 2017

Jeez this is it. I loved this place. I heard loads of good things before coming here and I have to confirm them all.

These last days have been a bit introspective and I didn’t do much but enjoying my time around the island (and get a new phone as the one I got broke down….).

I find always fascinating how water has a liberating effect on my soul. It’s definitely my element and every time I enter the sea it feels like leaving the world behind, and getting inspiration for future projects (any, work, travel, buy a house…any!).

People, location, weather, culture, food. Everything is good and I felt home, very welcome and safe all the time. I could have easily left my door open and go for a swim without problems. I am not a great speaker, let alone a great blogger, but words cannot describe the entire experience anyways. I hope my pictures will speak enough for me though.

I was bit sad to leave of course, but I am glad I had this opportunity and I also managed to visit Ithaca as well, right yesterday. 

Looking forward to the next adventure and who knows? I might come back here again.

And you? What places have you visited and loved the most? What does fascinate you most when you visit a place you have never seen before?

Nostalgia

Lassi – One of the many swims by the flat where I was staying

Local shop in Lassi

Local shop in Lassi

Lassi – chicken and cranberry salad + hummous

Argostoli

Greek meal in Argostoli – beef in a pot
​

Sami harbour

On the way to Ithaca

Ithaca – Harbour

Ulysses’ statue in Stavros

Ithaca – Map of Ulysses’ odyssey in Stavros village

Reconstruction of Ulysses’ palace
 

Ithaca – Stavros Village

Ithaca – Stavros village

Ithaca – Stavros village

Ithaca – Detail of a door in Vathi

Ithaca – Monastery

Ithaca – Monastery, kind of a selfie πŸ™‚

Ithaca – selfie with view over the capital town Vathi

Ithaca – Kiani

Ithaca – Local shop in Kiani

Ithaca – Kiani

Ithaca – Kiani

Ithaca – panoramic view from the bus

Ithaca – panoramic view of the capital town Vathi

Ithaca – more views
My table at Vathi
Why not to try some fresh fish?
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Holiday in Kefalonia – Day 5 – memories of a day trip around the island

Yesterday (Wednesday 24/05), I went on a tour of the island organised by Panam Tours. We stopped at various locations but I will mention the ones that I found particularly interesting: Myrtos beach, Assos, Fiskardo and Melissani cave.

To start with, I must say that the entire trip was enjoyable and the landscape from the bus was truly breathtaking. See below some of the pictures I managed to take, either with my phone or my camera. 

Assos – view of the coastline from the bus
View of Ithaca
View of Sami
Church destroyed by an earthquake in 1953

1. Myrtos beach

This was our very first stop. We just had a short break here to take some pictures and selfies. Our guide said that Myrtos beach is one of most photographed, if not “THE” most photographed, beaches in Greece. Well, given the landscape, combination of colours and the fact that it has won the title of best beach of Greece for 12 times, I believe him.

View of the beach from the main road

2. Assos

Assos is a small village on the west coast of the island and it was our second stop. The village was built under Venetian rule around the end of the 16th Century. The Assos Castle, one of the largest in Greece, was built between 1593 and 1595 with the intent of protecting the locals in case of an attack by the Turks or the pirates, but was eventually used as refuge from the Plague. 

Assos Castle
Typical home in Assos
Harbour
Kefalonian coast view from the village
Door of a building destroyed by the earthquake in 1953

3. Fiskardo

Fiskardo is a village in the north of Kefalonia, facing Ithaka. Its origins are believed to be dated at least to 500 BC, and was known as “Panormos”. Constructions works in 2006 have led to the accidental discovery of a perfectly preserved Roman grave complex with various artifacts. Subsequent excavations led to other discoveries, including a theatre and other objects dated from 146BC to 330AD.

Fiskardo took its current name in the 11th Century after Robert Guiscard, founder of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

We stopped here for lunch. Really lovely place by the sea, full of colourful houses, shops and restaurants, all next to the waterside. 

I had a tasty chicken souvlaki in a restaurant called after the original name of Fiskardo. The veiw from my table was very pleasant and it’s a shame we didn’t stay longer.

Typical street with stairs in Fiskardo
The restaurant I picked up for my lunch.
View of Ithaca
My table
Selfie time!
Chicken souvlaki, yum!
View of Ithaka from Fiskardo

Did you know?

Fiskardo is built over a natural limestone soil. This has been a natural protection against the big earthquake that devastated Kefalonia in 1953 and therefore all the in the village reflect their original structure.

4. Melissani cave

We went to explore this subterranean lake, made of sea water that flows into the cave through natural underwater channels. A treadmill is used to aid the flow in the cave.

The price to pay for the visit was 6 euros and it’s essentially a tour on a boat that  lasts for about 20mins. I believe it is a bit pricey, but the atmosphere inside the cave is truly mesmerising. 

Did you know?

  • The stalactites in Melissani Cave grow at a rate of 1 cm every 100 years.
  • Melissani cave was originally entirely covered. It is believed that the roof collapsed 5,000 years ago, during a powerful earthquake, giving the cave its current look.
  • The water depth in Melissani cave ranges from 4m to 12m, it is alway around 15degrees Celsius and it is constantly cleaned by the lake natural recycling system.

This is it. It was area really lovely day, worth the money and all the work to process the pictures. Extra points to you if you read the blog until he end πŸ˜‰

 I hope you enjoyed it.

Holiday in Kefalonia – Day 3 -Workout by the beach and Greek inspired mealsΒ Β 

Tuesday 23/05

It’s been only the third day in the island but it feels I have been here much longer. Times slows down in Kefalonia.

While getting ready for my tour of the island tomorrow, I thought to treat myself with another morning by the beach and some meals I prepared with local and fresh ingredients.

First, a few shots of what I woke up to this morning.

Workout by the beach

I would recommend this short workout that I found on the Internet and that I changed slightly if you don’t have much time and still want to keep in shape on holiday. It also works well if you don’t want too feel too bad about yourself, especially after having devoured all those cakes and chocolates that your flat owner tempted you with the day before…(errrr…who might tat be? πŸ˜‰ )

Warm up

  • 15 mins swim

2 mins rest and then the following in superset

  • 20 push ups
  • 20 squats
  • 20 lateral lunges
  • 30 sec side plank (both sides)
  • 30 sec plank

2 mins rest and then the following in superset:

  • 20 close grip pushups
  • 20 squats
  • 40 sit-ups
  • 10 lunges (each leg)
  • 20 superman
  • 20 toe tip raisers
  • 40 foot kicks
  • 20 single leg hip thrusts

…and that hurts.

Greek Yogurt Pot

I love making this when I am home. It’s quick, easy and tasty, and when will I have another chance to make one using authentic Greek yogurt? πŸ™‚

All you use are the following:

  • 2 or 3 spoons of Jam 
  • 5 spoons of Greek yogurt
  • 2 or 3 spoons of muesly
  • (Optional) two pieces of extra dark chocolate (min 85%), broken into smaller pieces

All you nees to do is to use a cup for dessert and lay down the jam to form the first layer. Then lay down the yogurt layer and top up everything with the muesli. Simple isn’it?

The example below is rather large, but I can’t help with it. When it’s food time I turn into an animal. πŸ™‚

Greek Salad

I also made a traditional Greek salad using local ingredients (those kalamata olives and that feta cheese, OMG!!). I won’t share the recipe here as it is widely known and the Internet is full of instructions in this regard, but I am happy to share the final result. I tell you what, I am gonna have another one soon.

Holiday in Kefalonia – first days

​Sunday 21/05 and Monday 22/05
This is the first of a hopefully long series of posts regarding my experience in Kefalonia.

I had this place in mind for the last few weeks as my dear goddaughter and her family visited a couple of years ago and strongly recommended it. 

I will aim to report the journey the way I see it through my eyers, but also (and mostly) the way I see it through my camera.

A brief background 

Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionic Islands, measuring about 773 sq km (303.7 sq mi) and counting 36,000 people. Some suggests that Kefalonia was the actual omeric Ithaka in the Odissey (lucky me!), rather than the smaller nearby island who took the name today. Whether this is true or not, Kefalonia has a certainly interesting historical background, with archeological finds dating back to 40,000 BC, and I look forward to know more of it

First days
I have arrived on Sunday at lunch time and I rented a flat in Lassi, a very touristic part of the island.

I was greeted by Pim and Maria, a dutch couple who is staying in the flat attached to mine and who are close friends with the owner (Eleni). They made sure everything was ok and suggested me the small tavern nearby to get some refreshments (yum, and that was good!) or a splash in the pool if I needed one.

I didn’t know that Kefalonia offers the so called “pool bars” (see picture below). They are exactly what the name suggests and they offer usage of sunbeds to anyone, for free. So that was already a first good surprise.

I spent these first two days familiarising myself with the local area, beach and food. It turned out to be already a rather pleasant experience, especially from the scenery perspective. 

Also, suffice to say that food is superb and home made. Wherever you go, you won’t get disappointed and its cheap too. 
E.g. 15Β£ for a starter+main meal+water.

Just at a short walking distance from the flat there is a small sandy beach with crystal clear water, facing the Lixouri peninsula. I spent my afternoon there and as the evening approached, large clouds in the sky gave a dramatic touch to an already breathtaking sunset. So I took my camera and captured the view in front of me, hoping to have given enough justice to it.

People seem to be nice, relaxed and rather welcoming too. Eleni, shortly after meeting me, fed me with two slices of home made cake!!

On the second day, as I walked through the small and picturesque streets of Lassi I found various messages attached to lampposts suggesting the best local spots and maps for any visitor to take and use.  A rather welcoming thought, I would say. 

Overall, very good first impression. I feel I am gonna have a good time.