20-23 April 2012: Friday-Monday.
How in the world did I end up in Greece! On the island of Kefalonia? In Greece?
After Greece’s recent bankruptcy and such, I thought venturing to this country would be impossible. It turned out, it was possible and became a fun and relaxing weekend trip where all we did was lay on the beach and eat. Now, you may be wondering “aren’t you suppose to be in Italy, studying and not vacationing?” my answer: well yes, but how can I possibly pass up a 24 euro, round-trip flight? Ryan Air recently started a new leg between Pisa and Kefalonia and we hopped on board as soon as we saw the prices.
We arrived Friday, mid-day, after leaving school- – – early. The flight took less than an hour and took us over bright blue water. My roommate, Kat, ha done lots of research before leaving and encouraged us to rent a car. It was still April and not yet tourist season so there were no frequent buses traveling through the island. Our apartment (which was also at a very discounted “off season” rate) was in the small fishing village of Agia Effimia. The Thrifty rental car was a funky beater, super cheap, and Fran gracefully navigated it over the winding roads of this hilly island to the sounds of local Greek tunes on the radio. We were all awestruck by the beyond turquoise waters, clear skis, and the herds of goats scampering over the hills.
Saturday. After waking late, we hopped in the car and went cave hunting. The island is well known for their extensive cave system including Melissani Cave. This deep pool is filled with clear water that they take visitors on by boat. We learned of the cave’s history while the boat carried us over this subterranean lake that went several stories below us. The lake had originally been enclosed but the roof had collapsed years before.
(cave photos from JC)
Next, we headed to Myrtos Beach. Rated best beach in Greece many times, the extensive stretch of shore was covered in smooth white stones and took about a million hair-pin turns down a steep cliff to reach. But it was worth it! The water was cold but the sun was warm, and we were the only ones there.
After the beach, we drove along the north coast of the island, past more goats, vineyards, and olive groves, back to Agia Effimia. That night, our feasting began. The apartment owner recommended “To Perasma,” a grill and steakhouse. We enjoyed local foods, like fried feta (a hunk of feta wrapped in phyllo and coated in honey, yum!), Kefolonian meat pie, moussaka (eggplant, ground meat, breadcrumbs, and cheese in lasagna form), and JC got a meat and veggie thing that had been steamed in a paper bag and was oh, so good.
Sunday. Kat had made plans with a dive shop to do some scuba diving, so Fran, JC, Jess and I took the car down the east coast to the town of Scala where we swam and lazed in the sun again on the islands only sand beach–I think we could see all the way to main land Greece. Kat raved about the great dive that night as we feasted again.
Monday. Our flight was to leave early afternoon, so our last morning was spent in the Island’s capital of Argostoli where we ventured through shops, had amazing Chicken Tzatziki Pitas, and checked out the catch of the local fishermen. We even saw a turtle swimming in the harbor!
Though we did not make it to Athens, or see any Greeks Ruins (Italy has just as many) I think we got a glimpse of today’s friendly, Greek culture. Food, friends, and fellowship.
oh, and don’t forget the beach 🙂