It rains when we wake up but when we drive off towards Kyllene it gradually gets drier. We are in no hurry, the boat to Kefalonia only leaves at 2 o'clock. Last year we took the boat to Zakynthos from here, now we are going to the island to the north. On the boat you can even arrange a seat for your pets in the boxes under the stairs. A return ticket costs us € 103 for 1 car and 2 people.
The islands off the west coast of Greece are called the Ionian Islands. There are 12 of which 7 are inhabited and Kefalonia is the largest of them. So far we have visited Corfoe, Lefkas and Zakynthos, all three beautiful islands and according to the travel guides it is at least just as beautiful or even better here. But then the weather has to improve a bit. It is a mountainous island with a big mountain ridge and one real mountain top, the Ainos at 1627 meters altitude.
From the boat we see the gorge behind Poros, the port where we will land, where the road runs to the north. Poros is located on the southeast side of the island and we have to go all the way to the east, close to the capital Argostoli, about 40 kilometers away, but according to the navigation it is almost an hour's drive. We have to bypass the mountain bridge anyway and we decide to take the northern route over it. We have booked for 8 days on Kefalonia so today we don't go into Poros, that will be for another day.
Soon I see a brown sign with the inscription 'stone bridge' on it. And with brown plates I am always curious, what is it that is special to see? A stone bridge this time and, yes, right next to the road is a stone bridge. I can not see what is so special about it and there is no more information. It does not look like a very old bridge and the road over it does not lead anywhere. For the story I take a few pictures and this time I am lucky that the bridge is next to the road, but sometimes we have to walk long ends and find nothing at all or something that is overgrown or closed or just rather disappointing.
It takes a while before we have crossed the mountainous landscape over the imposing mountain ridge but then we have a nice view of it from the other side. It has suddenly become a lot warmer and we are going to look at the coast because we are curious what kind of beaches are here. But it is not yet nice enough to lie down on the beach for us. When we drive further, we are unpleasantly surprised by cars that overtake us in narrow turns in the road, making dangerous maneuvers. Fortunately, it is not too busy.
In the neighborhood of Afrato we stop at a parking lot and we feel that we are being looked at by a bunch of people with a Greek rental car. They have apparently seen our Dutch number plate and, when we walk past them, ask us if we have come all the way from the Netherlands by car. A stupid question we think, but we acknowledge it and they can not imagine that one will drive such a long way. They are also Dutch people who have just landed here by plane. We think it is wonderful that we have our own car with us, we can take as much souvenirs back as we want.
Towards the end of the afternoon we find a restaurant and it seems that there are not many tourists here yet. We are close to the airport and the planes go right over us when they take off but in the restaurant there is no one except us. We are once again enjoying delicious food and when we want to checkout we walk to the bar in the hope of avoiding a free dessert. But we do not get away so easily and we each get a glass of ouzo with lemon pressed into our hands that we have to drink while the staff is watching. Well, one glass won't hurt, we only have to drive a few kilometers.In the meantime it has started to rain again and really hard. In the few meters that we have to run to the car, we become soaked. We drive uphill on narrow winding roads to our new apartment and there is no one to see. I quickly find the telephone number and call. In Greek I explain that we have booked and are standing at the door. The owner says that he is coming, but as soon as he sees that we are foreigners, he does not want to speak a word of Greek to me anymore. I'm still doing my best but he continues just in English while he has been speaking Greek to me over the phone. Too bad, but apparently he is very proud of his knowledge of English. Well, I will get enough other opportunities to practice while being in the country.