Despite the bad weather forecast, it is dry and only cloudy. First we drive to Argostoli, the capital of Kefalonia, which is only a few kilometers away from our apartment. First we have a cup of coffee on the central square. Often we get a surprise dessert after having dinner, but now we get unexpected pieces of chocolate cake, free and for nothing. But when we want to pay, we have to pay an euro extra for the bottle of water they have put on the table. We have not opened it so we are not going to pay for it and that seems difficult for them to understand, a new receipt has to be made and that takes at least 10 minutes. This is the first time that they ask money for the water!
We walk through the car-free center of the city and browse around in the souvenir shops. Argostoli is a lively (except in the afternoon when all shops close for siesta) and modern city that had to be largely rebuilt after a severe earthquake in 1953. This was done in the original Venetian style. We are beginning to think that there is not one city in Greece that has never been destroyed by an earthquake. Along the boulevard we see a number of tourists peering into the water and taking pictures, what are they looking at?
There appear to be a few large sea turtles swimming around, the loggerhead turtle of which we previously saw the nests on the beach. In the morning the fishing boats sail in with their catch that they sell their fish at the quay. Remnants are fed to the turtles who of course know. They will also be fed by the restaurants on the water to attract tourists. It is one of the largest species of sea turtles, very impressive.
Argostoli lies on the south side of the bay with the same name and there is a long boulevard. This Drapani bridge was not destroyed by the earthquake. In 1813, a wooden bridge was built here that was later replaced by a stone specimen. The bridge is about 650 meters long.
It has become warm again and the clouds are dissolving. Halfway the bridge is a pyramid-shaped monument, dedicated to Charles de Bosset, the Swiss who built the first wooden bridge for the English because the Ionian islands have long been under English rule while the rest of Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire. In 1864 the islands were finally added to Greece.
From the bridge we have a beautiful view of Argostoli and the mountainous surroundings. We walk all the way to the other side and then back again because walking around the bay is really too far for us. Then we walk to the north side of the harbor where all sorts of fruit, vegetables and fish stalls stand. There are more pleasure boats than fishing boats in the harbor and while we encountered almost no tourists yesterday, we now see a lot. Most tourists come by plane and then stay near to the airport.
We buy an ice cream and then we get back in the car and drive along the coast to Katavothres where the sea water disappears into underground tunnels, only to resurface after 15 kilometers, on the other side of the island, a special phenomenon. It seems that the bottom of the island is made of porous limestone so that the water has worn tunnels. That does not sound like a very stable foundation for the island.
From Katavothres we see a strange building a bit further, it looks like a temple. We drive there and start reading in our travel guides, which we have hardly done until now. It is the lighthouse of Agioi Theodoroi built in 1828 and it resembles a Doric temple with 20 columns and only 8 meters high. But it still functions and is illuminated at night. After the earthquake of 1953, the lighthouse was rebuilt according to the original building plans.
We drive along the coast to the south and pass through Lassi which is clearly a tourist hotspot and apparently very popular, it is very busy there. We look at some beaches that are very beautiful but that we also find too crowded. Near the airport, actually almost against it, we find a quiet sandy beach where we will do nothing else today. Until the wind starts to blow very hard and our parasol blows away and happily does not blow over the fences of the airport. We can find one small spot on the beach against the hill where we do not suffer too much from the wind, but after a while we give up and leave.
So we go further and drive up the hill to our village, Lakithra. A brown sign refers to a Mycenaean cemetery, but apart from a few remains of foundations there is hardly anything to be seen. However, from this high vantage point we can see the airport along the coast with the 2.5 kilometer runway. On the beach we had already noticed that many aircraft land here, in 2017 more than 600,000 tourists arrived by plane on Kefalonia.
As the sky starts to get dark again, we do some shopping and then go to our apartment. We have enough space inside, with a kitchen, a living room and a bedroom. But no view and only a small table in the parking lot. Teije prefers to sit outside and when it starts to rain, he moves the table around the corner under the balcony of an upper apartment. Our landlord does not entirely agree with this, he has a permanent place for everything.For example, there is no car on this side of the complex but there are 7 numbered parking places. Our car must be at number 6 and not at number 1 where we have it now! Sure, we'll move it. It is a special man who likes to tell stories about order and cleanliness so we will try to behave.