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A trip on Kefalonia


Home -> Europe -> Greece -> Travelogue Greece -> 29 June 2018

Friday 29 June, a trip on Kefalonia

Cruise ship in the bay of Argostoli Ruins of old KraniThe weather looks a lot better today, it is sunny and warm. After breakfast we drive towards Argostoli and from the village of Koutavos we have a beautiful view over the bay of Argostoli. However, we do not enter the town but drive to the remains of ancient Krani (or Krane), an ancient city of which only a few walls have survived. I honestly do not find it very interesting, even though here is one of the best preserved walls of that time.
Sacred Monastery of Agios Gerasimos of KefaloniaA bit later we come across the monastery of Agios Gerasimos, founded in the 16th century by Gerasimos, the patron saint of this island. In the last years of his life he lived in a cave on the coast near Lassi. The saint lies buried in a silver sarcophagus in the monastery and his mummy is occasionally shown to visitors. Many children on the island are named after him and there are 2 public holidays in his honor.
Drogarati cave, Kefalonia Drogarati cave, KefaloniaWhen we drive further north, we pass the Drogarati cave where Teije wants to have a look. I skip, I'm a bit tired of caves, probably because I've seen too many and they're all a bit the same. According to Teije, you walk down about 50 meters where you come into a large room with a raised center from where you can see the whole cave. Very occasionally a concert in the space of 2,500 square meters is given because the acoustics are so good.
The cave was only discovered in 1951 and in 1963 a tile of clay was found with a forest god on it, surrounded by dancing nymphs. The islanders like to see this as proof that this would be the Cave of the Nymphs from the Odyssey and that not Ithaca but Kefalonia was the home island of Odysseus.
Burnt tree on the coast of Kefalonia Antisamos beach, KefaloniaAs in more places in Greece, forest fires break out regularly, in 2007, for example, thousands of hectares of forest were burned in the south, but here in the north we also see burnt trees from time to time, the skeletons of them still standing.
At Sami we arrive at the north coast of the island and here we drive the winding road to the long-stretched white Antisamos beach that has become famous because film recordings were made here for the war film Captain Corelli's Mandolin, but we mainly see a very busy and touristy pebble beach that does not attracts us at all. We take a few photos but then drive back to Sami.
Hollow tree at the castle at Sami Ruins of ancient SamiOn the way back we come across different sights in a small area. First of all, the remains of a castle where I want to inspect a hollow olive tree, until I realize that there are also scorpions and snakes here. A little further is the acropolis of Kiatis, located on 2 striking hills. What was left of it was further destroyed by the earthquake of 1953 and only some parts of the once 3.5 km long city wall are still standing.
Ruins of ancient Sami Old tree on KefaloniaIn this kind of ruins, I can hardly imagine how it once looked like in reality, but seeing the thick boulders that were used for the wall, it must have been an imposing city. It was one of the four city states on Kefalonia in classical antiquity. In the 2nd century BC. Same withstood the Romans and was only conquered after 4 months of siege after which the survivors were sold as slaves.
In our travel guide we read that there have been more earthquakes in recent years, it is actually a miracle that something is still standing.
Beautiful in this area are also the old, gnarled olive trees which can grow centuries old.
The coast at Sami, KefaloniaFrom the hill we have a good view over the sea and the island of Ithaca, which lies opposite Kefalonia. It is the home island of Odysseus, the hero from the Odyssey written by (supposedly) Homer and Teije would like to go there very much since he is a big fan of Odysseus. In the village of Sami we see that once a day there is a ferry going, but we are going to do it another time and then stay there for a few days. It is not very touristy, probably because there are few beautiful beaches and not much to see and do. The prices of the acommodations are also a lot higher than here.
Saint Nicholas Chapel Ruins Saint Nicholas Chapel RuinsOn the slopes of a hill we also see the remnants of the holy Fanendes, a monastery from the 13th century and at the foot of the hill the ruin of a Roman building was found with floor tiles and a bronze head that is now displyed in the museum at Argostoli. In the chapel of St. Nicholas there must be a few special frescoes to see, but the building is unfortunately closed.
The harbour of Evfimia, Kefalonia The harbour of Evfimia, KefaloniaFrom Sami we then drive to the north where we stop in Evfimia (you can also write it as Effimia) for a meal on a terrace overlooking the harbor. The owner is probably a Greek who has worked in the Netherlands or still lives there because he is driving in a car with a Dutch license plate. And there are more Dutch people, like everywhere else, wherever we go.
After this late lunch (or early dinner) we drive through the mountains back to the west coast. It is striking that the roads, which according to the map would be very narrow, are very broad and good, while the roads indicated as larger are very narrow and sometimes difficult to drive on. The rest of the afternoon we go to the sandy beach behind the airport, today it is finally really nice weather. We are not the only ones, but it is still nice and quiet. Well, except for the planes, they fly off and on, and just over our heads, because they have to land less than 100 meters further away.

 


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