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Along the west coast to the north of Kefalonia

Home -> Europe -> Greece -> Travelogue Greece -> 02 July 2018

Monday 02 July, along the west coast to the north of Kefalonia

In the morning I first have to work for a few clients, fortunately it is work on websites so that is eaily possible via the internet. After that we deecide to first drive around for some time and then go to the beach this afternoon.
Myrtos beach, Kefalonia Myrtos beach, KefaloniaAnd soon we pass a beautiful beach, especially from above: the Myrtos (or Mirtos) beach in Myrtos bay, one of the most photographed beaches of Greece according to one travel guide and we certainly participate in that. We can not make a good choice as to which photo we do and do not place so we have put a few different ones here. Also in the afternoon, on ouyr way back, we stop again for some pictures and you see the cars of the bathers are parked along the steep road.
Myrtos beach, Kefalonia The coast around Myrtos beach, KefaloniaThe turquoise water with its shimmering white pebble beach looks very beautiful and attractive, but it is just a bit too crowded for us and the water seems to be deep here.
The bay is surrounded by two mountains including the second highest mountain of Kefalonia, the Agia Dynati, which has a beautiful story attached to it. There was a prediction that the supreme god Kronos would lose his power to one of his children. He himself had also cast aside his father from the throne, and to prevent this from happening to him, he therefore ate all his children. When his wife Rhea gave birth to Zeus, however, she gave Kronos a rock with clothes around it that he ate. Zeus was able to grow up undisturbed and, as an adult, forced his father to spit out all the devoured children. He also spit out the rock and it ended up here, the Agia Dynati.
War memorial in Makriotika Sinking road on KefaloniaWe are now in the north of the island and go inland, searching for a monastery. For this we need to climb the same Agia Dynati and also come through the village of Makriotika where (obviously) a war memorial stands in the middle of the village. But this time it is not only for the victims of the 2nd World War but also for those from the civil war that followed (1946-1949). This struggle was between the Communists who were resistance in the war and the royalists who supported the government in exile, with the latter eventually winning.
At the Monastery of the Virgin of Themata, Pilaros View from the monastery in Pilaros, KefaloniaNear Makriotika we go looking for the Themata monastery (literally the holy monastery of the virgin of the themes or issues, no idea what exactly is meant by that) from where we have a wide view of Ithaka, the island of Odysseus where I would like to go for a few days (maybe next year) and the Ionian Sea. We put the car at the end of the cul-de-sac and walk the last part to the monastery.
At the Monastery of the Virgin of Themata, Pilaros Monastery of the Virgin of Themata in PilarosAccording to one source, the monastery was founded in the 10th century, another says the 16th century. Most buildings look modern and well maintained at least, although it is suspiciously quiet, we do not see a person.
The Greek Orthodox faith is still officially the state religion of Greece, although church and state are officially separated. Priests (who may marry here in contrast to those of the Roman Catholic Church) are paid by the state. Especially when a left party is in power, there is talk to restrict the power of the church, but so far no one has actually dared to do it. A statesman once said that the church is like charcoal: if you touch it when it burns, you burn your fingers, if it does not burn you get dirty hands. So you better stay away. In the meantime, more and more scandals are appearing, as has happened in many more institutions in recent years and, according to some, the church is in a crisis. In the meantime, more than 97% of the population is still Greek Orthodox and Church celebrations play an important role in daily life.
Forest at the monastery in Pilaros, KefaloniaWe have often made it clear that we are not so fond of institutions that claim to have the only truth, but we are always curious about the artistic expressions they produce. But in this place we are mainly because of what our travel guide says about the area: it is an enchanting place with a wonderful forest of giant oaks next to the monastery. Here and there are indeed some large oaks but we really do not find the place that fascinating, that requires a little more. We read that the monastery was rebuilt in 1970, so that's why it looks so modern and in such a good shape.
View of Assos and Frourio, Kefalonia Venetian castle of AssosDriving back to the coast we see Assos in the distance and the 16th century Venetian fortress on the slope opposite on the small peninsula where the village of Frourio is located. According to our guide it is a steep climb to the castle and since I still suffer from my knee, we skip the castle. The views that we have here along the coast are already beautiful enough. Assos is indeed a charming village to visit and competes with many other villages for the title 'most beautiful' village of Kefalonia.
The colors seem inauthentic, so intense blue, Kefalonia On the west coast of KefaloniaHowever, there are so many beautiful things about Greece, such as the various shades of blue of the sea under the bright sun. Sometimes the colors are just unreal, as if they consist of paint and occasionally I look at my camera to check whether I have any settings wrong, so that the blue shows differently than in real life. But no, these are the real colors. And that is not only true here, on all the Greek islands and the coasts of the mainland you come across such beautiful sights, I can never get enough of it.
Terrace in Fiskardo Port of FiskardoThen we drive to the northernmost coastal village of the island, Fiskardo, one of the villages that were not destroyed by the earthquake of 1953. The inhabitants interpreted that as a sign that they were protected by the island saint Gerasimos while the rest of the island was more or less punished. Scientists, however, found out that there is a large bubble of air under Fiskardo so that the shocks were muffled and the village spared.
The village is like a living postcard with the colored houses and very popular with tourists so it is very busy on the terraces in the harbor.
Stuffed peppers, Fiskardo Chicken schnitzel, FiskardoBut we find a spot near the harbor and the menu looks so attractive that we have something to eat again. I try the stuffed peppers once but it turns out that there is only a lot of rice inside instead of minced meat which is usually used. But it tastes still nice, just like the chicken schnitzel Elisabeth takes. The dishes will probably be more adapted to the tourists than they are originally Greek.
After this late lunch we drive back to the south, a trip of an hour, where we find a spot on our familiar beach near the airport. There we stay for a few hours and occasionally jump into the water to cool off from the heat. In the beginning of the evening we are back at our apartment where we can sit outside for a long time in the pleasant warmth.


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