Kefalonia, Greece – Day 1
Kefalonia (may also be spelt as Cephalonia, Kefallonia, Kefallinia or Kephallenia) is the largest of the Ionian Islands of Western Greece, it has a rich and varied history and you can read about that here. This is the first of a series of excerpts from the journal I kept during our recent stay on the Island.
We arrived late following the delayed take-off of our EasyJet flight out of Bristol. Apparently, someone had ‘chosen to leave the flight’ so we all had to sit and wait whilst the ground crew took their baggage off the plane. Despite this, the combination of a tailwind and a favourable take-off slot provided by air traffic control, meant that we only arrived at the airport in Argostoli 10 minutes later than planned.
The airport on Kefalonia is a tiny affair and there was no automated passport reading machinery. I was thankful for this because they nearly always don’t recognise me and cause chaos. Instead, we had passport control which was done the good old fashioned way by a man sitting in a booth looking at the documents.
To get to him you go up to international arrivals either via a long and winding ramp or via the escalator. Everyone on our flight took the escalator. Since there was only one man in the passport booth a backlog soon formed at the top of the escalator. Not all British tourists are renowned for their common sense and a small crowd had decided to just stand at the top instead of moving into a large space off to one side. There they stood, completely oblivious to the 50+ fellow passengers rapidly approaching from behind. On arrival at the top, there was simply nowhere to go. A rather unladylike shriek of, ‘move’! did the trick and crisis was averted.
A 15-minute drive from the airport in our pre-booked airport transfer and we arrived in Lourdata, a small town on the South side of the Island. We had booked into Ramona which was essentially a large converted house containing individual apartments of varying sizes. (You can see my Trip Advisor review of Ramona here). Ours was a very small studio with a balcony but it contained everything we needed to cook food, make tea and coffee, and had an ensuite shower/toilet.
We got such a warm welcome when we arrived which was really appreciated as it was around 11 pm and we were pretty tired. Fresh fruit and water had been provided in the studio and the lady who owns the property brought us up some hot cooked food and some very welcome strong Greek coffee. Even the resident dog popped in for a tummy rub!
The wind howled all night long and despite getting little sleep as a result we woke up bright and early to a clear day and a real treat when we opened the shutters and went outside onto our little balcony.
To the South the brilliant azure of the Ionian Sea with the Island of Kefalonia curling around to the East and the West and the coast of Zycanthos in the distance.
Behind us was Mount Anios with its rows of fir trees and nesting houses.
We ventured out to the local food store – Petros Supermarket – which is literally open all hours and supplies absolutely everything. We got supplies and headed down to the beach to take in the scenery and grab some breakfast. The sea was clear blue and warm so paddling in the surf in true tourist style was inevitable.
We spent today relaxing after the stresses of travel and in preparation for the arrival of our hire car tomorrow. Neither of us has driven on the right before or driven a 4×4, so it should be a fairly interesting start to the day!