One of the seven glorious islands in the Ionian Sea. Our ferry ride from Killini, on the west side of the Peloponnese, took about three hours and we disembarked in Poros, at the south east port of the island. We selected this particular island for two reasons; one is because we had visited once before and only saw a tiny bit of it at the very top and two, my late brother-in-law Jerry’s father was born here and we wanted to visit in his honor.
The Bus Route
Once out of the port, the signage becomes negligible at best so we took some side streets that led us to one village after another; finally I spotted a bus heading up the mountain and thought – well, the people who came off the ferry and then got on the bus, had to be heading to some city – so I said to Zaf, FOLLOW THE BUS! We did, through mountain turn after mountain turn, along the blue, blue sea and of course and the numerous red tiled houses of little villages tucked in between. And yes, the bus took us to the very place we wanted to go.
The capital of Kefalonia is the city called Argostoli. If there ever was a very well laid out city, this is it! On the west side of the island, in a gulf where it faces the water and the mountains beyond, this pretty city lives. The shoreline is dotted with restaurants and cafes, with fresh vegetable markets and flower stands, fisherman crying out the names of the fish they caught that very morning and lots of benches on the strand where we sat and had lunch and enjoyed the scenery. Retirement life is good!
A mile and half long, in a perfect arc shape, this beach is probably the most photographed beach in all of Greece. Voted continuously as one of the most beautiful beaches of the world…and yes, it really does have three shades of blue from the shoreline to the deepest part. It is located in Divarata, which is the hometown of Jerry’s father and while we could not actually go down the road to the beach itself (lockdown!) we were able to see it from the top of the road where we stopped to have our “lemonada”.
We decided to have our own Odyssey and find our way to Ithaka. In Greek: EETHAKEE – with the accent on the second EE. Driving up and through the mountains to the other side of Argostoli we got to the port town of Sami. Here is one of the places where we were stopped by the authorities; the big guy in charge. in a white cap and double breasted blue jacket with lots of gold buttons, (surrounded by his minions) asked for our papers and reminded us that Greece was under lockdown. I replied by telling him that we knew all about the lockdown and yet we have been allowed to travel all over Greece since March 22nd. He was shocked! He shook his head, then smiled (tightly) and told us to “Enjoy Greece!”
We drove around and found the lovely city of Vathee. A bit of lunch at the large town square in the cove where we sat next to the statue of Odysseus. This is the place where he struggled for ten years to return to after the Trojan war. We now understand why Homer chose this island for the determined and relentless struggle to return to his homeland – it is indeed a most beautiful place. We are amazed and oh so proud that history and mythology surrounds us, not only here, but all over Greece.
The funny thing that happened when we returned to the port of Sami, one of the minions spotted us and called out “Ah, the Americans came back!!!” We waved at him gleefully.
On our second day there, we celebrated the Eastern Orthodox Palm Sunday. A lovely church was just minutes away from our hotel; we entered and lit some candles. A little old lady waved at me and pointed to some side seats that were available; I nodded my head (I also smiled but who can see behind the stupid masks we are all wearing). We gave thanks for bringing us back to our birth country and for the amazing travel we experienced so far. Our adorned palms given to us as we entered the church are safely tucked away in our suitcases so they can come back with us.
We drove back down to Poros and took the ferry back to Killini, then up to the Rio bridge and across the Korinthiakos Gulf to Nafpaktos, one of our favorite small towns in all of Greece.
Exploring Greece in our retirement is a dream come true and we are retiring well.
For more information about Greece visit: https://www.greektravel.com/