Part Two: Exploring the Island
While on the gorgeous Greek island of Kefalonia, we wanted to take a day and just drive around exploring. The 60 euros we paid for one day of wheels seemed a bit steep, but it turned out to be well worth it, as we packed in all these breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences.
Our first stop was Sami, a port town about half-way up the eastern coast of Kefalonia. Ferries for island tours depart from here. Here's also where most of the movie Captain Corelli's Mandolin was filmed. Lunch was delicious at this cafe that carries the film's title.
Heading north, not too far, we saw signs for an underground lake on the side of a tiny road and followed them on a whim. Good call! Lake Melissani was amazing! It freaked me out a little to be inside a cave in a small boat, with gross sticky vines and drippy rock formations right above my head (or neck, as I had my head tucked), and the scene reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean (minus the skeletons). I am SO glad I braved it, though, because look how cool it was!
photo by Ulla
Our plan was to drive to the northern tip of the island and back before dark. The roads were curvy and narrow and
a good part of the trip followed along the mountainous coastline, which meant that our car tires edged on steep drops on one side and a straight wall of rock on the other.
We stopped here to snap pictures and chatted with a couple from Australia. They were touring all of Greece on a motorcycle.
These miniature churches are everywhere on the side of the road. Each one holds a candle lit for a particular saint.
Next we made our way to the northern tip of Kefalonia, the village of Fiskardo, which is the only village on the island that remained untouched by the 1953 earthquake.
We had our swim suits and made use of them along the way. One of the many lovely beaches is in Assos Bay, a steep descent off the main road. This is another quaint village and above the bay stands the Assos Castle. We enjoyed an early dinner here before reluctantly heading back.
photo by Ulla
We had one more stop to make. Myrtos Beach was on our itinerary because it's breathtaking and famous among photographers (see Myrtos Bay picture we snapped on the way up) and apparently the explosion scene in Captain Corelli's Mandolin was shot here. At this point we were pushing our luck on daylight hours (to make the treacherous drive back), but couldn't resist lingering on this gorgeous beach to watch the sunset.
Wouldn't you have lingered, too?
It was so lovely.
Somehow we made it back to Skala in one piece, deciphering the road signs in the dark.
A few places I've seen in my travels have kept a piece of my heart and this is one of them.
Beautiful, beautiful Greece!