ASSOO! Hello from Greece!
Returning back to the states with not only the memories and experiences of this beautiful country, but also a few Greek phrases. The Greek people are very proud of their culture and language, everyone truly appreciates the smallest effort to speak their language. I was able to bring back a few phases that didn’t need to be checked through customs.
Phrases to know:
Good morning = kalimera
Good night = kali nikta
Hello = yassoo
Good evening = Kalispera
How are you = Ti kanis
Cheers = Yamaas!
If someone asks you how you are, you can answer:
Good or well = kala
Very good or very well = poli kala
Fine = mia hara
So so = etsi ketsi
So now I am able to speak the language (well kind of), time to [experience] what Kefalonia has to offer.
Only an hour flight from Athens to Kefalonia separates what would be one of the best experiences of my Greek trip. There are only 2 flights scheduled for the island each day and as boarding for our 5:20am flight rapidly approached, we ran for the gates with the excitement and anticipation of being apart of a long overdue family reunion.
As we drove from the airport to Christa’s sister and brother-in-laws home, I felt a sense of ease even as we twisted and turned driving through the narrow streets. There was a great sense of family in this town as we were shown the homes of neighbors and relatives, local bakeries, and shops.
The island is peaceful and tranquil; there is a feeling of positivity exuding from the island.
We spent the first day being showered with generosity, love, food, music and hospitality. And the next, we set out to explore the island!
During our time on Kefalonia, the days seem to flow effortlessly and exude a sense of relaxation. Our days started late, as sleep is priority, which is probably a reason why everyone is so happy and energetic. Mornings are easy and accompanied by incredible baked goods such as cheese filled pastries and spanakopita. We head to the beach around 2pm and return home between 6-7pm. Dinner starts around 8pm, where drinks and dancing continue from the dinner table into the towns and restaurants until the late hours of the night.
Recommendations for restaurants/bars:
Casual beach-front town filled with restaurants and bars, as well sun beds. Extremely peaceful and easy going. Blue Sea is an excellent choice.
It's a family-owned and operated restaurant with a beautiful view of the water. The family has their own olive harvest of 300 trees – enough for the family and restaurant. Breads are fresh from the local bakery and the vegetables and meat locally grown – best tomatoes I’ve ever eaten. This place has amazing hospitality and service and is famous for Gianni’s Moussaka, fresh seafood, and traditional Greek meals – Greek salad is incredibly fresh and delicious, a must if dinning here.
If you are lucky you will meet sweet Jenny and Tim to show you a few traditional Greek dance moves.
Charming, popular seaside town with plenty of choices of restaurants with a view. Loads of sunbeds and tiki umbrellas for rent. Must try Paspolis, and their traditional Greek dishes, all fresh and delicious.
Sami (Antisamous Beach) - The clearest water I have ever seen. You can easily swim out and still see the bottom of the small rocky seafloor 40 feet below. This town is famous as the filming location for the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin with Nicolas Cage. Snorking and water sports available and you must try Mojito Beach Bar; the strawberry mint mojito was amazing and the views of mega yachts and sailboats in the cove just added to the aesthetic.
Melissani (Cove of the Nymphs) - a magnificent cave only to be seen by a rowboat. You will not want to miss this [experience] as you float on a sparkling clear blue lake while seeing stalactites dating back 20,000 years.
Argostali - You will find plenty of restaurants and cafes in this small central city. The ports here are for cruise ships, beautiful sailboats and luxury yachts, and marina full of fishing boats. Plan your day accordingly as shops close from 2-5pm.
Learn more about this remarkable vacation spot here. It's full of sandy beaches with large rocks to jump from. Bring your own towel and umbrella, and make sure to check out the cliffside seating and hammocks with beautiful views.
And last but not least, my #1 must see when in Greece....
Especially the Sesto Koroni Hill Bar, with their spectacular view and sunsets, the feeling of zen, and friendly owners Eddie and Edia. Just sit back and take in the [experience].
Before leaving, I spoke to a woman about a defining experience in her life. She had told me she went through a tragic fall and thankfully recovered fully. While going through the process of her recovery, she went on to tell me that it was the energy from the land and being grateful for her life that got her through the recovery. Here was someone who had a life-threatening experience, but saw the positives of her life and was able to recover and share this experience.
As my trip concludes, it is hard not to reflect on what I just experienced. The generosity in hospitality and love of this island is indescribable. The people I have met and the land I have got to known will last forever with me and I am grateful for this experience.
On to my next [experience]