Thursday, June 7, 2007

Kefalonia: Week One

It’s hard to believe we have been here for a week, and we don’t want to leave. So we have arranged with Jan and John to stay on until June 13th when their next guests arrive. From then until the end of August, the place is rented. But if any of you want to experience what we are enjoying on Kefalonia, the villa is available for the month of September. You just fly to London, and get on a direct flight to the small airport down the road. Or fly to Athens and take the short plane trip or ferry. Something to think about!

On June 3, we celebrated Sally’s birthday. The girls brought over from Vancouver her favourite coffee and granola for breakfast, and made her a travel journal with some old photographs. We had a picnic at the beach, (where I’m sure we were the very first people to ever eat sushi) Champagne at the villa, and dinner at a Greek taverna overlooking the ocean. It was a special day.

The following day, Makis and Hettie came over for dinner. Hettie made a family favourite traditional Kefalonian meat pie; we prepared some of our traditional Vancouver favourites…sushi, Susan Mendelson’s caviar pie, and Caesar salad!

After a couple of days of too much relaxing, yesterday we took a day cruise to Ithaca, home of Homer’s Odyssey. It was a most enjoyable outing. We visited the two main towns, and went swimming in the ocean. While the towns have a very authentic feel, when you look closely at the buildings, you quickly realize that most are very simple in their design, since they had to be built quickly and inexpensively after the earthquake. But the overall effect is very good. This reminded us of Napier in New Zealand, which was rebuilt in the Art Deco style following its 1930 earthquake.

Over dinner, we discussed how Vancouver will rebuild after its earthquake. After all, it is coming. It’s just a matter of time! While we couldn’t agree on the style, we did agree that we should review our earthquake preparedness plans when we get home. Who do we call out of province; where do we keep emergency supplies, etc?

During the next week we plan to visit Zakinthos, another neighbouring island; some of this island’s archeological sites; the town of Fiskardo, (which was not damaged by the earthquake, and is frequented by Steven Spielberg and other celebrities on their yachts), and a few more beaches. Claire also insists that we go bowling. After that, we will drop Georgia off in Athens, and then the three of us will set off for Samos or Rhodes, and then Turkey. At least, that’s the plan.

While there will be no golf, we have managed to overcome this addiction. Instead, we're obsessed with reading guide books, surfing the internet, and competitive hands of gin rummy. I have also become addicted to ouzo! Sally and the girls prefer Greek wines, of which there is a great choice, at a fraction of the price in Vancouver. Another reason for staying another week!

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