The life and work of UK teddy bear artist Paula Carter
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
In search of Corelli's Kefalonia
Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' written by Louis de Berniere first published in 1994, is reverently placed at the top of my list of favourite novels. When the film of the book was released in 2001 I couldn't wait to see if it would live up to the book and happily for me, it did! Sitting in the dark at our local Odeon cinema watching the charming scenes of Dr Iannis, his daughter Pelagia and the villagers, winding down a precipitous mountain path to the most beautiful beach below, was when I first fell in love with Kefalonia. I promised myself there and then that if ever the opportunity presented itself, I would one day find myself gazing across the fabulous turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea ...
An evening in Fiskardo
So guess where I was last week? Yes! Stuart and I booked a lovely villa perched on the northern tip of a Kefalonian mountain and flew from Gatwick on Sunday to find it. Kefalonia didn't disappoint us, what a spectacularly scenic and sun blessed island! We drove from the little southern airport across mountains, gasping at sheer drops and dramatic coastline and chuckling at herds of goats mooching contentedly along the roads at a strolling pace, with no respect whatsoever for passing hire cars!
Driving up and up, into the mountain top clouds
We have seen some truly beautiful places in Kefalonia and have heartily enjoyed the hospitality so generously offered to us by the islanders, particularly at 'Irida's' taverna on the pretty harbourside Fiskardo, where we enjoyed several tasty local dishes from their extensive menu - I can highly recommend the chocolate and Grand Marnier crepe for dessert by the way!
Enjoying my chocolate and Grand Marnier crepe at Irida's!
There have been many highlights for us both throughout the past week and for me, finding the sparkling turquoise waters of Myrtos Beach featured in the opening scenes of the 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin', has to be one of the most special ...
Mountain view of Myrtos Beach below
The sparkling waters of Myrtos Beach
Paula Paddling at Myrtos Beach!
I also loved our visit to the underground Melissani Lake ... such an atmospheric place!
The underground lake at Melissani
Our boat trip on the underground lake
On a hot, stormy Wednesday afternoon, we climbed the mountain path at Assos to visit the ancient ruins of sixteenth century Assos Castle. The path wound steeply round the mountainside assaulting our senses with a fabulously heady fragrance of pine as our hearts pounded with the unfamiliar exertion. Like most men who remain boys at heart, Stuart is a sucker for ancient fortresses and was determined we would reach the summit!
View from our scented pine walk to Assos Castle
Stuart en route to the castle ...
Taking a breather!
Exploring the ancient ruins on the clifftop at Assos
View from the castle wall
Holidays are never quite long enough aren't they?! For us, Kefalonia was the perfect island to relax and leave behind the stresses and strains of everyday life. 'Captain Corelli and his mandolin' may well be fiction, but the island of Kefalonia is utterly enchanting in its reality.