In Winter it's easy to get away from the everyday with day trips to neighbouring islands. As Cephalonia is less than half an hour away, we thought we'd take a look around and quickly became aware that although Ithaki is so near, it's also very far in terms of landscape. Cephalonia is one of the biggest islands in Greece and Ithaki one of the smallest so there would naturally be differences even with the near proximity of one to the other. The north of Cephalonia has a wild open sea facing coastline, and as we discovered, some very prominent evidence of the consequence of earth quakes which are prominent in the area. What was suprising is that there was so little open in the north. We looked high and low for a Cafe, but at midday, none to be found. Assos may as well have had a sign signalling 'closed til May'. Ag. Efimia and Sami had a couple of cafes open, but nothing to write home about and although Argostoli would have been business as usual, we wanted to stay away from the beaten track to see what could be found on the opposite side of the island. Cephalonia has some spectacular areas, stunning and awe inspiring, especially in the north, and its no wonder that it's such a popular tourist destination, but what struck me more was how much the new had imposed on the old. Entire villages closed for the winter with the residents obviously living abroad. Seeing an island on a Sunday quickly shows you just whats on offer as most of the usual things to waste time over (shopping) are not available.
Below you can actually see the crack in the earth from earthquake activity. This crack ran the length of the area and echoed with the sea running beneath it.
Along the coastline there are many caves tucked inside cliff faces.
Above - Rubbish dumping on the beaches is worse than Ithaki in winter. There are bins every few meters and still people prefer to dump rather than bin. Below Right - Assos looks amazing from the main road above, but a little ordinary from the village level with not a soul around.
Below - It's no wonder that Myrtos beach has such a great reputation. It's aqua sea and almost white sand, embraced by such awesom cliffs is one of the most stunning locations in Cephalonia. To have such a wide expanse of beach to yourself is very pleasant indeed.
Cephalonians, as Ithacans, are very friendly, even the goats say hello (or was it 'bugger off') when you go by.
What is particularly wonderful about Cephalonia are the green and lush valleys. Scenery that can't be found on Ithaca. Picturesque, old villages, fallen into rubble from the '53 earthquakes are dotted all over the northern part of the island.
If it wasn't for 6am rising to catch the morning ferry to Cephalonia and then waiting for the ferry back to Piso aetos at 3.30pm, Ithacans would probably visit Cephalonia more often. Both Cephalonia and Ithaca would benefit from a less time consuming and more frequent means of getting across the Strait.