Greece, the Ionian islands, first impressions …

I wanted to visit Greece ever since I saw that movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”…, not that the movie was particularly great or the main characters convincing: Penelope Cruise as a Greek country girl or Nicholas Cage as an Italian officer…  but it was because of the sea and the stunning scenery & natural beauty of the Ionian island of Cephalonia that completely captured my adventure spirit..

Being a great lover of travelling and having not had a proper holiday break all of this summer, I did not hesitate to accept Italian friends’ invitation to join them sailing in the Ionian last month of September…  Last week has been most memorable and has not passed without some really big waves and dizzy spells back on terra ferma…  I have never fully understood the meaning of the word ‘turbulence’ until the 3rd day of sailing :-(!.. Saying that, sailing is the most amazing way to explore any new territory and since it was my first visit to Greece I thought I would also share some of my impressions…  Greek people seem genuine, hospitable, warm and spontaneous and express their content or dislike without much hesitation. The sea is crystal clear, one can swim even in the harbours (most of them), but without much marine life, so no-scuba fun for me! The food on the island did not offer much variation, same repertoire of well known starters and mains:  the best meal we have had was at Dimitry’s on the island of  Zakynthos…    Dimitry’s family basically run the island and I highly recommend their family restaurant, his sister and mum cooked up a real feast for us and one could taste and see how much care & love they put into it!

Another memorable meal was the night before departure at the traditional restaurant ‘Porta Remounda Barabas’ on the island of Corfu, which offered probably the best wild sea bass I ever had, with excellent service and wine.

Corfu is a fun a place to visit, bubbly, with some trendy places, e.g. I really liked the feel and interior of the cafe / bar ‘Bristol’…  At the same time Corfu retains the old charm of its historic buildings and narrow alleys, which at night reminded me of some Italian towns, as well as Naples or Sicily.

Load of British people, compatriots!  It looks as if half of Britain are sailing or chilling out on the Greek islands at this time of year… No surprise, the weather is not going to get any better in UK, winter is coming!

Being a speaker of 3 ½ languages I thought I would understand some Greek, but no, not a single word!  ‘Yamas’ = ‘Cheers!’ is the one words I knew and remember 🙁

From the islands visited I particularly enjoyed Ithaca, Cephalonia and Lefkada… and can’t wait to have an opportunity to explore the ones in the Aegean Sea!..  My husband got so into it and inspired that he is now embarking on doing a Yachtmasters license! So I might well be writing my 2d album on the boat, hurray!!!

So many places to visit and such beautiful places indeed. Have a wonderful day!

Love,  Lola xXx

 

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