Kalispera, I write this not on a sun kissed beach nor by the pool with a glass of byra in hand but at a desk in darkest Coventry. It is not exactly vacationing in the Ionians, in fact I’m not going to sugarcoat it…it’s an awful feeling that I’m not sitting somewhere warm in the sun.
I’m sure there are those of you reading this thinking “well at least you had a holiday” so as not to upset you further I should tell you something about the island where Captain Corelli fell in love.
I suppose I should then make it clear, there will be no discussion about how the island of the book (or film) compares to real life Kephalonia. I haven’t read it, I’ve had a quick go on Wikipedia but its one of those novels I couldn’t quite get in to. I read a book on the history of maps instead.
For me this was the umpteenth Greek island I had been to so for me it was just another rock in the sea, it could have been Poros or Skiathos but for the airport name. For Mrs G it was her first time to Greece and she loved it, some of which may be the fact there was real sun (and vitamin D – something I shall miss when I return to the office where I can’t see the outside world).
The way the mountains slope sharply into aqua blue seas, with patches of dark green on the brown hills as if to camouflage the island from the enemy of tourist over saturation. It has a beauty that is matched at night as the inky blank sky is dotted with the twinkling lights of hillside towns mirroring the constellations on the reflectionless ground.
There is a unfinished quality to Greece that adds to its charm. From the slivers of barely wide enough Tarmac that wind round hills with little concern for sheer drops or vehicle turning circles to the half finished constructions with exposed reinforced steel looking like a metallic weed taking hold in the concrete.
It is the country of “later” or “no problem” where no problem is too big or can take too long to do. Maybe it’s the heat, maybe it’s the fact that they were so far ahead of anyone in antiquity they took a siesta to let Europe catch up and decided that it was a much better to be laid back than write the laws of Geometry.
The food is the simple, but the tastes are great. Mrs G’s reactions to a simple Greek salad were as though she had just been given a dish from a fancy restaurant. Apparently the tomatoes and cucumber were out of this world (which may have something to do with them being exposed to heat and the sun) but I can also confirm that the meat was good.
You can’t go wrong with meat in a good and simple sauce, and with the method of putting it in to roast and leaving it until ready and not rushing it becomes tasty as hell.