Seriously though, if I could have had a euro for every person who texted or called me to say how hot it was in blighty, I'd have paid for the holiday twice over!
Of course I realise not all of you will have been able to loll about in said weather, as it's business as usual unless you're actually in 'holiday mode', but having waved goodbye to QVC Towers on the Wednesday night, before I knew it we were landing at the tiny airport in Kefalonia, so I was definitely there
Actually we call it Kefalonia, some write it as Cephanlonie, the airport was named Kefalenia, and baggage control on the way home lost the plot altogether as I think our bags came from Cairo! That aside, call it what you will, IT IS BEAUTIFUL!!! From the moment we landed in 31 degree heat, I felt like I was home. Our hotel was only a quarter of an hour from the airport but with just 6 flights a day, it's not exactly a flight path, more of an amble…
Of course, our reason for going was because last year we'd stayed in Zakynthos, and every evening we looked out over the Inonion Sea to this large, green island that we knew had staged the Cage and Cruz onscreen success 'Captain Correlli's Mandolin'. We had also been told it had the fifth most beautiful beach in the world, and so on the strength of those two things we made the booking, and boy was it worth it.
The beach is called Myrtos and with its moon white pebbles and neon blue water, it is literally breathtaking… and I mean literally! Because if you're foolhardy enough to think you can get into the water with its six feet waves, to happily bob around without having the breath knocked out of you, you're sadly mistaken!
Initially the beach is flat but as it dips into the sea, there's a heck of slope and the undertow is fierce. There I was like a child holding Colin's hand, but decided to stand on my own two feet and wait for a gap in the waves, so I could launch myself into the fabulous flumes. The next thing I know I'm flat on my face, swallowing seawater like a thirsty mule while the waves pound over me and I get pulled futher under.
As I tried to stand up another one got me, by which time Colin realised it was serious and so grabbed my arm and yanked me upright. It was a hoot in hindsight, and a story we had great joy in regaling to anyone who stood still long enough, but my grazed knee and pebble-filled bikini (interstesting sight!) were sufficient to put me off trying it again. This picture is about as far in as I was prepared to venture for a photo opportunity on another day!!
It went from drama to delight though when we visited the Melissani Lake which is about halfway up the Island at the bottom of the mountainous ridge which forms the backbone of Kefalonia. Discovered in 1951, it's 22 metres below ground level and a massive 30 metres deep (which to you and me is about 98 feet)!!
The century before, a huge earthquake caused a mighty hole to appear in the ceiling of the cave, and it's through this that the sun shines and turns the water into THE most incredible blue. I was stunned. So pretty, and so unlike anything I've ever seen in my life before. I took these photos so I could share it with you
We also visited the Drogarti Cave which is over 150 million years old (and when you think dinosaurs were extinct 65 million years ago) - that's old! It was also pretty chilly and damp (funny that Alison) so yours truly had to don a fleece to keep warm.
Sadly that fleece became a second skin to me for the next couple of days as we sat in our room watching the rain come down in stairods, and the grey clouds blowing angrily across the sky.
But then, just as the hotel staff assured us, on the day I had wept in reception because of the weather (joking… just), the storm blew itself out, and we were treated to turquoise skies and blisteringly hot sun. "Just like being at home," I hear you cry! :)
Of course the holiday would not have been complete without a visit to Captain Correlli's beach and the town of Sami where most of the filming took place. I couldn't help wondering as we traversed the narrow streets in our Fiat Panda 4 x 4 – oh yes, we'd upgraded from last year's lunchbox on wheels – how on earth they'd got a Hollywood crew, film equipment, tanks and jeeps plus Penenlope Cruz's make-up and wardrobe up the winding track and onto the beach at all!
But you know, it really didn't matter, because once there it would have been so worth the effort. Crystal clear water as far as the eye could see. Warm breezes that carried on them just a hint of wild thyme, mint and sage, and the gentle sound of the waves lapping onto the pebbles… Heaven…
Before we knew it our holiday was over, but for me,the thing I will remember for always is the unbelievable colour of the coastal waters on the west of the Island. Not just one tiny bay, or even a small inlet, but a whole ocean as far as the eye can see, with water the colour of paraiba tourmaline. I took so many photographs of this phenomenon as I wanted you to see it, so I really hope this one does it justice…
Once home I'm proud to say my Sam had done a fab job of keeping the plants watered inspite of the drought, and I was able to hang out all six loads of washing on the line as the sun continiued to shine. (No Colin and I didn't wear that many clothes, Sam didn't ever figure out how to work the washing machine…).
Enough of the domestic chores as with only today and tomorrow to go before Ros's wedding on Friday, I'm all of a fluster deciding what to wear, do I need a hat and do I have enough roses for the cake? Exciting times :)
Looking forward to hearing how you've been, and if you've been away or are planning a break. Let me know what you think of the photos won't you, and of course next week, I'll have the wedding pictures to share.
Lots of love,