Thursday, 4 July 2013

Adventures in Cephalonia

Hello. My name is Kostas Economides and I am a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of the South of England (USE for short). Well, actually that is not true really as the names of individuals and institutions in this blog have been changed to protect the innocent - and the guilty!

As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, Gus and Heather had a bit of an adventure, including a few scary moments, during their recent holiday on the Greek island of Cephalonia. I have now had a chance to get all the details from Gus and over a few blog posts I will pass on the story to you.

Today's episode relates what happened during the first few days of the holiday. During this time nothing much untoward occured. But stand by for later posts which cover the more eventful part of their trip.

As I just said everything started out quite normally. Gus and Heather flew from Gatwick to Cephalonia on a charter flight organised by their holiday company. On arrival they were taken to their studio apartment in the resort of Lassi which is just outside the island's capital Argostoli. They had been there before, in fact, back in the 1980s - well before the filming of Captain Correli's Mandolin, the movie based on Louis de Bernieres' novel which had brought Cephalonia to the attention of many people who had not previously heard of the place. They found Lassi to be a bit more developed and busier than they remembered, but still a nice place to unwind and relax on the beach.

Their plan was to spend the first few days just chilling out in Lassi itself and walking down the hill to Argostoli for dinner in the evening. Then they would hire a car for a few days so they could visit other parts of the island.

Gus said that Argostoli isn't the prettiest Greek town that you have ever visited. The reason is that in 1953 the island suffered a devastating earthquake which destroyed almost all the houses except those in the far north of the island around Fiskardo. The new houses put up in the fifties and sixties lack architectural charm. But the town is a pleasant enough place to be on a summer's evening, walking along the promenade and looking across to Lixouri on the peninsula opposite. Then, after a nice meal, you can have an invigorating walk back up the hill to Lassi. In the open area between the two places almost every street light has bats circling around the light. One downside of Cephalonia is the mosquitoes, although Gus says they are not too bad early in the summer season.

Anyway, the first few days of the holiday were pretty tranquil and uneventful for Gus and Heather and they got themselves into a nice relaxed mood. They hired a car for three days ready for a leisurely trip around the island. But, as you will discover, this isn't quite how it turned out.

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