My Grecian Saga – Part II: September 14, 2008 ~ Pictures
Greetings from Poros, on the island of Kefalonia!
Had a great and very relaxing week this week.
Last Saturday (6th) we flew to Kefalonia at night, and got to our accommodation around midnight. We are living in a really beautiful hotel on the side of town that is near the port, which means ferries coming and going at all hours of the day and night, and unlike BC ferries, these bad boys drop anchor every time! Wonderful!!
Sunday (7th) was the first real view we got of the island, and our wee town. It is really lovely!! Very picturesque and although there are lots of tourists here (mostly Brits) they are not still over running the place as they still are in other places with nicer beaches than our town. Sunday night the governor/mayor of the Pronnoi-Elios municipality on the island held a dinner in our honour at a really swanky hotel in the next town over, Skala. The bus picked us all up at 9pm for dinner (Greeks eat LATE), and we arrived to a host of people who had gathered to meet us and dine. Most importantly the main archaeologists from the island were invited to meet us, as we represent the first foreign dig ever to come to Kefalonia!! There have been a few foreign surveys done, but never a dig, so the island as whole is very happy that we are here. The people take a keen interest in Kefalonian archaeology, mostly because the is some hot debate over whether or not modern Ithaki is Odysseus’ ancient Ithaca – if you’re an Ithaki’an you believe that it is; if you’re a Kefalonian you believe that Kefalonia is it! So, what people really want us to find are Mycenean features, which Kefalonia has in spades!! When we start excavating this week, we are hoping to find some good pottery which we can date to the period and hopefully also some inscriptions on tombstones which will give us a better idea of the kinds of people who were living here 3000+ years ago :o) Anyways, back to the dinner . . . the food was absolutely amazing!!!! After being in Athens for a week and always trying to find the cheapest food humanly possible, to be presented with amazing food that we didn’t have to make or pay for we were in heaven!! After our wonderful meal and some drinks made by the very free-pouring bartender, it was back on our bus and home to Poros.
The rest of the week was pretty much filled with school, frappes at the beach cafés, and going to the beach. We had some introductory classes in the history of the island, archaeology and modern Greek, and then would often head down to our favourite restaurant, Pantelis, for some mega good food. There are a few ‘supermarkets’ here, but they are expensive and don’t offer much of a variety of food, so until we discovered the SPAR and the LIDL in Argostoli (an hour away!) on Friday, it was a lot of pasta and eating out for us. Basically, with the prices of food in Poros being what they are, pasta is the only thing we can afford to make that turns out to be cheaper than what we can buy in town with our reduction cards!!
Ah yes, the reduction card. Our welcome to Poros has been outstanding!!! Everyone treats us like gold!! Hettie (the wife of the former governor of the municipality) has been our main contact and liaison here, and she has really gotten us some great deals. We have a reduction in prices at every restaurant in town!! She makes sure that our flats have everything we need and has really helped us feel at home. Pretty much everyone else we meet does the same as well. Vasillis, our bus driver, owns a beach bar we call the Hobbit Bar, and he gave everyone (16 people) free drinks all Friday night as a welcome gesture!!! (and also to ensure our returning patronage); and the owner of one of the supermarkets in town gave us rides in his car back to our flats after our first ‘big shop’ in town!
We are starting our dig this week, and I am super excited to get going on it. After everything that Geoffrey has told us about the island, we all just want to get our hands in the dirt and start finding stuff!!
More next week for sure,
Take care everyone!!