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CA1 1LA, England, United Kingdom
January 30, 2011
From journal Stunning Kefalonia
September 24, 2006
At the opposite end of town from the busy harbour is the Drapano bridge or the De Bosset Causeway. This 900 metre long stone bridge from Argostoli to Drapano was built in 1813 during under instruction from the Swiss administration to a British engineer. The original bridge was built in a couple of weeks and it dramatically reduced the travel time from the small village of Drapano to the island’s capital. Three decades later the bridge was rebuilt, by Baron Everton, in stone and it’s still very much in its original state, surviving numerous quakes including the big one in 1953. At the centre is an impressive which used to be inscribed 'To the glory of the British Empire' – that was soon removed when control returned to the Greeks.
the bridge seems to be a favourite spot for local fishermen, but when we were watching them they didn’t seem to be getting that many bites! Inland from the bridge, the lagoon is a protected nature reserve and perched on the hill in the far distance the impressive castle of Saint Georgios.
On the opposite side of the road is a small Greek Orthodox Church. This is well worth checking out because it is just crammed with interesting artwork and the sun was spilling through the colourful stained glass windows reflecting a rainbow of light throughout the church
Of course many people will come her to shop and I reckon this was probably the best shopping area on the island. A pedestrian walkway runs parallel with the sea front promenade, which is attractively illuminated at night, giving a range of half-decent shops and boutiques. Prices weren’t rock bottom, but as we were there at the end of season many clothes shops were heavily discounting their goods. There is no shortage of tavernas and restaurants and if anything you may struggle to choose.
Also in town is the "Folklore Museum". Admission is cheap and here you can discover all you’ll need to know about Kefalonia’s rich cultural heritage as well, of course, about the devastating event that hit the island in 1953.
From journal Kefalonia's Capital
Many of the troops were shot on the Geological phenomenon of the Kafavothres. These sink holes were created over 70000 years ago but were not discovered until the early 1830’s and it took another three decades for the Millioressi family to recognise the potential. They reckoned that if this power could be harnessed it could be used to their advantage and so they built watermills to grind their crops. The mills were fully operating by 1865.
There are a couple of waterwheels still in place one at the site of the sinkholes and the other in the water mill restaurant. During the day it’s quite OK to wander round to view the mill operating at the restaurant.
The lighthouse at Fanari is a reconstruction of the original, which was destroyed in an earthquake in 1875. This small white rotunda stands on a small outcrop of land between Lassi and Agostoli and was originally built by Charles Napier (a governor on the island in the 1820’s). It does look absolutely stunning and I’d recommend that you park on the main road and enjoy the short work down the jetty to this typically Greek looking building.
The lighthouse is around half way between Agostoli and Lassi and if you ever fancy a couple of hours walk this would be one to try. It’s a total of 8 kilometres and there are some picturesque views of the sea from the wooded walkway. It’s nicely situated by the pine trees and even in the heat of the day you’ll be afforded some shade. However, its not walk we undertook we much preferred to use the car to cover the ground and to see the sites more easily on route. It is a favourite route for fishermen and picnickers alike and it’s a big enough stretch to guarantee some privacy. In total there are around half a dozen restaurants on this route including the much-acclaimed Oskars (where you can see and be involved in Greek dancing every night) and a typical Greek taverna (1901) and a large Chinese at the Lassi end, we liked the look of Sto Pistou (see separate journal entry).
by GB from Devizes
Devizes, United Kingdom
November 11, 2005
Taxis and buses come and go as the locals and visitors alike compete vigorously for the available parking spaces. To the western side of the square is the imposing statue of Vallianou, local benefactor and governor of the town in the early 20th century. This was lovingly “rebuilt” in Sami as the centrepiece of the town square for the filming of Corelli. The reason why Sami was chosen was simple: Argostoli was virtually destroyed in 1953, hence all the buildings are relatively modern. Sami suffered considerable damage too but not to the same extent, and some of its pre-1953 buildings survived the ravages of the quake. It was therefore decided to recreate Argostoli in Sami, where the local shopkeepers and bar-owners were paid a handsome fee to compensate for their loss of business during the summer of shooting whilst all their properties received mid-20th-century makeovers.
At the western edge of the square we bear left into Leoforos Georgiou Vergoti and walk down about 150m to the “Kefalos” Municipal Theatre, an imposing building on three stories built in warm orange, pastel blue, and white with a tier of marble steps leading to the main entrance. The original theatre was rebuilt here after 1953, but the rebuild was sympathetic to the former structure.
From the theatre we drop down two streets to Lithostroto, the pedestrianised commercial heart of the town with top-quality stores, banks, and restaurants. Turning right we amble along, realising that everywhere is closed. It then dawns on us that it is Monday and everywhere in town shuts up shop all day. At least it enables to take an unhurried stroll down this lovely, modern thoroughfare, paved as it is in brilliantly polished slabs that add to its upmarket feel.
It’s all ladies formal outfits, perfumes, hats, casual wear, and jewellery. Caz’s eyes start to sparkle, and I thank God it’s Monday! Strolling along here we arrive outside the ancient bell tower, a Venetian structure topped with a single alfresco bell supported by two cross members in an elegant arc. Rather unfortunately, the tower now plays host to a coffee shop, meaning that access to the top is not possible.
We now head east towards the harbour area to find what delights lay in store for us.
From journal Exploring Argostoli - Kefalonia's Vibrant Capital
by Greek Kat
South Bay, California
June 13, 2005
As with much of the island, the town of Argostoli was completely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1953 – this is why you won’t see an older style of architecture. My parents lived on the island during this time and tell of the horrible devastation throughout the island. The port of Argostoli is a main hub for ferryboats and small sail and fishing boats. During the morning hours, the town is buzzing with activity. Many of the locals come into the capital to do their daily shopping early on before the sun comes out. In the evening, this is the place to be, whether you want a nice meal, want to people-watch, or want to go out on the town for fun into the early hours of the next day. There are a few museums and libraries that are worth visiting to learn more about the history of the island.
From journal Kefalonia, Greece