Thursday – Friday, August 1-2
Today was a travel day taking a taxi to Tel Aviv and flying to Athens and a taxi to the hotel. We unpacked a few things getting ready for the taxi, bus, and ferry to the Ionian Island of Kefalonia. Pete and Jean Maratos family members met us at the ferry and brought us to our hotel in Poros. The Ionian Sea is across the street. Beautiful and amazing. Poros is a walkable Mediterranean seaside village. In the evening we walked to the village square and ate dinner. It is time to turn the page from a busy, challenging and educational month in Israel. Time to rest.
On Saturday to Monday, I rented a car so we could hit a few of the incredible beaches of Kefalonia. It began on Saturday as we headed to Antisami beach. It has been a few years (30 years) since I last drove stick. Imagine mountains and hairpin curves. Yes, getting to the beach was a real adventure. At one point, the road was wide enough for 1 1/2 small cars and when we met another car, thankfully the cars we met backed up as we were on the outside edge of the cliff. While I was sweating, Jody was praying! When it was all said and done, the view of the beach was well worth it.
I went to worship at the Greek Orthodox Church on Sunday (Jody read Psalms at home as she does not read any Greek). Then it was off to a ferry at the capital and off to the “red beach.”
We had a great time enjoying one of the most famous beach and then back to our favorite one with soft sand and crisp, clean sea water.
On Tuesday, August 6, Jody and I went on an adventure with Paul as our guide. This was my first time getting to see the countryside as I was not driving. We did a brief tour of a winery and then off to the monastery dedicated to the Greek patron saint of this island, St. Gerasimos. Worship was just ending on this special day as we slipped in to sit and pray. A sweet and peaceful presence of the Lord fills this space.
In the afternoon we hit a beach close to Poros as our time on this island is soon ending. I took a nap as this evening is the big Poros festival. It began at 9:00 pm and oftentimes runs until 3:00 am. There must have been over 1000 people at this outdoor fest with smoke from the grills filling the air with the smell of delicious meats cooking (souvlaki). The sound of Greek music and traditional dancing began and the whole festival was filled with joy. We ate, drank, talked and laughed. What a fun evening that we spent with the extended Maratos family.
Today is Wednesday August 7. Our last day in Kefalonia. We came to rest and be refreshed and I can say with certainty that it happened! We will miss this place and the wonderful people who call this home. We bobbed around in the Ionian Sea for the last time and are packed for the next leg of our journey as we ferry back to the mainland, bus back to Athens where I will rent a car and we will begin our journey north to Thessaloniki.