Welcome to Argostoli, Greece–A Pleasant Surprise

Cephalonia, a Greek island in the Ionian Sea, is the largest Ionian island, with an area of 290 square miles.  The island has rugged mountains with the highest point, Mount Enos, 5,320 feet above sea level and the only mountain in the Mediterranean with a unique species of fir tree. The island also boasts many heavily scented herbs and wildflowers.  The chief town is Sami and the capitol is Argostoli. The popular recent movie based on the novel Captain Coreli’s Mandolin was filmed entirely on location in Cephalonia.(Courtesy HAL)

Humm..  guess I have to watch that movie again, I really enjoyed it the first time.

Due to cloud cover, we never did get to see Mount Enos.

During the three year honeymoon we spent in Greece, we had the good fortune of motoring and camping throughout the mainland, so  it was to our amazement when we ( Barbara) started researching the ports for this Grand Cruise, that Cephalonia was a complete mystery.  We loved visiting the coastal areas just east of the island, and had even taken a ferry from Igoumenitsa to the enchanting island of Corfu, but this beautiful island never made it to our travel radar.

In order to reach the port, Captain Gundersen had to sail the Prinsendam into this long bay,come about to starboard almost 180 degrees to enter the smaller bay, do another 180 turn in order to dock port side to, at the newly constructed city pier of Argostoli.

The Explorer (Ships Plan of the Day) listed this as a tender port so I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed the tell-tale signs that indicated we would be mooring.  I also spoke to the young deck officer on the port bow who was assembling the “monkey-fist” cannon about the possibility of the ship being moored, rather than anchored. He confirmed it.

While all of these maneuvers were taking place we had sailed out of a rather high-running sea into these calm sheltered waters, but the skies did not look friendly at all, in fact our arrival was heralded by an ongoing sound and light show of thunder and lightening.  I was fascinated and thrilled. I hope you are able to catch the mood of this evolution in the accompanying pictures.

As soon as the ship was  cleared we all set off to discover the jewels this island gem had to offer.  Since we had arrived just before lunch we decided to  head into town in search of the “Grill House Restaurant” that had been highly rated on “The Lonely Planet”, or some such publication. Great food and reasonable prices.   After a short time searching, we found the place, but it looked deserted, but open.  Our waitress greeted us with a smile, in English and we soon came to realize that the write-up had been spot on.

After a filling, tasty lunch, Barbara went into “shopping mode” and I just followed  along. The weather was not the best, and we had to seek shelter once as the skies opened up, but overall we enjoyed our short visit..

Once the ship left the sheltered waters of the island, we entered the high-running sea and during dinner we were treated to torrents of water running down the aft outside stair ways as the motion of the ship emptied the swimming pool on the deck above the dinning room.

If you download a file labeled “Barbara’s Argostoli, please give her credit.

Next: Durres, Albania

One thought on “Welcome to Argostoli, Greece–A Pleasant Surprise

  1. Once again, another delightful look at a place I’ve never been. Great pictures you two!!! How many suitcases did you have to buy to bring home all Barb’s shopping goodies?? Connie P.

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