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21st March, 2016

Argostoli, Greece

The route to Argostoli in the Islands of Kefalonia took us through the Messina Straits, and as the pilot said he did not wish us to slow down for his boarding, it was suitable entertainment for our passengers as they were demolishing another of the Executive Chef’s superb lunchtime deck barbecues.

The following morning Saga Sapphire entered the tranquil bay of Argostoli, backwards, probably a surprise to the locals, but a little more convenient for the ‘parking’. The town is quite charming seen from our vantage point at the end of the relatively new pier and in the afternoon Mrs R and I joined the ‘Taste of Kefalonia’ tour. Katerina, our guide, was delightful, with excellent English she made everyone feel really welcome to her island home.

The first stop, after travelling over hills dotted with cypress and valleys containing vines and olive trees, was at the winery of Robola where there was, of course, a tasting. It was a dry white and according to Mrs R not at all unpleasant, in fact a certain quantity will be travelling to Cornwall in the not too distant future. Leaving there we travelled onwards to the coastal resort of Sami, which overlooks the island of Ithaka. Sami, no doubt all hustle and bustle in the summer months, is very quiet at this time of year, and was the location for the filming of ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’. We were reminded of the ‘blockbuster’ on more than one occasion.

And then on to the Melissani cave lake, a lake exposed after the earthquake of 1953 when a roof collapse allowed sun light into what was once underground. The waters were the deepest blue and very clear. A tunnel has been dug through the limestone so that visitors can walk down to the waters and board small rowing boats for a short trip, while the boatmen chat away quite amusingly.

We returned, on a circular route, stopping for a dramatic view over the white sands of Myrtos Bay. Katerina explained we were the first cruise ship of the season and her enthusiasm seemed to follow us down the quay after we left her, what a lovely lady.

Captain Philip Rentell

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.