LIFE IN THE SLOW LANE


Agios Sostis harbor at Pessada, Kefalonia
Pessada harbor, Kefalonia

Since it is impossible to avoid reality all of the time, I've made a pact with myself. Monday through Friday I'll worry about the problems of the Euro zone, the banking system's junk bond portfolio mess, the potential euro collapse, the price of gasoline, etc, etc, etc. But when the weekend rolls around, I'll do a complete reset.
Armed with the usual gear plus lots of unfounded and reckless - but essential - optimism, I drive along known roads and tracks, stopping randomly at  familiar spots. The weather- so far -  has been my best ally and most reliable accomplice. Tiny escapes, instrumental in building the necessary stamina for the Mon-Fri stretch.

Soak up enough sunshine and you too can put all your ducks in a row!


Agios Sostis Harbor at Pessada, Kefalonia
Pessada, Kefalonia

Pessada, KefaloniaPessada, Kefalonia

Pessada, Kefalonia
Pessada, Kefalonia
Spasmata Beach, Kefalonia
Spasmata Beach, Kefalonia
Minies, Kefalonia
Minies, Kefalonia
Agia Pelagia, Kefalonia
Agia Pelagia Anchorage, Kefalonia

SOLAR TUG-O-WAR

Sunset over Argostoli, kefalonia
The sunset over Argostoli, Kefalonia

On opposite sides of the bay, each town does its best to perpetuate the legendary rivalry. And if Argostoli seems to have a tangible advantage - being the capital and all - Lixouri has the absolute last word each and every day of the year. The sun certainly does drench the capital with golden light as it goes down, but it is over Lixouri that it lingers and shows off before calling it a day. It's the "western advantage."

Kefalonia sunset over Lixouri
The sunset over Lixouri, Kefalonia

THE OLIVE SAGA - PART II


Here it is, with a bit of delay I admit.
The process used at this particular olive processing plant is not really that traditional since the entire extraction process is centrifugal and totally automated. The grindstones are not hand carved and the paste goes through a crush process before moving to the basin. Very machine oriented... I had no idea that they had installed new equipment.
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed.
My family owned and operated a traditional olive press since 1905, or thereabouts. I remember the old grindstones, the goat-hair folds, the manual press, the separation of the oil from other olive juices and pomace in the in-ground "olive pools." That was a labor intensive process - the press was manual and required 5-6 men to turn. The plant stopped operating years ago.
Nowadays,  olive processing uses the centrifugal method but maintains some of the traditional elements such as grindstones and fiber discs. With olive oil season just beginning, I will be in search of these more traditional plants and will try to capture this process. Stay tuned!

WE STRUCK OIL!

Olive Press Millstones at Faraklata, Kefalonia
The Olive Merry-go-Round!
New olive oil, Kefalonia

Stay tuned for the full story...
THE OLIVE SAGA Part II coming soon...

THE OLIVE SAGA - PART I



A clear, warm, sunny November day at an olive grove by the sea...
Harvesting the island's most precious crop...
Among friends, from here and afar...
Hard work in great company...
Great fun in hard times...
Nature's way...

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS IN TURBULENT TIMES

Sunset at Avythos Beach, Kefalonia
November sunset at Avythos Beach, Kefalonia
There are no two ways about it. The "Greek Crisis" lurks on everyone's mind, both in the country and abroad.
Sheltered as we are here on the island - mainly due to the distance from Athens - it nevertheless weighs on our minds and daily life.
It isn't within the realm of this blog to analyze the situation or offer an opinion on the turmoil that Greece is currently going through. Of course we feel the strain. Yes, it is depressing. Sure, there is uncertainty - fear even - in thinking about the future.
But we truly are so much luckier than people in the rest of the country. At least, I feel that way. Blessed with so much beauty around me, I never fail to find a spot of total serenity, a place where I can let my worries dissolve like the gentle wave that breaks into soft white foam on the beach. Even if it's only for an instant.

Going back to basics, to the land, to reconnecting with friends, to reestablishing social bonds, to participating in traditional activities, is all part of the plan to get from here to there in troubled times. Who knows, maybe we will come out of this stronger, friendlier, healthier, and, happier in having discovered the substance of things and having reordered our priorities. I'm reserved but optimistic.


Note: Spent the last two days with friends at an olive grove (it's olive picking season). There was more genuine laughter, camaraderie and all around good fun than I've experienced in years. In coming posts, I'll share my little endeavors in the quest of bliss amidst troubled times.)

INDULGENT NOVEMBER

November sunshine, Kefalonia
Maistrato Marina at Argostoli, Kefalonia

November sunshine, Kefalonia
Maistrato Beach, Kefalonia
If there's a month with a definite mission, that month is November, and the mission is to prepare us for the wickedness of winter. But this November has assumed duty without seeming particularly eager to fulfill its job description.
Crispy mornings and chilly evenings have certainly arrived, but with tons of sunshine and warm days between the two.
Grey struggles with blue, resulting in interesting powder blue skies with a few puffs of light grey clouds.
The sea is all too eager to act as a huge reflector of the subtle hues.
I suspect that if I were to make my way to the Lighthouse, I'd see dozens of locals swimming in the shallow waters of Argostoli Bay. (A bit extreme for me, but I always enjoy looking at them behind my rolled up car window!)
Yes, November is on duty, but indulgently so....


SWEET DREAMS ARE MADE OF THIS...

Xenopoulo, Kefalonia
Xenopoulo, Kefalonia

It was the most unexpected and yet thrilling thing.
This blog was mentioned on EasyJet Holidays' blog as one of the Top 10 travel blogs for October.
There are quite a number of things that I could write about this distinction, but I think it is best to keep it short and to the point.
To all readers who have honored me with their visits, reposts and comments, a heartfelt THANK YOU!

To the editors of EasyJet Holidays, I dedicate this photo with my sincere wishes that their days are blessed and filled with the bright light, blue skies, and vivid colors of an October day in Kefalonia.
THANK YOU!

note: as of 2015, the link below may no longer be available

http://holidayblog.easyjet.com/top-10-travel-blogs-in-october/