The locals we met were very pleased when we tried to speak a bit of Greek..just phrases like thank you and good evening..nothing too difficult. They really appreciate you trying to make an effort and are very patient if you get anything wrong. It'll definitely put a smile on their face so go ahead and try it.
Markopoulo is a small village in the southeast part of kefalonia and is built on a rise with a superb panoramic view. Every year on the 15th August the feast of Panaghia (Virgin Mary) is celebrated with traditional music, dances and a banquet. Small harmless snakes appear all around the church between the 6th through to the 15th August. These snakes have four dots in the shape of a cross on their heads and you can touch them with no fear. They dissappear on the day of the festival after they have visited the inside of the church and climbed all over the icons. It is said that these snakes were nuns transformed into snakes in order to escape from a pirate attack many years ago. The snakes are considered to be a phropesy of good luck and it is said they they did not appear on a couple of occasions, one being in 1953 the year of the big earthquakes. It is well worth the visit if you are on the island at this time of the year, unless of course you have a fear of snakes!!!
Agios Gerasimos is the patron saint of the Island. A celebration takes place every 16th August and 20th October. Gerasimos was born in Trikala of Corinthia and was a member of the famous Notaras family. He became a monk and spent twelve years in the Holy Land and five years in Zakynthos. When he came to Kefalonia he spent the first five years living in a cave beneath the small hermitage on the hills overlooking Lassi before moving to the lush Omala Valley. He founded the monestery and lived there until his death on 16th August 1579. Two years later on 20th October 1551 his relics were placed inside the monestery and he was canonized in 1622. Inside the monestery is a trap door which leads down into a very small cave where he is said to have spent a great part of his life. Big festivals and processions take place on 16th August and 20th October every year when his coffin is taken under the old plane tree of the monestery .
Oh how the Greeks love children. Both our boys have always had a fuss made of them, being cuddled by strangers, plied with horrible, sticky sweet concoctions and generally just being made the centre of attention. Michael was OK with this but Philip has never been one for cuddles, even from his own family, never mind strange, foreign speaking people!!!
This was in a tiny cafeneon in the village of Atheras, above Agios Spiridion on the Lixouri peninsula. I thought the green hut-like thing was a telephone booth but Nick assured me it was the toilet that nobody ever bothered to shut the door of when they used it. I still don't know if it was the toilet.
On the 16th of August celebrates the patron saint of the island, st Gerassimos. His monastery is high up in the mountains and there is a village fair there, which starts from the previous evening. Crowds gather from the whole island. This saint is supposed to cure crazy people and the custom used to be that if someone was demented, they lied outside the monastery and the priests procession would pass over them and cure them.
Yes the usual siesta time apply s here too,except Argostoli,if your going shopping you need to be there before 14:00hrs or after 18:00 as the shops close.