Over the years we watched Persas grow from the ground up. It was worth the wait, and then some! Hortosalata - Melitzanosalata - Skordalia - all, to use a cliche, "to die for", except that you would then not get to try the superb range of other genuine Greek dishes that Persa and Victoria have on offer. Genuine characters, genuine food, genuine atmosphere. A true Greek evening, every evening.
We were there in June 2001. We had watched the building site for a couple of years and we finally go to stay in it. The building site, that is! We had to report to the rep that there were six inch nails sticking out of the concrete steps where the construction shuttering had been stripped of in preparation for the season. Some of the steps had been finished in marble and were good, but otheres were positively dangerous. The pool surround was rough and unfinished, with a trek over uneven bare soil to reach it from the apartments. The rooms were basic, but could not be faulted on cleanliness, and the staff were friendly. Blaring disco from 9 in the evening until 5 in the morning was none too enjoyable. Then the drunken Brits foulmouthing their way back to their rooms, only to be followed an hour later by a noisy generator starting up to service the pool. To shut this out with the nice modern doors and windows meant suffocating to death whilst being slowly cooked! We were told that the owner had been away and "naughty staff" has set the disco up in his abscence, and had since been dismissed. They seem to have come back again into favour the day after we left! The walk up the hill was a long drag last thing at night, but hey, the bus top was at the end of the drive. Shame there were no buses at night! One plus point, Persas superb Restaurant was a short walk away. As I said, we were there in June 2001, things may have changed, but I would not risk it again. Had the tour operator sold it to us a night spot, we would not have gone. We booked through Thomsons and it was in their "Small and Friendly" brochure, and we were told that it was an "Away from it all" holiday!
We have been going to Katelios for many years now, and it is true that there are many more apartments than there used to be. That could not be so if there was not the demand that we and the Italians and mainland Greeks create. Katelios is not a traditional Greek fishing village.There is no longer such a place on the island, since all was destroyed in the earthquake of 1953. What has continued to live and grow after that event is the Kefalonite courage and spirit of survival. Many people left to seek a living elsewhere, but so many have returned with loyalty to the island and rebuilt lives there, and brought their children back there. It is those children who now serve you, entertain you, take your money and generally provide you with a holiday of a life time. What does it matter if they are not wearing frilly skirts and pompoms on their shoes, as portrayed in old pictures. Kefalonia is alive and like any living creature will move at different paces at different times. Take Katelios for what it is, a warm friendly place to stand back from the world, make friends and live for a while. Learn a few words of Greek, bid good day to the locals, accept their genuine hospitality. Katelios fills the heart and anyone who has a heart cannot fail to be happy there. Stop looking at the island and its people like a Brit. All of the Greek people have a living to earn. They do it with dignity and a warmth that we would do well to copy. If you have been to Kefalonia, and in particular, Katelios and have not liked it, please do not return. For your sake, and for those of us who would like to still find a table in a quiet corner to watch the world go by, and chat to the locals. You either love Katelios or you go elsewhere. I wish you joy where ever you go, but don't knock the island or its people. I personally hate Clacton, but there are genuine people who love it. Good luck to them, I won't visit, but I won't knock it either. One man's meat, as they say....
We have a very soft spot for this car, "The Milk Float" It was too high on the steering wheel to be relaxed, it had little power for the hills and the gearing was wrong. We could never find a gear that was consistently right for the terrain, lots of searching for the power. Having said that we had enormous fun in it and talk about it often. We see a couple locally at home and the meories come flooding back. This is a car you can never fall asleep in whilst driving, it certainly keeps you busy!
We hired one of these last year (2002) We did not find it heavy to handle, and the whole experience was comfortable. The climate control was brilliant and it was a generally quiet ride. The interior space was good and the power more tahn enough to keep ahead of the Greek lorry drivers who tend to try to ride your back bumper! I cannot say where we hired from, as we took the car to the very top of Mount Ainos, guided by a Kefalonite who grew up on the island and knew every inch of the roads. The car came back as good as new, but I would not recommend the trip to anyone who does not have a good guide, unless you are going by 4X4, and even then I would strongly advise caution. We would not do that trip again as our guide has now returned to Australia, and we would not go on our own, unless it was to walk to the top of the mountain in the spring. We will certainly be choosing the Accent again this year in June, and look forward to driving to our favourite places in comfort.