Day 60


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Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands » Ithaki
November 5th 2010
Published: November 16th 2010EDIT THIS ENTRY

Day 60

I got to sleep in till 8am this morning! It felt SO good, but my body wasn’t use to it so I was up just before my alarm. I waited to use the washroom to wash up, then changed and packed for the day. I grilled onions with butter on the pan, for Isabelle and I to add to our leftover lunch from last night’s dinner; I sliced my pieces of lamb into bite-size pieces then added the onions into it. I packed some bread, a carrot and an apple with it for lunch and ate it on the bus. We met the group down at the docks at 9am, Hettie was our chaperon for the day because our prof was busy.
Our first drive was about 10 minutes to the Tholos Tomb that we pass by everyday driving to our own dig site. Hettie says Kefalonia is the most logical island to be Homeric Ithaka, and that today’s modern Ithaki island cannot be Odysseus’ palace because it is so small and has no water (streams, lakes, rivers etc…) in it for a king and his kingdom to survive on; whereas Kefalonia is a much larger island, has water everywhere, has great port security, Poros (where we live) is described in detail as one of the areas Odysseus tells of in one of his stories, the mountains of Ainos are also just as intricately described in the ‘Odyssey’ and she says there’s a lot more proof that leads her to believe that Odysseus is from our island! And anyway, the tholos tomb we came to visit today had patterns and emblems belonging to the ‘double power’ king who controls politics and religion (lion’s head is Odysseus’ symbol), and some pottery found at the site belong to Eastern Asia (where Odysseus went with his kingdom and brought back pottery and people). The tomb was closed because some of it had come down and was no longer safe for us to walk around in, but we individually got to walk up to the entrance of the tomb and look inside. Below you could see a huge deep hole where the graves were dug up (except an interesting fact here is that these tombs were buried below the ground; all other tholos tombs in Greece were buried in the tholos tomb rather than below it). It was pretty neat and Hettie was great at explaining the history and possible Odyssey-links to this site.

The next stop was at St. Georgios’ Venetian Castle, which was about a 25 minute drive. It was closer to Argostoli, so along the way Isabelle ate her lunch while I snacked a bit on mine. At the castle, we stopped about 2 blocks away and walked the rest. It was nowhere near as hard of a walk as the Assos castle, but it was hot out! It was a great day to be outside, but for some reason I was under the impression we were going to a monastery today so I decided to wear Capri pants, so I got a little sweaty walking around in the castle. It was pretty cool inside; very green, very grand and well built because we could still make out the arch-ways, stairs and terraces (and we could walk all on it!). We were allotted an hour at the castle, but after about 45 mins Isabelle and I walked back to the bus, while taking a bathroom break (funny story, but inappropriate to tell here). We waited for the rest of the group by the bus, then after all 20 of us were there we hopped back on, and I ate my lunch on our way to the winery.

It only took about 15 minutes to reach the winery, and we passed right by St. Gerasimos’ old and new church. We got a tour of the winery by an English speaking guide, who looked like he worked there as well. It’s a communal winery which means over 300 local farmers help to produce the grapes that make the local wines. At the end we had a wine tasting of 4 different types of wine; the first was the original white wine, then the St. Gerasimos white wine, then a light red wine, and we finished with a sweet, almost ice-wine-like, wine. They were all pretty good, but my favourite was the last one. I bought a bottle and then we left to Argostoli.

That drive only took about another 15 minutes, since it’s just across the water, and we stopped for an hour there. Some peoples’ cameras were broken so they tried to get it fixed, while Isabelle and I tried to find a photo-printing shop. Unfortunately they were all closing down for siesta, so no one had any luck. Instead, we wandered over to the main strip, found a fancy bakery and bought a cake for tonight’s dinner and I had a small cup of Tiramisu ice cream, while everyone else (we caught up with a small group) had pastries. After that Isabelle and I window shopped at a new Asian store we passed along our way back to the bus. We slowly strolled back to the bus, waited about 10 minutes for the rest of the group, then got back onto the bus to drive to the big grocery store only 10 mins away. There I bought yogurt, some trail mix, a juice carton, spreadable cheese and a few more souvenirs. At 4pm we left for home and got back just before 5pm. Everyone was drifting to sleep on our way home and were all pretty groggy when we got back. I unpacked my groceries, Lisa left for the PP with Jenn, so I didn’t go for a run with Jenn. Instead I showered and caught up on some emails and my blog. Lisa came back just before 7pm and said that Geoffrey was feeling too tired to cook for us tonight, so instead went to pick up some gyros for dinner at Kentrikon to go, then brought that and the black forest-type cake, we bought in Arogostoli, over with some wine Lisa and Jenn bought today too. We walked by Neil and Gioria’s to pick them up, stopped by Kentrikon, then made our way to Geoffrey’s. When we got there he was working on some laptop stuff and put it away when we brought out the food. I had a chicken gyro pita, and as usual I like to take out all the fries and eat them for later, with hot water. It was delicious and I was STUFFED to the brim by the end of it! We took a break from eating until Jerry and his brother Christos came by. We opened the 2nd bottle of wine, I stuck to my hot water all night because we had already done the tasting this afternoon and I was too tired to drink. When they arrived I went back to the kitchen and Isabelle helped me to serve the chocolate-covered black forest cake. It was Geoffrey’s highlight of the night and we even had enough to save him 2 more pieces in his fridge! He was so giddy, it was nice to see him so happy after everything he does for us. We each got pretty big pieces and the cake was dense, moist and had a really yummy crunchy top layer! We stayed just after 11pm, then walked home. Got home close to 12midnight and I washed up then finished my blog for the night while Isabelle stayed over longer to do online stuff.


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