Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I do hope the posts and photographs below give you a small insight into what we saw during our fortnight in beautiful Kephalonia.

We saw many other sights of course, too many to mention or to document fully, and some we cannot identify (as yet), at least to species or probable species level.

For example there were 3 species of fish that were commonly swimming around our legs in the sea that we haven't been able to identify yet, attracted by our feet stirring up the sand, no doubt. One of these I feel I should know - its called a Rainbow Blenny or a Parrot Wrasse or something - the next time I find myself in a large bookshop, I'll dive into a book on fishes (Yes, before you correct me, that IS the plural of Fish), and post what I find later.

There were bats everywhere also, probably Pipistrelles, but by no means definitely.

One of Anna's favourite finds were lots and lots of large grey Crickets (or Grasshoppers) with dark bands on their hind legs or wings, on dusty paths or even a grey-sand beach we ended up at once, which when disturbed flew away, displaying bright red mini "sails". I've since found out that there are MANY species like this, so I've got my work cut out for me to identify them specifically.

Talking of Grasshoppers / Crickets, there were also HUGE examples of these, one green with red extremities and one straw-coloured, which were numerous also. These looked more like Stick Insects really - I'll try and identify them when I can also.

It was interesting to note also that the first species of birds we saw from our balcony were Sparrows (House Sparrows) and Goldfinches! Maybe they'd followed us down to the Mediterranean? Goldfinches look like they belong in the Med - with their bright plumage and joyful, bouncy song.

Many of the species of birds on the island were the same in Britain - Jays, Blackbirds, Sparrows, Great Tits, Collared Doves, House Martins, Kestrels (never did see a Lesser Kestrel though), a Peregrine Falcon, Stonechats etc...

I'm pretty sure I saw a "Butcher Bird" (or Shrike) a few times, perching very conspicuously on a bare tree below our balcony, but couldn't formally identify it, as every time we got close, it buggered orf. I'll do a lot of research on that, and post on it later.

A few other things we noted down, in no particular order were:

Huge Black Wasp / Hornet with an orange abdomen

Pharaoh Ants (all over the kitchen - like Tottenham again).

Brimstone Butterflies on the beach

A Huge cockroach running through our favourite Taverna (Neferli)

Loads of Goats. I love these goats. I'd like one.

Thin, slinky cats everywhere.

Sea Urchins

Sea Anemones

Squashed rats on the roads

Red Admiral Butterflies

Wood Ants on Mount Ainos

Swarms of Small Blue and Brown Butterflies in Davgata

A Jellyfish off our most frequented beach - beautiful but a bit scary!

Shooting stars (Perseids)

The International Space Station passing overhead

2 pet Turkeys

1 caged, pet Quail in Argostoli (the capital)

A migrating party of Common Swifts (talked about separately)

Lemon Trees
Lime Trees
Pomegranate Trees
Almond Trees
Olive Trees

The "Oriana" Cruise liner on her way from Southampton to Venice and back.

All in all, a wonderful holiday that we'll never forget.
We made good friends with our local Taverna proprietor, Costas, after raving about one of his traditional, trademark Kephalonian dishes - rabbit; we obtained the recipe and on our last day he gave us a whole carrier bag of fresh Bay Leaves off the tree to take home. We of course, in no way shape or form, dared to take these through customs - that would be most illegal. Oh yes.

If we could have the holiday again, we'd not do much differently. We would have liked to see the Loggerhead Turtles nesting on a beach in the south of the island, and we would have eaten out in Argostoli more (if we'd have only realised just how close Argostoli was earlier), but that's about it.
We spoke a little Greek, and did ourselves proud I think. I remember in particular, asking for the bill in Greek (after a lovely meal in Argostoli harbour) to the waiter - who looked like a salty old sea dog, and he absolutely loved it!

Our flight home provided some magnificent views of the Lakes around Neuchatel (just north of Lake Geneva) and the Alps including Mount Blanc.

Then all that was left was a train back to Reading....


(But we'll be back...)

NB. All posts concerning our holiday in Kephalonia are NOT in chronological order, nor were they all seen on August 14th (obviously). We got back on the 12th August, and its taken me this long to write it all up.


nicola said...

please post the rabbit recipe.. yum yum

The Black Rabbit said...

Get a wabbit. (NOT a black one).
skin it, clean it up and hack it up, although I guess pre-cut pieces will do.
Brown it orf in a casserole pan with a little olive oil.
Fry off some onions and LOTS of garlic, in said pan.
Stick the rabbit back in the pan with some juniper berries, some cinnamon sticks, a few cardamon pods (crushed), lots of bay leaves, salt, pepper and a large amount of chopped, peeled and de-seeded tomatoes, covering the whole lot.
Simmer for a LONG time.

(with brown rice if you're me), and naffink else.

That's Kosta's Kephalonian Rabbit for youz.
So scrummy - Anna had it twice. (the second time with pasta)

The Black Rabbit said...

Got that wrong I fink.
Substitute CLOVES for cardamon pods, and add a little tomato puree also.
And Bob's your uncle.
Well... Robin is (and Ruary).