I found Assos quite by accident. As we drove aimlessly up Kefalonia’s rugged coastline, I laid eyes on the little island jutting out to sea, attached to the mainland by one spindly tendril of land. Even from here, several miles away, the twinkling lights of houses drew me down. In my chest, I felt butterflies. I couldn’t resist taking a peek at the most beautiful village I had ever seen.
Positioned round a small horseshoe-shaped bay, Assos is isolated from the peninsular due to its low position. The stretch of coastline which it calls home is mostly made up of looming cliff-faces, meaning such a low-altitude spot is unique.
The village is framed by lush pine and Cyprus forests and sits facing calm turquoise waters. It is small. It is quiet. It is surrounded by nature. These three features meant that I almost immediately fell in love with Assos.
Steep narrow roads called us down through the village. The road was barely wide-enough for our car alone, let alone any oncoming traffic. I held my breath as we navigated our vehicle round a large tree jutting from the concrete. I just prayed we wouldn’t encounter another car.
Fortunately, we made it down to the carpark without having to confront another vehicle and I could let out a sigh of relief.
The carpark was situated on the isolated island on the other side of the bay. To get there, we had to drive down the spindle of land that connected the two. Driving down here, I took a look at the small beach on my right, circled by tall trees.
We were just in time to catch the last streaks of sunlight as they threatened to creep away. I made the most of the dying orange light and practically leapt out of the car to explore.
My eyes were drawn to the huge dark building at the back of the carpark. Perched upon the edge of the forest-painted island, this faceless hunk of concrete stared down at me with its gaping black mouth.
It was a building that filled me with mystery. It looked as if its holes had forever been void of windows of doors. So had the building ever been whole or was it a project that was abandoned part-way through?
I decided to investigate further and made my way up the stone steps leading up to the derelict construction. Up close, the building dwarfed me with its shear size. Should I go inside? The thought thrilled me but at the same time filled me with dread. The light was rapidly fading and already looming shadows were being cast into the ruined interior.
Then I noticed something else.
My eyes widened and I could barely suppress a squeal of delight. There was a black cat sitting in front of it!
I knew better than to lumber over and reach out a hand to the cat. He was sitting there with his ears pinned back, looking like he wanted absolutely nothing to do with anyone. Still, his mere presence delighted me! I just wish he acted like he gave a few fucks about my presence, haha.
Now that I had met the resident cat, it was time to decide whether or not I was brave enough to explore an abandoned building. I turned to face it, its black doorway agape as if it wanted to swallow me whole.
All the while, Lewis was completely oblivious to my whereabouts. I left him to researched somewhere to eat for dinner that night. I have absolutely zero patience for research so whilst he was engrossed in some TripAdvisor reviews, I was prancing around derelict buildings.
I found it peculiar how there were four doorways in a row leading into this building. Did that suggest this used to be an apartment block? I suppose there was only one way to find out. I took a step inside the first doorway, feeling the shadows engulf me. I was greeted with a narrow corridor-like room with a solitary coming off the side of it, perhaps a bathroom. Heaps of rubble lay in various parts of the room alongside a few piles of ugly trash.
As soon as I was in, I was out. There was an exit out the other side of the building. That felt rather anticlimactic.
I entered another doorway from the back only to find a similar setup with a narrow room stretching from the back to the front of the building with just one smaller room coming off the side. How odd.
At this point Lewis appeared to join me in my explorations and we took a look in the last two sections before finally discovering a flight of stairs at the back of the building. I considered going up but then decided that we had no idea how sound the building was. We could have found ourselves falling through the floor!
Lewis had found a lovely-sounding restaurant that was actually on the way back to our cottage, outside of Assos village. That meant that it wasn’t long before we would be waving goodbye to Assos village.
However, before we went, I wanted to have a quick look at the small beach which sat opposite the main village.
I relished the crashing of waves against the pebbly beach and soaked in the glistening lights of the village which were reflecting in the clear water as if it was a mirror. It was such a perfect scene that it almost didn’t feel real.
We headed to the restaurant which was perched atop one of Kefalonia’s coastal cliff-faces with a panoramic view of the ocean. Except, the sun had gone down so my view that night was just blackness. Oh well. I bet it was beautiful.
The restaurant was called ‘Vista Mere’ which means ‘sea view’ in Italian.
We enjoyed some delicious lamb and traditional meatballs before venturing back to our cottage. Lewis and I decided not to have any wine at the restaurant as we had purchased no less than 4 bottles from Sclavos vineyards this morning and they all needed drinking before our return flight back to the UK in just 2 days time!
However, we did not anticipate the mayhem that was to follow that very evening, and it was a lot more than the suicidal herd of goats which we ran into, galloping at full-pelt towards our vehicle on a blind bend.