After spending our day at the beautiful Myrtos beach, it was time to enjoy some delicious Greek food.
We briefly stopped off at our cottage to freshen up before we took a whim and decided to head over to the right peninsular of Kefalonia, or as I like to call it ‘the dangly bit’.
We had no plan. We just drove.
Kefalonian roads are filled with hairpin bends and the road to ‘the dangly bit’ was no exception. The road hugged the south of the island which started at a grand altitude. Bend after bend, skirting quarries, fields and forests, lead us down to sea-level where the great limestone mountains disappeared and instead we were greeted with vibrant green marshlands which were alive with birdlife.
In front of us, the road stretched flat, a totally different terrain to what we had just left behind.
To my left I could see the main peninsular. It looked like it was just a stone-throw away across the bay but in reality, I bet it was several miles. The dark ocean lay in between, waves lapping violently at the shore.
“Look at that!” I pointed out to sea. “There’s some deckchairs in the ocean.”
It was rather strange. There were about six deckchairs which had their legs completely submerged in water. They were several metres out to sea and just on their own. I couldn’t see a hotel that they were linked to. I found them very amusing.
We eventually decided to look for places to eat. We’re quite fussy eaters so TripAdvisor was our first port of call. Lewis was pleased to find a restaurant that boasted incredible reviews. The food also sounded mouthwatering.
When searching for a restaurant, we always prefer small, local places that are family-run. That was exactly what this restaurant was.
Without TripAdvisor or Google Maps, I honestly don’t know how we would have found this place as we quickly found ourselves being taken down a winding narrow road, barely big enough for our car, let alone an oncoming vehicle. Overgrown bushes, hung their leaves in our tracks and several times we had to skirt around a goat or a cat.
The road was steeply taking us uphill. I gritted my teeth, feeling slightly claustrophobic as we drove at such an angle, on a one-track road with absolutely no idea what was behind each bend.
We drove through miles of farmland and olive-groves. Quaint houses sat beside the road. The highlight of the drive for me was when we passed one house on our right. An old man was walking down a flight of stairs leading to his front garden with a bucket in his hand. At his heels were more cats than I had ever seen in my life, frantically winding round his legs, their tails erect.
“Oh my gosh, he’s carrying a huge bucket of biscuits for them!” I cooed in delight.
Many twists and turns later (each one taking us even higher, like a ramp, into the clouds), we arrived at a junction with a twisted, abandoned house to our left.
We had been in Kefalonia for only one day but already we had seen many, many derelict buildings. This one, however, stood out to us as it was in the most disrepair.
“I wonder why there’s so many abandoned buildings.” Lewis mumbled thoughtfully.
Admittedly, I hadn’t done much research on the island before we visited. However, I had read about an earthquake which struck in 1953 and which had devastated the island. Could that earthquake be the culprit of this damage?
It was a topic I was going to delve into as my journey round Kefalonia commenced. For now, we had food to eat.
The restaurant ‘Ladokolla stin Plagia’ was located within a small village called Damoulianata. Damoulianata is an incredibly picturesque village with beautiful, traditional houses hugging the narrow streets.
The village’s high altitude means that the views yielded are exceptional.
As we pulled up into the little car park behind the restaurant, we were met with the most gorgeous view of west Paliki (the dangly bit). We were so high that the horizon looked hazy! The blurred ocean felt like it was situated a lifetime away. Before that were numerous layers of fields and trees and right under us was another derelict building, this time it was one that was completely missing its roof and internal structure.
Upon entry to Ladokolla stin Plagia, we were immediately made to feel at home and were greeted by a smiling waitress as well as several cats. I knew the meal was going to be good already. Anywhere with cats steals my heart!
It was our first time eating out in Kefalonia and what struck me the most was the cost of the wine. €2 for a half bottle of wine?! What was this madness? I had never seen prices like this in my life. Of course, I was going to order some! It was just a shame that one of us would have to drive home.
The taste of the wine was exceptional. Produced locally by home-grown grapes, this was the very best of the best. I was used to drinking wines which were highly acidic. In contrast, these were so smooth that they went down very easily. Lewis ordered a red and I ordered a white so we were really sampling the wine!
Then there was the food.
For starters we ordered the feta cheese which was feta produced in this very village. The cheese came with some home-made bread and tomatoes.
It was yummy.
This was followed by our main course. We decided to order two mains as we were struggling to pick between the traditional Kefalonia meat pie and the lamb shoulder. Let’s just say that they were both to die for.
Both Lewis and myself were practically rolling on our full bellies by the end of the evening.
My stomach was exploding. Meanwhile, by my feet sat two cats, a white and grey cat and a tortoiseshell. They weren’t being demanding and I couldn’t resist the pleading look in their round, amber eyes. Some tidbits were thrown their way, much to their delight.
There was a third cat but she was much more aloof. She didn’t appear till it was nearly the end of our meal and skirted around the outskirts of the restaurant, not wanting to get too close to anyone. This cat was tortoiseshell and white and was by far the leanest of the three.
It took a while, but eventually she decided to tentatively approach our table. Careful not to disturb her too much, I subtly slipped some pork onto the floor. She didn’t come over right away and instead hesitated, her striking green eyes meeting mine, before eventually skulking over and taking the meat in her jaws before slipping off again.
As if this restaurant couldn’t get any better, they brought us over a traditional greek dessert, completely on the house!
Dessert was a sweet dough-ball dish and like the rest of the food here, it was delicious!
Ladokolla stin Plagia really was the full package with gorgeous food, amazing views, a buzzing, lively atmosphere, friendly service and some lovely feline companions. I knew I would definitely be back here again before our time on the island drew to a close.
The icing of the cake to our first day in Kefalonia was the incredibly sunset which we witnessed as we made our way back to the car. Words can’t describe just how magical it was so I will just let the pictures do the talking.