The view of the village of Assos on the island of Kefalonia in the Ionian Islands of Greece. Photograph by Liz Alvey
Going back to Kefalonia is like visiting a long-distance lover. First, there is the longing. Then the planning. And finally we are reunited. On arrival there is that delicious sense of anticipation and familiarity. Then a slight doubt creeps in. Has it changed? Will I still feel the same? There’s a point on the road north from Argostoli, where my heart leaps, as I drive round a series of deep ravines, looking, looking, looking…. Finally I glimpse my beloved, the village of Assos, perched on the isthmus jutting out into the Ionian Sea. Assos wasn’t the first place I visited in Greece, but it was the first I really researched with infinite care. And I lost my heart to it. Hook, line and sinker. Within 24 hours of driving down that switchback road I was in love. Irrevocably, hopelessly and joyously in love. And it’s an enduring love. Yes, it’s matured and developed, as these things must, if they’re not to burn out. But it’s a constant in my life and the very fact that we are kept apart by circumstance keeps the desire alive and potent. Why do I love this place so much?
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