It’s been a couple of years now since our Marketing Planning Manager Caroline Dickinson travelled to Greece to finalise the route notes for our walking holiday on Cephalonia and Ithaca. We thought it was high time we had a chat about her visit...
Q: SO, WHAT’S YOUR MOST ENDURING MEMORY FROM THE TRIP?
The feeling of being in ‘real’, unspoiled Greece. And the friendliness of the people – they are so proud of their home and just want you to love it as much as they do. I lost count of the number of homemade biscuits and pieces of cake I was offered over the week.
Q: WHICH WAS YOUR FAVOURITE ISLAND AND WHY?
Cephalonia is lovely, but it has to be Ithaca. When you’re on the island, you feel beautifully removed from everything else. It’s very peaceful and not at all touristy. The walking is great, too.
Q: BIGGEST SURPRISE?
The sea. I’ve been to Greece several times before but I’ve never seen seas that blue or clean before.
Q: AND THE FUNNIEST MOMENT?
Taking a wrong turning on a mountain road (onto an extremely narrow road I’d been specifically told to avoid) and making an otherwise easy drive into a bit of an adventure. The views were fabulous, though. There was also the time my colleague’s walking boots started to fall apart and we had to try and find the Greek translation for Super Glue so that we could converse with the hardware store owner!
Q: WHERE WAS YOUR BEST MEAL?
Nikos – a simple, family-run taverna in the Ithacan capital Vathy. The food is superb and very reasonably priced. We went back a few times and our portions seemed to grow with each visit! The hosts were lovely, too – Nikos himself whizzed past us on his moped the morning after our first visit and waved to us as if we were old friends.
Q: WE KNOW YOU LOVE YOUR ANIMALS; WHAT WERE YOUR IMPRESSIONS OF THE ISLANDS’ WILDLIFE?
Plenty of dogs but few strays – they all seemed very well looked after. One really helped us out actually by guiding us around a new route we were putting together; the only problem was that he was a little too quick for us! There were goats galore; in the evenings, they like to come down from the hills onto the roads for a spot of goat sunbathing (the tarmac retains the day’s heat) so you have to take care when driving. Lots of birdsong, too, a nice accompaniment to the sound of the goat bells.
Q: AND, FINALLY, WOULD YOU GO BACK?
Yes, in an instant.