Corelli's Uncorrupted Isle
expect the Greek island Kefalonia - where Louis de Bernières set his best-selling
book Corelli's Mandolin - to be a tacky theme park of star-crossed Mediterranean
love. Amazingly enough, it's not. The hype breezed right by, leaving the turquoise
waters and forested slopes free of spin-off kitsch. Amanda Castleman gives you
the low-down on this hidden jewel!
bay is one of Greece's safest natural harbors. The low, stone arches of the Drapano
bridge skim above the water. The causeway, built by the British in 1813,
is crowned by a squat obelisk. Timid drivers may prefer the long way round, as
locals barrel across with the verve typical of Mediterranean motorists, never
batting at eyelash at near scrapes and collisions. [Read]
2004 Summer Games have truly galvanized the Greeks, igniting their legendary resourcefulness.
Like Cinderella, Athens is casting off its tatters, revealing a vibrancy and beauty
that utterly captivates. Let Amanda Castleman be your guide to this revitalizing
has its work cut out, reversing centuries of neglect. Athens swiftly declined
from marble marvel to concrete clutter. The elegant "Cradle of Democracy"
fell into squalor after the Roman Empire collapsed. Synesius of Crete, despite
being a bishop, cursed his arrival here in AD 395. [Read]
bulky white boats wallow at the docks. Their bellies
swell with tourists, lured by exotic dreams, the
siren songs of Captain Corelli in Cephalonia and
la dolce vita in Italy. To most travelers, Patras
is a dim station, a smear of ticket booths and
cheap cafes, a grungy working port. A place endured
en-route to somewhere better, somewhere more exciting.
But Patras is emerging from the long shadows of
the sirens it serves. Greece's third-largest city
has blossomed into a sophisticated center, adorned
with leafy arcades, vibrant squares and neoclassical