the ruins of old Valsamata gives a feeling of how rugged and
peaceful this island must have been before being
almost totally destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1953.
I count myself very lucky to have met an islander in the capital
Argostoli who, was a shepherd boy in Valsamata all those years
ago. (His cousin showed me how to find his old village). I found
myself totally absorbed by his description of what living and
working in these hills was like.
Strolling along what was once the main street of the village,
seeing all the overgrown ruins, I can picture the friendly community
that once lived here that he was part of. This must have been
a very picturesque village set among some stunning scenery which,
can be seen all over the island. (A new village was rebuilt
further down in the Omala valley).
The birds singing nearby is all that can be heard as I walk to
the old church and bell tower, their high ruined walls still
stand proud overlooking the graveyard where local people are
still laid to rest.
Climbing the old bell tower gave me a wonderful view of the whole
area with Saint Gerasimos Monastery in the distance.
The atmosphere as I sat on top of the tower absorbing the view
was truly wonderful.
I left with a feeling of real peace and love for this fantastic
Thanks Paul and Ioannis . . . for
your memories . . . for your friendship . . . and for sharing
your beautiful island with me!
Update: On my return visit
in 2005 I discovered that a new small church had just been built
adjacent to the old
churchyard - photographs of which are included in the Kefalonia