The Legend of Melissanthi (for elissamae) 2


One of the things I love most about ancient Greece is the mythology.  The sensational stories of crazy, angry, vengeful gods and goddesses wreaking havoc on nature and humanity. The drama and tragedy, these mystical stories and colorful otherworldly characters with cool names inspired so much in the imagination of my youth.  So it was just a bonus that part of my Kefalonia Adventure Tour would be to visit Melissani Cave. There is a legend that this cave is named after the nymph, Melissanthi, who killed herself in the lake that sort of bears her name after being rejected by the god Pan, who is depicted as a half man half goat that always has an erection and is usually surrounded by a bunch of nymphs. There is some archaeological support that this could be the lake of legend, which is always fun to imagine, and the place is just so magical I mean how could one NOT think up wild stories about erections and nymphs and suicide, especially if there was no TV.  There is a more likely legend that a young girl named Melissanthi drowned there accidentally while looking for her lost sheep.  Origin of Little Bo Peep?  And the very most likely reason it’s named Melissani is because the greek word for honey bee is “Melissa” (as my friend Melissa told me years and years and years ago so now I get super excited whenever I see her name anywhere in Greece) and there were probably a lot of bees and honey being made around here for eons and eons.  By the way, Kefalonian honey is delicious!

This full-day tour was a great way to see a lot of the island if you’re like me and can’t drive.  I booked this one through Etam Travel in Skala, but they are based in Argostoli.  It was cheap and really good value, we saw a lot of stuff, wished we actually went to Myrtos beach though and maybe a little more time in Agia Efimia.  We were lucky and had a great guide from South Africa who has lived on the island for more than 20 years and shared tons of interesting information.

Going to get right into the gallery with this one and probably the rest of Greece.  I’m going home next weekend and have already spent almost two weeks in Northern Spain that I need to get a-crackin’ on.


I’ve been so bad about writing and I’m anxious to start writing about Spain before I come home, but have such great pictures of my boat trip to Ithaka. I’ll be on vacation next week so maybe I’ll have more time to write. Maybe. Thanks for reading!


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2 thoughts on “The Legend of Melissanthi (for elissamae)

    • Tricia Post author

      Isn’t that black cat stunning? Surprisingly, I have had a lot of cat friendships on this trip. Okay, just one, really, but that’s a lot! A special one with Turandot, the mama garden cat in my pebble house in Skala. They weren’t “allowed” in the house, which I thought was a good rule, in general I’m sort of indifferent to cats, I’m definitely a dog lady. But after about a week of feeding her, she would show up at the glass door to the garden after dinner and stretch up on her hind legs and just stare at me. I asked Voula if this was normal and then she fessed up that she brings her in sometimes, but the cat usually doesn’t ask strangers to come inside. I adore her, and actually missed her when I left. She is so affectionate, like a little puppy, she would burrow her head anywhere she could. Here’s a bad selfie of me and Turandot. The little burrowing Turandot