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Published: August 18th 2013
To all our friends.
Usually only two in a bed.
Our last day in Paleros was a quiet one where we pretty much just enjoyed the town and the natural beauty of the beach and scenery. We visited the local Greek Orthodox church and lit candles for loved ones, walked the streets and soaked up the ambience of the village waking up to a new day. It's a slow wake up. No one seems in any particular hurry and with the heat already well into the 20's at 9.30 one can see why.
Gavin had gone to the beach for an early swim. We returned to the apartment to find him nursing several badly rope-burned fingers. He'd tried to hold onto a squall-struck umbrella on the beach, a big umbrella that sits in a metal pipe anchored in the sand. The force of the wind was so strong it just ripped the rope through his fingers leaving him with the burns we came across. Painful mate! For the rest of the day he did go in the water but had to hold both hands above it. Looked strange but he needed to cool down.
The next morning we had a taxi pick us up at 10.00 to take us
Flat mill pond busy waterway.
to Igoumenitsa, a ferry port for many Italian destinations as well as Corfu and other Greek ports. An hour forty later we were in this very busy port town which operates 24 hours a day. Our one night stand hotel was right on the main port road so we got a birds eye view of the activity. Not too noisy as it turned out because the sound proofing of the hotel was good. Igoumenitsa seemed half finished. Now, I've had feedback from my loyal readership, all 2 of them, that my descriptions are too negative, commenting as they have in Greece on the dirt, litter, unfinished buildings, heat, noise etc. Well, Igoumenitsa was all those things but more so. That's the way it is unfortunately but that hasn't stopped us enjoying every experience we've had. Do come to Greece, please.
After a wander through the town, IN THE HEAT!!!!!!, we ate at the hotel and ruined NZ-Greek relationships by sending the one litre of house wine back. It was off, badly. Up to that point our waitress had been all smiles but the atmosphere chilled somewhat after that. It got worse as they replaced the house wine with a
Approaching the harbour
bottle and we thought they had still charged us for the crap plonk as well as the very nice bottle. It turned out that they had discounted the expensive bottle so we were all square. They just hadn't told us or it was lost in translation.
Up early this morning to encounter more service sans smiles. I walked down to the Corfu ferry ticket office at 8.00 (we wanted to leave at 11.00). The woman behind the counter uttered five sharp words -"Too early." "One hour before". And that was that; back to the hotel.
One and a half hours to Corfu on a flat calm Adriatic Sea. Ferries passing us at regular intervals going in the opposite direction. Yachts and power boats everywhere. It's a boaties heaven, possibly a wealthy boaties heaven as most of those we saw looked like they'd have gold plated bathroom fittings.
Our hotel in Corfu is the Corfu Mare Boutique Hotel. STAY HERE! Comfort and service have been our first and ongoing impressions. Modern rooms, views of the harbour, gym, large pool, good food, quiet, we are stoked. Look it up on Expedia.
Corfu itself we had a quiet look
Below the town walls - see the swimmer
around this evening. It's dripping with history and occupations by many nations over the centuries all of which have left some traces of their tenures behind. The Venetians and the Byzantine Empire controlled Corfu for centuries. The French had a go briefly as did the English. Examples of the different controlling powers can be seen in the architecture of the old town. It's a delightful place to roam. We were a bit early tonight as we were heading back to the hotel at 9.30pm and the streets were just starting to fill with tourists and locals trying to take their money off them. We succumbed. Lyn, Heather and I got sucked in to having our feet and lower legs nibbled by fish at a "fish spa". I'm sure some of you have had that experience. Recommend it, once.
We're there for three days then we cross to darkest Albania to share a van with 10 others of unknown age, sexual preference, religion, gender, nationality or political,persuasion. Should be interesting. But before then we will see as much of the island of Corfu as we can.
Hope all is well with the earthquake sufferers. Thinking of you all as
Corfu tea time
Looking for a taverna to nosh in
the quakes continue.
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