Blogs from Corfu, Ionian Islands, Greece, Europe


Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands » Corfu July 17th 2019

Every morning when we go down to breakfast a man with a clipboard asks us for our room number, so that he can tick us off his list. He then prowls the large and often very crowded restaurant, carefully scanning all the tables, presumably in the hunt for any interlopers who might have managed to sneak in here undetected. I can’t help but think that despite the valiant efforts of clipboard man it wouldn’t be all that hard to get a free breakfast here if you just happened to be wandering past and were feeling a bit peckish. You’d need to be careful not to quote a non-existent room number, and it would probably also help if you got here early to increase your chances of arriving before your chosen room’s real residents. I think I ... read more
The Donkey Track from Paleokastritsa to Lakones
Relaxing after the long hike to Lakones
Our hotel from the Donkey Track

Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands » Corfu » Corfu Town July 16th 2019

We field an early morning call from Issy’s mum and her brother Tony. Issy tells her Mum that she’d get very fit going to church here in Greece, as all the churches seem to be at the tops of mountains. We’ve noticed that Greek monasteries are often on mountains, but this gets us wondering if the churches in the monasteries are only for the monks; perhaps ordinary Greeks go to other less noticeable churches at more manageable altitudes. We briefly consider ringing Issy’s Mum back to reassure her that if she moved here she’d probably still be able to go to church without needing to invest in mountaineering gear, but after further careful thought we conclude that perhaps it’s not all that likely that Issy’s Mum would ever want to move to Greece, so we decide ... read more
Corfu Donkey Rescue Centre
Resident, Corfu Donkey Rescue Centre
More residents, Corfu Donkey Rescue Centre

Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands » Corfu July 15th 2019

It’s a bit cool and overcast this morning, so we decide to skip the beach and visit some less sun-reliant destinations. First cab off the rank is the Achilleion Palace which is on a hill overlooking the sea about ten kilometres south of Corfu Town. It was built in 1890 for Princess Elisabeth of Austria, who was apparently grief stricken over the death of her only son and heir to the throne, Crown Prince Rudolf, the previous year. The Prince killed himself in a suicide pact with his mistress in what became known as The Mayerling Incident. It seems that Elisabeth didn’t get to enjoy the Palace for too long; she was assassinated by an Italian anarchist in 1896. That period in history sounds like it might be one best forgotten by the Austrian royals. The ... read more
Achilleion Palace
Achilleion Palace
Achilleion Palace

Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands » Corfu » Sidari July 14th 2019

Issy is feeling a bit tired, so I set off on my own in our trusty little hire car. I climb the narrow road up the precipitous cliffs behind Paleokastritsa Harbour. The views are spectacular. The road is very narrow. I stop behind another car at a set of traffic lights. It seems that the road through the village in front of me is so narrow that there’s only just enough room for one lane of cars, so I wait for the lights to change so that I can take my turn. A car pulls up behind me, and a very attractive young lady jumps out of the passenger seat and crosses the road to take some happy snaps, while her partner waits patiently in the car for a green light to appear. She finishes and ... read more
Paleokastritsa Harbour
Looking south towards Paleokastritsa from Angelokastro

Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands » Corfu » Corfu Town July 13th 2019

We feel that we‘re getting to know our hotel neighbours quite well. We’re quite surprised at how much we’ve been able to deduce about them just by listening to the noises that come into our room from their bathroom via the window in the light well. ”Listening” is probably not quite the right word; “not being able to avoid hearing” is probably a better description. We know that they prefer baths to showers, and on this basis we decided yesterday that they were probably English. The conversation we hear through the window this morning confirms this to be correct. They don’t sound like they’ve eaten any dodgy food while they’ve been here, at least not yet. I wonder what they're saying about us. We found out when we were in Crete that the locals are called ... read more
Corfiotes deep in conversation, Corfu Town
More Corfiotes, Corfu Town
Corfu Town

Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands » Corfu » Paleokastritsa July 12th 2019

We see the view from our hotel in daylight for the first time. It‘s spectacular. The town of Paleokastritsa is on the west side of Corfu, and our hotel sits high on a cliff on a peninsula overlooking the stunning looking Paleokastritsa Harbour. Our hotel is very big and quaint, and could almost double as something from a 1950s movie set on the French Riviera. There’s a light well in our bathroom, and we try hard to ignore the slightly disconcerting noises coming through the windows from the bathroom next door. I know we’re not here to watch TV, but if we were we’d need a telescope to see it from the other side of our room; I didn’t know they made TVs this small. We get in the lift. The floors are numbered 1, 2, ... read more
Paleokastritsa Harbour
Paleokastritsa Harbour
Paleokastritsa Harbour

Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands » Corfu » Paleokastritsa July 11th 2019

Today we have a nice easy day of travelling to Corfu. This will involve a gentle drive to the airport, followed by a quick hop to Athens where we’ll have about an hour to stroll around the airport before our short flight to Corfu. There we will pick up the hire car we’ve booked, and take a leisurely drive to our hotel. We’ll get there in the late afternoon, just in time to wander down to a waterfront taverna for a few drinks and dinner, before retiring to our hotel balcony where we will gaze contentedly out at the sea. What could be simpler and more relaxing than all that. We arrive at the airport early, and all is going nicely to plan. But wait, it seems that our flight has been delayed. No problem, we’ll ... read more

Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands » Corfu June 12th 2018

On Monday, we docked and went on a tour of the Sanctuary of Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Those words are easy to write, but the feeling in the place is impossible to describe. First of all, it is humbling to think that this is the place that the Olympic flame is lit every two years, once for the Summer and once for the Winter games. Second, the site is huge, with buildings the athletes lived, the places they ate, ruins of the training facilities and, most amazing, the original field the athletes competed on with the 2000 year old track finish line. The museum was also amazing, including 1st century original artifacts. Just a special place. Last night Sophie and I were invited to attend dinner with Laurel Corona, guest lecturer on the ... read more
Olympic field and finish line
Olympic entry tunnel, partially reconstructed
Sacred place where the Olympic flame is lit

Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands » Corfu June 12th 2018

We arrived in Corfu, Greece with 9 cruise ships full of people embarking into the tiny Old Town.... read more
Girl in sunny Corfu
Old Fort of Corfu

Europe » Greece » Ionian Islands » Corfu October 1st 2016

The ship has overnighted in Corfu. It's a bit tough getting up, as we have an early tour and we have lost one hour in a time change overnight. The weather continues to be perfect. Our tour guide is a delightful, bubbly personality named Alexandria, who almost instantly becomes our best friend. Our bus heads out of the city of Corfu, headed for the more rugged northern part of the island. It takes about 45 minutes to reach Paleokastrista, an area known for its natural beauty. We have been steadily climbing and the roads are becoming more or more narrow. Our driver is a wizard who somehow is able to negotiate hairpin turns and various obstacles in our large touring coach. Our first stop is the Monastery of the Virgin Mary, founded in 1226. It is ... read more
Achillion Palace
Ceiling in foyer of Achillion Palace

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