Blogs from Greece, Europe


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

Every morning when we go down to breakfast at the hotel 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 ... 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. 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 to ... 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 we can take our 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 the lights to change. She finishes and comes ... 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 is 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 looks like a throwback from the 1950s. It is very big, and could almost double as something from a 1950s movie set on the French Riviera. It is very quaint. 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. ... read more
Paleokastritsa Harbour
Paleokastritsa Harbour
Paleokastritsa Harbour

Europe » Greece » South Aegean » Naxos July 11th 2019

I need to rewind back a few days, I wrote a blog two nights ago and it didn’t save! I left you last with the question as to go back to Spiros for dinner or try the hyped-up restaurant ‘Giannoulis’ that always had a line of hungry tourists awaiting its dishes. I walk into Prokopios and ‘Giannoulis’ didn’t have a line around it yet. I was a little early for dinner, it was only 7pm. Dinner buzz starts closer to 8pm in Greece as sunset isn’t until 9:30. I took this as a sign that I should try ‘. ‘Giannoulis’. I should have gone with my gut-literally. Spiros was a better restaurant! Don’t get me wrong ‘Giannoulis’ was nice but definitely not worth the long wait that I could observe half way through my meal. I ... read more
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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 » Crete » Chania July 10th 2019

We sleep late after yesterday’s hiking exertions. I’m keen to visit Ancient Aptera, which is an archaeological site about 15km east of Chania. Issy appears not to share my enthusiasm. She says she’s been to a few too many ruins expecting to see Pompeii, only to end up trying to imagine a glorious ancient city based on the remains of a few columns lying in the grass. I think that this is slightly harsh, but I would have to concede that we have indeed been to a few sites over the years that would fit that description. I set off following signposts towards the “New National Road” which is the major highway that looks to run the full length of the northern side of the island. I wonder how new it is, and whether it will ... read more
Roman Theatre, Ancient Aptera
Monastery complex, Ancient Aptera
Chania Old Town

Europe » Greece » Crete » Chania » Sougia July 9th 2019

We are up at 5am for our long awaited day of hiking through the Agia Irini Gorge. I think that maybe it’s only me that the “long awaited” bit applies to; I suspect “long dreaded” may be more Issy’s take on the subject. We are picked up just before 6am, and we join a busload full of fellow hikers for the long drive up into the White Mountains where our hike will start. We originally considered hiking the 16 km long Samaria Gorge, which is apparently the longest Gorge in Europe, before deciding that the Agia Irini, at a paltry 7.5 km, was a bit more our style. We assume that everyone else on the bus is also a fellow Agia Irini hiker, but we soon discover that it is only us and one other couple ... read more
Entrance to Samaria Gorge
Agia Irini Gorge
Agia Irini Gorge

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