*The continuing travel adventures of Stephanie and Gordon presented to you only 3 months after the fact...*
Our last stop in Greece was the island of Corfu, which we were to take a bus from Kalambaka to. We made sure to arrive at the bus station early because the bus only comes twice a week but as our departure time came and went - and so did several buses - I got nervous, but we were assured that our bus hadn’t come yet. It did, nearly an hour late, stopped for mere seconds during which we raced across to get on and sped off, winding along hilly roads until we arrived at Igoumenitsu where we and the bus boarded the ferry (the ferry was huge! There were at least 6 buses, 1 truck plus a heap of cars inside).
Corfu was very different from Aegina. Firstly, it’s in a different group of islands - the Ionian. The architecture is distinctive and it was under British rule for a time following the Napoleonic Wars. (There’s a lot more to Corfu’s history and though I find it fascinating you mightn’t, so I’ll leave it at that.)
Our accommodation was in the main town of Kerkyra in the old quarter, in an apartment off a narrow cobbled lane. Of all the things we did in Corfu, wandering the lanes was my favourite.
We were pre-warned the music hall was nearby and that we might hear the orchestra play, but what we were not expecting was 5 hours of music practice, of which the first 3 hours sounded like beginners who did not know how to play their instruments. Between 9 and 10pm it did improve as the orchestra practised a piece that was recognisably musical.
The next night’s practise was slightly better: it was a shorter practise session – though I did tire of hearing the same section of Rudolph the Red-nose Reindeer being played over and over again. But it was an “authentic” experience.
Other things we did in Corfu:
Took a scenic walk past the jail to the British Cemetery (okay, it looked more scenic on the map, and there was no mention of the jail…) As implied by the name the British cemetery stemmed from the time of the British protectorate. There were some very elaborate headstones in a tranquil garden setting. There were also tortoises.
We walked to the estate where Prince Phillip was born. The estate is now in Corfu’s hands and the main house has been turned into a museum…but it didn’t look open, and the buildings in the grounds were falling into ruin.
It had been suggested to us to walk to the next town where there was a good lookout over the water towards Corfu airport where the planes come in to land. When we arrived at said vantage point, it was obviously a stop on the island tour route because about 6 bus loads of tourists were milling around the lookout. We took a quick look, didn’t see any planes in the vicinity and made our way back to the main town.
I think this was where Gordon first ordered hot chocolate and received a cup of what tasted like - and had the texture of - hot chocolate custard. Every new place we’ve visited he’s ordered hot chocolate in a very hopeful manner - only to be served cups of hot chocolate custard all through Albania and Montenegro…we’ll see what Croatia holds. And who knows… maybe we’re the ones ordering it wrong!
P.S. I can tell you now he got a proper milky hot chocolate in Croatia!
(As I upload this from our draughty flat in Glasgow, after a cold, windy and wet day the sunshine and sea of Corfu are very appealing.)