Kerkyra Experience - Day 1
Trip Start Feb 28, 2011
16Trip End May 26, 2011
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Now I am in Ioannina, waiting for the bus to Kozani, which, as it turns out, is just tomorrow morning (despite that on the Ioannina Ktel Website says every two hours until 20:30). Luckily, there's a bus for Thessaloniki at 20:30, which, although does not have Kozani in its itinerary, follows the A2 Egnatia Odos motorway that passes Kozani at a (Google maps says - don't believe Greek internet) 5-6 kms distance. hopefully I will be able to convince the driver to drop me off at the nearest junction and then walk home in an hour or so.
So, I am back from the first leg of my Ionian Experience, three days in Corfu, or Kerkyra in Greek. All-in-all I must conclude that it has been an amazing trip, with a lot of ups and few downs
After a 10€ taxi ride from Kozani to the near village of Drepano (long-distance bus network of Greece is not quite effective…), we hopped onto the Thessaloniki-Igoumenitsa bus. After a relaxing three-hour, mostly motorway drive (which I spent “reading” an audiobook – The Ringworld Engineers by Larry Niven) we arrived to the port of Igoumenitsa, the major port-town of the Greek Ionian coast, with daily ferries to multiple cities in Italy (at least the advertising boards said so, though I tend not to become a victim to all of them, having spent three gruelling :p months in Greece).
It was really easy to find tickets for Kerkyra, as the ticket offices were right on the embankment and the price was even lower (5€) than the price I had been quoted on the internet. Nieras mixed-use ferry took us to the capital of Corfu Island, Corfu Town. Green-blue clear and indulging waters (The port was moderately clean given its size – a pleasant surprise btw).Our teacher was kind enough to book us a hotel in advance, we just had to find some wheels to get it, as it was in the near town of Gouvia. The wheels came on the chassis of a Matiz in couple of minutes
Hotel Maltezos is typical Greek Hotel, I suspect owned by the very welcoming, slightly ageing couple that welcomed us and checked us in. It had small but nice outside pool, but I did not have the chance to try it because of the nearness of sooo much sea! Neat, western stlye breakfast, eat-as-much-as-you-can.
The first day was dedicated to mapping the area and, of course to have a “csobb” in the sea. With myself being the driver, our first route was into Kerkya Town center (or kentpo). Most likely I would compare the old center of Kerkyra to Venice or (evidently) the small Greek island (Skiathos, as I recall) I visited 5 years ago, during my first encounter with Zeusland. The very (I mean VERY) narrow streets are at least a hundred years old (or at least they look like – too bad if not) painted in the usual light and pale colours of the islands with angular, Greek style windows and, despite the sizeable tourist body that frequents it every year, well kept. If you stroll away from the regular path, you would find divine calm and silence with your face gently brushed by the salty sea breeze, trying to figure out when was the last time you were enchanted. Then, you would only be disturbed by the meow-miaus and the vau-woofs of the 52nd squadron of the Greek adorable feed-me-I-bite-you-in-return street-animal army
After a quick and very delicious bite on the promenade, we left the kentpo for a yet-not –chosen beach. [I managed to get on the Ioannina-Thessaloniki bus. I can see there are still patches of snow on the surrounding peaks. Wonder how high they must be. Cold spring this year…] After a bit of exploring around and puzzling our way out of the maze of roads Kerkyra town is and the absolutely chaotic traffic (They are like entropy. Like gas molecules, in the event of a collision, they just change direction and accelerate!) The “impeccable” gearbox of the rental car did not help either. Now I am staring to understand why we do not see Matiz’ in Formula One… But I am sure our car would not have problems with the “one gearbox per six races” rule. It has served at least a thousand times that so far…
Issou beach (I am convinced I just have misspelled that one…) turned out to be our final destination
[Just arrived home, in the mean time - Hazaértem, persze
I will shortly follow with the adventures of the other two days with more swimming, Sissi’s Achilleion Palace and scenic vista of Kerkyra after a rocky “drum forestier” ride with an ATV!
22nd of May 2011
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