Wednesday 11 May 2016

A trip to Corfu island (Part One)

It was a last minute decision to travel at Easter after the cancellation of a trip to Budapest with the Teachers' Association.
 So hubby and I on the spur of the moment entered a travel agency and booked a very reasonably priced 4 day trip to Corfu island.
That's a very famous island all over the world and especially British love visiting it. It is especially popular by Greeks at Easter period for its traditional festivities.
I had never been to Corfu and hubby had been there too long ago so it was great for both of us.
We started on Holy Friday early in the morning. The day was rainy (as all Holy Fridays should be) and after certain minor problems about who would sit in which bus (usual problems when booking a guided tour trip) we started first for Igoumenitsa to take the ferry!
After 3 hours on a very slow boat we arrived on Corfu island
 in time to check in.
We were impressed by the beauty of our hotel Paleo Art Nouveau and the view from the room!
After an excellent dinner
 we were taken to Corfu town for the Epitaph.
We were very lucky to arrive just in time when one of the music bands came in the narrow streets of the town.
On Corfu the Epitaph is so very special as all music bands of the town gather in the old part of the city going around, playing sad music. But it was wonderful.
We followed them for quite a while.
The next morningHoly Saturday the weather was exceptional.
We woke up to this view.
After a hearty breakfast we left Paleokastritsa where our hotel was
 to go to Corfu town again for the custom of  Botides .
This is where from the windows and balconies of the houses people hang red fabric pieces
 and it means that they will throw a pot from there. They throw pots filled with water to send away evil.
It's a very impressive custom with lots of noise. But it was too crowded. I think I have never seen so many people together, not even in Times Square, or Istiklal in Istanbul, or Las Ramblas in Barcelona. No, here it was too crowded. But the whole event was spectacular.

But we stood at the best possible position, very central and saw the whole custom!

After walking up and down the narrow streets we were taken sightseeing.
We saw the Canon,
The view from there to Vlaherna Monastery and Pondikonisi (the Mouse island) are so picturesque.And it is what really every Greek has in mind when they talk about Corfu as it is the landmark of the island.
The island airport is there too.
We then went to Mon Repos, the palace of the former royal family of Greece,
 which was closed and we only saw the gardens,

Later we were taken back in town to walk the Spianada the largest square in Greece,

 and have a late lunch. We tried Spilia (cave), a small restaurant with an excellent pastitsada, the traditional dish of Corfu.
The sightseeing trip continued to Mavromatis Distillery. Corfu is famous for its kumquat, a small fruit brought from China, that is so special in taste. I love it.
We watched  a short video of how it is grown, harvested and used in distillery and pastry.
 And of course we had to savour some products and buy some too.
Moving on we visited Paleokastritsa beach, which was near our hotel. The waters were exceptional in colour but we were told they are very very cold!Not that I tried them. Unfortunately there was no sea glass!,

 So we walked up the hill to see the view.
 And to visit Panagia Paleokastritsa monastery.

There is a small museum there,with icons,

 priests' clothes,
a huge skeleton of a whale that once came out at the beach there,

and lots of flowers and cats.

We then were taken to our hotel, admired the sunset,
and got dressed for the Resurrection ceremony in town. That too was spectacular with music bands and lots of fireworks.

The truth is that the agency really gave us too little time for the fireworks and we had to rush back to the bus and our hotel for a late Resurrection dinner with all the traditional food which was again very good.
Second part of our trip to follow.


Sheryl said...

Wonderful and interesting photos Ariadne, you must have had a great time, beautiful views, thanks for sharing.

Ο κόσμος της Ράνιας said...

Είναι ένα από τα πιο όμορφα νησιά μας η Κέρκυρα και πιστεύω θα περάσατε πολύ όμορφα !!! Οι φωτογραφίες και περιγραφές πολύ ενδιαφέρουσες !!! Να είστε καλά και του χρόνου !!!!

Sara said...

The landscape is gorgeous and what a view you got from your window! What are the pots made of? Do they shatter when they hit the ground? It's a very interesting tradition.

Justine said...

Beautiful photos Ariadne. Makes me want to visit this gorgeous island!

butterfly said...

Thanks for sharing your trip with us all , I fill like I have just been on holiday hugs.

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to visit Corfu.....even more so now that I have seen your wonderful pictures! Looks like you had a marvelous time.

Kirsty Vittetoe said...

Taking for taking us along with you to the trip via beautiful pictures!

Marie-Anne said...

I have been to Corfu twice in the past and I like the island very much, but it wasn't at Easter time!
Thanks for sharing your nice photos, Ariadne!

mpiskotoupoli said...

Αχ τι μου θύμισες Αριάδνη...είχαμε πάει το Πάσχα του 2014 στην Κέρκυρα,οικογενειακώς και τη λατρέψαμε μικροί-μεγάλοι.Φέτος τους έλεγα,πρέπει να πάμε ξανά στην Κέρκυρα,είναι υπέροχη!!!Θα μπορούσα να μείνω μόνιμα σε αυτό το νησί!!!

Decor Asylum said...

Υπέροχα Αριάδνη μου, υπέροχα! Πόσο όμορφα είναι αυτά τα ταξίδια που είναι αποφάσεις της τελευταίας στιγμής! Πάντα τέτοιες ομορφιές, ανυπομονώ και για το 2ο μέρος. Καλό ΣΚ:

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I loved visiting the island with you. The water is so clear on some of your pictures, it's amazing!

kathyinozarks said...

Wow what an amazing trip! thanks for all those photos too

Thalia Tzellou said...

Αριάδνη μου υπέροχο ταξίδι! Τίποτα δεν συγκρίνεται με το Πάσχα στην Κέρκυρα. Είχα πάει κι εγω πριν λίγα χρόνια με την Γεωργία και την αδελφή μου και φέτος η αδελφή μου ξαναπήγε. Με τις καταπληκτικές σου φωτογραφίες μου έφερες στο νου πολύ ωραίες αναμνήσεις!