Leaving Greece

We finally left Corfu on the last day of April and headed towards Italy.  We loved our stay in the beautiful surroundings of Corfu Town and found it very convenient too for the trip back to GB mid month.  There can’t be many airports that are only a half hour’s walk away from your boat!  After an enjoyable week in England at its spring prettiest (we do miss the greenery sometimes), we returned in time to experience the famous Corfu Easter celebrations.  We watched moving processions of marching bands playing mournful music of a high standard throughout Good Friday followed by church banners, uniformed college students, scouts and other groups.  Pride of place went to the town’s patron saint Spiridon, whose mummified head was carried in a glass reliquary and was clearly visible.

 

Saturday morning we stood with most of the town to watch people throwing large terracotta pots from balconies to smash on the paving below within feet of the crowds’ feet.  The smaller ones were also full of water, the larger ones just too heavy to manhandle full.  Afterwards, the town was awash with broken shards underfoot.

 

In the evening everyone assembled in the main park area to listen to the priests announcing the resurrection and at midnight they all lit candles as a firework display started. It was a bit surreal to be watching fireworks whilst the priest was still intoning and competing with the big bangs!  Many people then headed for the restaurants to begin feasting at around 1am.  Sunday seemed to be a quieter family day after all the excitement.

 

We also managed to fit in a bus trip across the island one day to revisit the little bay of Paleokastritsa where we spent our first holiday together nearly 32 years ago.  We were there originally on a diving holiday with friends from the Cambridge Sub Aqua Club (where we met) and remembered it as a beautiful spot.  It was very quiet out of season this time and a bit spoiled by lots of new development since we were there, but the coastal scenery is still lovely. 

 

We then had a visit from family from the US and had fun showing them our way of life aboard for a few days though we didn’t subject them to any actual sailing time. 

 

With Brian & views from the “new” fort over the rooftops towards the old fort:

 

The yacht club marina tucked under the walls of the new fort:

 

…and a rare photo of us below:

 

We left the island when we could see at least some favourable winds for the longish crossing to Italy/Sicily and said our goodbyes to Greece.  We have spent almost a year in Greek waters and it really is a wonderful cruising ground.  We shall miss the welcoming town quays, the relaxed way of life and the cafes and tavernas everywhere.  We will also miss the classic Greek filo pastry snack the spanakopitta, filled with feta cheese and spinach and a perfect lunch on the move.  Above all we will miss the Greeks themselves, with their wonderfully easygoing attitude to everything.  Even though this means the yacht facilities are rarely operational, the corollary is a real friendliness and non-grasping, non-jealous nature that has been unfailingly welcoming.  We’ll be back one day!