39:16.87N 20:23.38E Parga
Sunday, 24th July, 2011.
We left Vositas around 7.30 a.m. in order to give ourselves an extra or two before the excessive wind was forecast to kick in. Again the forecast was slightly wrong and it was a motoring or motor sailing day. We arrived at Parga around 2 p.m., anchored and Jim checked for the anchor position and launched baby Ariel and made for the shore to have a well earned lunch. The restaurant was open at the sides but in the roof were House Martins nesting.
The beach area is wall to wall sun beds in a mixture of colours. A major holiday resort with taverna’s and bars lined the beach area. The castle on the promontory is of Norman origin built around 1337. Well defended to the sea and land by the monolithic rock on which it sits, it has during history always been very difficult to capture. The Venetians considered it “the eye and ear of Corfu” and consequently the town’s people enjoyed special trade privileges with Venice. The notorious Ali Pasha attempted to capture the castle many times, finally succeeding in a roundabout way with the help of the English. In 1814, when the French held Parga, British agents managed to persuade the Parganiotes to overthrow the garrison and hand it over to the British. After holding Parga for two years the English sold it to Ali Pasha to strengthen their claim with the Turks to the Ionian Islands. The inhabitants were evacuated to the islands only returning generations later. Parga only became Greek in 1913.
Ali Pasha was born in Albania in 1741 and in 1788 was installed at Ioannina by the Turks as Pasha of Epirus (local county). Through a murderer he was a great administrator who made the town one of the wealthiest in Greece. His aim was to gain independence from his overlords and by 1820 he had an empire stretching from Albania to the Peloponnese. When news spread of his intention to create a Greco-Albanian state, Sultan Mahmud II of Turkey dispatched troops to put him to death. After a long siege within the fortress at Ioannina, Ali Pasha agreed to meet the Turkish commander on the island of Nisi where on 24th January, 1822 he was hunted down and killed.
We had a lovely laze afternoon watching the water skiers and banana boats from Ariel. It was open slightly to the wind when it came round and therefore a little uncomfortable but still very acceptable for the night.