Travel Blog Archive – Part 21, Corfu

Greece was supposed to be our time to rest after running around all of central Europe for two weeks, and Corfu turned out to be a perfect place to unplug and decompress. Our directions to reach the apartment were “tell the taxi driver to drive to the road towards the beach, then stop and ask the woman working at Athena Market where to go”. We tried to google map a more exact address and came up with this:

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So we got in a taxi, told the driver the village name and that we were staying on the “road towards the beach”, and, shockingly, he knew what we meant. After 45 minutes of driving through the windy mountain roads and hearing from our driver about Corfu’s thriving tourist industry, we turned a corner and spotted the sign for Athena’s Market. Our driver pulled over, ran in, and emerged a few minutes later with a tiny lovely old woman whom we naturally assumed was named Athena. Our new friend Athena directed our driver through windy narrow roads in olive groves, and after a few minutes we arrived at a beautiful building overlooking the Liapades bay. Athena hopped out and started running towards the building yelling “Maria!” repeatedly. Rather than knock on any doors, she sprinted from one side of the building to the other yelling Maria’s name while our taxi driver stood near the car with us not sure how to proceed. We didn’t know who Maria was (according to airbnb, our host was a man named Nikos), and we still didn’t really know who Athena was, but she was determined to find Maria. Not totally convinced we were in the right place, we dug up Nikos’s number, handed it to our driver pleadingly, and waited while he called. Nikos told him where the key was, and a few minutes later our driver and Athena were helping us into one of the apartments in the building.  The apartment was on the small side, but we were soon distracted by the incredible view from the balcony. We could see all the way down to Liapades bay and across to the cliffs above it, and from above the ocean the water looked unnaturally turquoise and sparkling. Despite the unusual (or, for Corfu, maybe usual?) introduction, we were very happy to be there and ready for some oceanside resting.

We spent the next few days taking walks through the area and exploring the two beaches below the apartment. To get anywhere from our apartment we had to walk back down the “beach road” through rows and rows of olive trees. We quickly learned our way around, and stopped daily at Athena’s to pick up olives, home-made corfu wine, and other groceries.

We also visited both of the beaches below the apartment. The main Liapades beach was full of umbrellas and chairs to rent, beachside cafés, and a nearby cliff off which people were jumping. Though the beach was a bit touristy, the shade and drinks were welcome and Brian enjoyed jumping off the cliff while I watched from below, amazed that I could make out rocks on the ocean floor 30 feet below me. We both loved swimming around the small cliffs that lined the bay, especially since we hadn’t seen water so clear since Okinawa. We wished we had our snorkels and masks, but we enjoyed the swimming nonetheless.

The other beach was a more local spot with no umbrellas, chairs, or restaurants, but there was a canteen boat that would pull up every once in awhile to sell beer and snacks. We seemed to be the only non-Greeks there, which is why we were also the only suckers baking in the sun with no umbrella. The heat was a bit too much after a few hours, and we hiked back up to our olive-grove-surrounded apartment to enjoy dinner with a view.

Though our stay in Greece was short, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery and friendly welcome of Corfu.

Pictures!

View from apartment balcony

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and at night –

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Olive groves along the road

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Athena’s was always well-stocked with homemade white wine

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Liapades Bay

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Pool bar – nice place to stop on the hill up from the beach

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