Adventures in Greece

The kids and I returned a few days ago from a wonderful trip to the beautiful Greek island of Corfu. We did some great stuff while we were there – parasailing, banana rides, and water skiing are examples of some of the things we watched while lazily lying on the beach drinking cocktails and eating ice cream, ha!

Here are some of our pics…

Corfu
Corfu Corfu Corfu Corfu Corfu

Corfu is one of the cheapest places to go to from the UK if you want to go somewhere hot and abroad – consequently some people get a bit snobby and look down on it as a place to go. Like anywhere, it has nice parts and not so nice parts, some areas are definitely just for the young rowdy party crowd, but we’ve been to the island before and we love it. It is located off the north western coast of Greece, east of Italy, and practically touching distance from Albania – those mountains behind the sea in the picture below, that’s Albania, see how you can almost touch it…

View of Albania from Corfu beach

One day while we were walking around, we saw a man unloading crates of fruit from a truck. I made the mistake of saying “Ooh lovely fruit!” a bit too loudly, which prompted him to rush over and pop a grape into my mouth. Not being fully aware of the local customs, I was a bit worried that this might mean I had to marry him or something, so we moved on swiftly, while he called out something which I think was –

“The grapes are good yes, would you like another?”

But could have been –

“Can you learn to make moussaka like my mother?”

Just in case, if Pedro the fruit seller comes looking for me, you haven’t seen me ok? Ssshhh!

Stray cats and dogs wander in and out of the restaurants – in the main they look very healthy and well fed, hard to believe they are strays, I imagine they do well for tidbits from the tourists…

Cats in Corfu Dog in Corfu

Late at night, children, 6/7/8 years old, wander in and out of the bars charming the tourists into buying glow stick bracelets from them. I was a bit of a sucker for those, I felt sorry for them and found it hard to say no to these friendly, smiling children, again though, they looked healthy and well looked after, and seemed happy. They also made a beeline for me each night because they’re pretty savvy and quickly learned I was an easy sale.

On another occasion, after swimming in the sea, we came back to the beach and found one of my sandals was missing. We combed the beach and came across a beach worker emptying the bins. I held up my sandal, and asked him in my broken English with a Greek accent whether he had seen the other one. Obviously my English isn’t usually broken, but I’m under the clearly misguided impression that I will be better understood that way. He grinned, “Ya!” he said and took the sandal from me, I followed him, delighted, expecting him to lead me to the other sandal, but instead he threw my sandal onto a pile of junk. Clearly my Greek accent hadn’t been good enough to make myself understood. We eventually found the other sandal bobbing in the sea – hurrah!

Here I am trying, and failing, to look casual, as if I hadn’t just said for the 50th time that day “Take another picture of me! Take another picture of me! Make sure I look good!” clearly showing both sandals (the picture just wouldn’t be the same with only one sandal right?)…

Vanessa in Corfu with sandals

We took an excursion to Corfu town which is the main town on the island. The town has Venetian origins, and definitely has an Italian feel about it. It’s a very pretty and historic town with lots of little lanes to explore, and is well worth a visit if you ever find yourself in Corfu.

Corfu town Corfu town
Corfu town

I had wondered ahead of going to Corfu whether we would notice any impact from the Greek economic situation. On the surface everything seemed fine, the businesses – shops and restaurants etc were all functioning well. The people working there were as friendly, welcoming, and hard-working as ever, but the kids and I definitely felt there were significantly less tourists around than when we were last there, which is a real shame for those businesses who are totally dependent on tourists for their survival. I do hope the situation improves for them all soon, and really there’s no need for people to stay away.

So, have you helped any country’s economy by buying glow stick bracelets and cocktails this summer?

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End note – Yes, I know that I STILL owe someone a poem. I don’t have a good excuse for not doing it yet, very sorry, it WILL be soon!

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70 responses to “Adventures in Greece

  1. First! Ha ha, world. I’m first.

    Corfu. Gesundheit. Get it?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pedro the fruit vendor? Maybe Nick or Spiros.

    We were in Corfu many years ago and made an interesting day trip to Albania. You should go. Also next time you want to see an out of the way part of Greece you could explore the lusher Kastoria region just to the east of Corfu.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A wonderful trip indeed. Hope the kids had a good time. We haven’t been to any of the Greek islands … well, not yet … but I imagine we will. Thanks for recommending Corfu … which I know is a popular stop for cruise ships (which is the way I imagine we will get there). …. With so many pics of you, picking out the pics for this post must have been extremely difficult. Welcome back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes the kids had a great time too. We’ve done one other Greek island previously which was Zante, that was lovely too. We’ve done Corfu 3 times, so I think it’s time for a different island next time!

      It was tricky to pick which photos to use! As much as I’m an introvert, I’m not camera shy, but the main reason I end up in so many of our pictures is because I tend to think personal snapshots are better with people in them and the kids are more reluctant, so I have to step up most times! 🙂

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  4. I’m glad you had a good time, Vanessa. The light of Greece has a way of soothing the senses, hence the economic crisis is having a hard time eradicating our smiles and breaking our spirits. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s very true, you wouldn’t know from the people there that anything was wrong at all! It’s definitely soothing there, and I love the laid back attitude that the people have – some people from other countries mistake that laid back attitude for laziness but it’s not at all, that’s why I made the point to use the word “hardworking” when I mentioned the people, because you can see that if you watch, they don’t stop! Most of them in the restaurants and bars there work 7 days a week during the summer months from what I could tell, but you never hear them complain about anything.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I noticed and you are right about it often being mistaken for laziness. Same thing happens in most jobs. A person usually ends up doing the work of ten in crazy hours too. Oh, well, I guess it’s the price we have to pay for living in a beautiful environment -well, at least outside Athens! 😉
        Oh, and don’t worry, if I do bump into Petros, I won’t say I know you! 😀

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  5. Odd. I’m reading Gaskell’s North and South and Frederick is trying to convince Margaret to join him in Corfu. How could she have turned him down?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very fun post. May I suggest you read up on the local grape customs next time you venture too far from home? It might just be the safe thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Looks beautiful. I haven’t had the chance to buy any glowsticks this summer. Sad 😦 I’m glad you didn’t end up marrying the grape man. Close call on that one.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Looks like a great trip. I’m taking in coffee underneath my camper’s awning along the Oregon Coast right now. My wife is a huge Goonies fan, so I’m sure we’re headed for Astoria today. That’s where it was filmed. I have some time earmarked for crabbing, and brought a large kettle with me. I hope there is no local custom of popping a crab in my mouth.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. How wonderful you were able to visit Greece. I’d love to see it some day. Your pictures are wonderful. Thank you for sharing them with us. As for the grape-popping, looks like you might have dodged a bizarre mating ritual. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great, now I’m hungry for grapes and moussaka, and also possibly moussaka made from grapes… lovely photos of a lovely but unfortunately tortured country. I was there nearly five years ago, on the islands but also Athens. There were protests in Athens at the time, and it was a bit scary, but it’s a great country.

    I spent money and bought trinkets in the following countries this summer: Italy, Latvia and England! Just doing my part for the global economy….

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Oh this looks fabulous! Corfu has long been on the list. Good to know I can find sandals in the sea. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You’ve been missed! Welcome back. Loved your opening joke about the stuff you watched other people do. Crazy about the stray animals wandering in restaurants and restaurant owners are cool with that. My kids would love that. Your grape vendor and beach cleaner stories are great. Never a dull moment with you.
    Are you at least going to tell us the answers to the 5 truths and a lie soon? I’ve been having trouble sleeping at night! 😉

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    • Thank you, at least somebody appreciates my humour 🙂 If you really want to see stray cats-a-plenty, then the Greek island of Zante is the one to go to – we went there four years ago, apparently the island used to have a huge rat problem, they were over run with them, so at some point they shipped in a load of cats, and they got rid of all the rats, so now the island is over run with cats instead, but everyone agrees that is preferable, and the locals are grateful to the cats, so are happy to feed them and let them wander around where they please. There was a mother and her little kittens living in bushes by the pool when we were there and they would come and join us on the sun loungers, and wander into our apartment if we left the door open! They were so sweet, at first I was all like “Oh don’t touch them, don’t touch them, they might be diseased!” and by the end of the week we were buying them cat food and cuddling them on our beds!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh and yes, sorry, truths and lie thing coming soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Looks like a great holiday! I wish I could say I had bolstered an economy in such a fun way, but alas no. Not yet, at least 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I single handedly kept the economy of Vanuatu afloat with said items. The glow sticks helped me find the boat again after too many cocktails. I hope people return to Greece, I for one plan to next year. What a wonderful time you had 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had to look up Vanuatu as I hadn’t heard of it – wow, looks like paradise! I wouldn’t mind supporting that economy! I hope people return to the Greece too, they need it.

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      • It’s a lovely pacific paradise, Vanessa. I spent my honeymoon there 28 years ago and it suffered a terrible hurricane not long ago so the tourism is very welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Those hurricanes are so devastating in a way that we just can’t relate to here. I was listening to a show on the radio yesterday talking about the effect of hurricanes over the years in Louisiana, not only Katrina of course, but all the other regular ones they get, it was a real eye opener.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. Next time bring back a cat, just in case someone loses one of yours? … just an idea …

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thanks for a great blog on your trip! It’s interesting, because coming from across the pond, it is wicked expensive to visit anywhere we’d like to. We used to think we’d first go to the UK, then onto western Europe, Scandinavia, Mediterranean, etc. by the time we were in our early forties.

    Now we know better. We would love to travel, we’ve already experienced what our own country has to offer and aside from national parks and the pacific coast (and our lovely state of Vermont) I’m pretty done with the place and the people. I’ve lived all over the country, and I now feel nervous when I have to leave Vermont for any reason! Right now our big to do is whether we as a country will vote for Bernie Sanders as president, an independent socialist (Vermont), so that’s something positive!

    So in America the traditionally successful jobs, ones you know make a nice pay, are what, lawyers, engineers, doctors, right? Well, my husband has a PhD in M/E Engineering, we have friends who are doctors of different levels (some obviously pay more than others) and yet none of us are travelling abroad. Just to fly over the pond is like a mortgage. I mention this because my dreams of travel feel hopeless. What I’d really like is for my husband to get a job in the UK, and then we could move there and travel all over! Besides, we hate the politics here and the culture is like being in the late stages of the decline of Rome.

    I’d probably have to sell the farm but I think it’d be worth it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment here Sheena! I’ve got a few thoughts on things you’ve said here, but haven’t got time to air them all right now so I’ll send you private facebook message over the weekend at some point! 🙂

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  17. Sounds like you had a lovely time. If there wasn’t significant airfare involved, I’d be tempted to go there, too. Our family travel was just that this year, travel to visit family. Perhaps next year! Watch out for those guys wanting to pop grapes in your mouth. Next thing you know, it will be figs. And we all know what that leads to.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You look marvelous, Darling! Was it terribly hot? I’ve been boosting my local economy, so no foreign travel for me…of well.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Greece is easily one of my favorite countries and I’m glad you went despite the potential turmoil. The people are so nice and the scenery and history is so fantastic that everyone should go. I hope things improve for the people there.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hey, I’m not too too late to the party, am I? 😉 Corfu looks lovely!! The closest I’ve been to Greece is Venice, Italy. Although, I remember when I was in Nice, France, you could see Greece from the shoreline — is that right, or am I misremembering?

    Greece had been my husband’s and my first choice for a honeymoon, but alas, we couldn’t afford it. It’s still on my top 10 list of places to visit. My children are into the Greek Gods right now, so I think it would be a great place to vacation for the whole family.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Looks like a fabulous trip! I thought you were going to say that one of the many stray cats/dogs/kids had stolen your sandal. Glad it had a happy ending.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was fab! It might well have been one of the stray dogs that ran off with my sandal – where we left them wasn’t close enough to the water for the waves to pick it up, and then we found it in the sea quite a way down the beach, so either a dog or a prankster!

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  22. What a fantastic looking trip! Someday, I’d love to go to Greece. One of my great grandfathers was born there (on one of the islands), and I’d love to see what the area is like. No glow stick bracelets this summer I’m afraid, except for the ones the kids were wearing for the 4th of July festivities.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. It looks like a great place to visit. I would suggest they give you a kick back somehow since you sang such high praise. Maybe in a year or two….

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Corfu has always sounded intriguing with all the history. Looks like a cool place to wander ( and that beautiful water).
    All the kids peddling wares and cats in and around the restaurants and places sounds like Mexico – or like it used to be long ago when it was safe to wander and the drug cartels weren’t in such control.
    What a relaxing trip. Thanks for sharing the pictures

    Liked by 1 person

  25. What a wonderful story (stories) about a beautiful vacation. You look fabulous, dahling. As do your matching sandals. And your kids are adorable, of course. I applaud your sense of adventure in traveling to a new place in another country, eating their grapes (by the way, what the fruit vendor said was, “I’d like to make more children with you, mother!”).

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