My Adventures in Corfu, Greece. . .
The sleepy and rural island of Corfu is different things to different people; dream, explore, discover! It is home to 4 million olive trees, thanks to intermittent but torrential rains from September to June. It's also a designated Unesco heritage site because the Old Town of Corfu, dominated by its fortresses of Venetian origin constitutes an architectural example of fortification. In addition, it's home to endless sandy beaches with stunning sandstone formations, as if the Ionian sea moulded the sand like a potter. How many shades of blue can you count? Just sit back in your lounge chair and watch the waves breaking. . .
There are thousands of olive trees that carpet the landscape of Corfu; some of them are over 400 years old and originally olive trees were planted by the Venetians not for their cooking properties or to use them as body oil but to light their lamps! However, only 3% of the world's olive oil comes from Corfiot olives. Why is that, you may ask? Well, Corfiot olive trees are HUGE, many of them with gnarly and twisted tree trunks. As a result it’s almost impossible to beat, shake or generally get the olives out of the tree. One has to wait until they fall down by themselves after a good storm. In the past, this was not a problem, as the olives were hand-picked (a slow and hard work!) and only the excellent olives were harvested. Some decades ago though, people switched to using olive nets. Those nets are laid under the olive trees in the autumn, and the olives are harvested two or three times during the winter by lifting the nets and gathering all olives.
But, since Corfiots by nature are by nature very laid-back people, they don't really mind much waiting until those olives fall down. And if you ask any 60-year-old Corfiot man how they look so young, they will often respond, "I have a swimming pool filled with olive oil in my backyard. I take a dip in it every morning!"
CORFU OLD TOWN
Corfu Old Town is a must-see place with a feel of living history and a European vibe. Wander the cobbled streets of the central esplanade to savor the beautiful views of the Ionian Sea. The majestic fortress is the focal point of Corfu Town, visible from much of the town itself and from the approach by ferry. It is a great place to amble around the substantial remains and check out the small Byzantine Museum just inside the gates. When you need to catch your breath, there are lots of quaint restaurants, cafes and bars to visit. The narrow cobbled streets of Old Town Corfu are a picture-postcard heaven; one could never tire of its charm, bustle, architecture, sights and smells.
Corfu is aptly nicknamed "the Grand lady of the Ionian" because 30 of its beaches have been awarded a blue flag, adorning the 27 km of Corfu's coastline with lush, green background. Sidari is the most famous with its fjords on the Western side and the famous Canal d' Amour. Legend has it that if you swim in this natural passage, you'll find your soul mate.
If you have more time, visit Palaiokastritsa, one of the most unspoiled villages in all of Greece, and admire the turquoise waters, mysterious grottoes and its historic monastery.
The load of the winter, the burdens of everyday life, the concerns of daily activity have instantaneously vanished away, along with the instability of the sea waves. Aaaaaaah, call me back to your shores diva Corfu, again and again!