30 April 2013

Palm Sunday in Corfu

Summer has arrived with a vengeance and the marching bands and school kids were really suffering under the hot sun as they paraded through Corfu on Sunday morning dressed in their long-sleeved uniforms. The Palm Sunday procession, marking the beginning of the Orthodox Easter celebrations, commemorates the miraculous deliverance of the island from the Plague in 1629, when St. Spiridon is believed to have saved the people of Corfu. All 18 philharmonic orchestras parade through the streets of the old town, with the mummified body of the Saint accompanied by the Bishop and many priests, bringing up the triumphant rear. And so begins Holy Week, a true Greek mixture of feasting and fasting, music and ceremony, religious and secular, all taking place under a bright blue sky, with the scent of wisteria, jasmine and orange blossom filling the air.

29 April 2013

Beware of Greeks bearing gifts

Not this time though!

To celebrate our first sale to a client from a co-operating estate agent in Thessaloniki, the Managing Director of Halkidiki Properties brought with him to Corfu a selection of goodies from northern Greece. We have saved the wine for later, but made short shrift of the boxes of cakes and chocolates! Days in the office should always be like this.

22 April 2013

Just one of those days

There are some days when estate agency is just another job, loads of paperwork, hours on the computer etc. and then there are other 'isn't this a great job' days. Earlier this week we had one of those, when we went out on a catch up day out to see properties new to us, and a property which has had quite a few changes recently.

We began at Tranquil View House not far from our office, and it turned out to be along one of those roads that you always knew existed, but never actually been on. As we wound up the hill we had no idea what to expect, and found a lovely light, airy house, with wonderful views over cypress and olive trees, right down to the sea.

After that we went north to Kentroma, to see Kentroma Cottage - a house which Susan and Sarah remembered from its 'before renovation days', and they were amazed at the transformation. The house is supremely pretty - just the way everyone expects a renovated cottage to look, with a spacious living room, nice kitchen on the entry floor, and two bedrooms, good size bathroom and study area downstairs. Add that to a traditional 'bodzo' style veranda, virtually an outside living room, with sea views, and you have the perfect village house.

We then drove up to The Hamlet in Santa where the owners have recently completed some extensive work (and some inspired landscaping). This is an unusual property, some houses have been completely renovated and are in pristine condition, while others remain in their unrenovated state - an ideal 'change of lifestyle' opportunity for someone wanting a comfortable home while they complete the remaining renovations.

Add to that blue skies and stunning scenery with acres of flowers - all in all an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable day's work.

16 April 2013

Flying Boat?

Visiting this area in the hills above Nissaki on the north east coast on Saturday to take some photographs of a plot of land we have for sale I took this photo of a cruise liner leaving Corfu on its way to Italy.  
Corfu has so many wonderful views like this one, but I have to admit this is one of my favourite parts of the island.

9 April 2013

Possibly the Biggest Dog Kennel in the World?

We are marketing a really lovely villa on the outskirts of Corfu Town - with a riverside setting (how rare is that in Corfu?) and potential to moor a boat and be at sea in just a few minutes. Whilst the house is stunning enough in its own right, the feature that really caused us all to stand with open mouths is the - dog kennel! Admittedly the dog himself is on the large side (a St. Bernard named Mahler) but the kennel has to be the dog equivalent of Buckingham Palace.

Check out the photo and you will see what I mean. It has its own wood burning stove, cool tiles or a sofa to choose from for when it is too hot to be outside in the sunshine, and a view in three directions to the river, the garden and the swimming pool. Who says Greeks aren't animal lovers?

7 April 2013

Another No-Smoking Taverna - Tried and Tested

Yesterday evening we visited Corfu Town and after the wonderful service (every Friday evening until Easter) at the Church of Panayia ton Xenon (the priest has a stunning voice) we wandered through the old town and happily fell upon the first day opening of the taverna Bellisima in the little Lemoni Square. It was busy with tourists and a large party of Greek teenagers (so well behaved they were a credit to Greece). Best of all they have large NO SMOKING signs and nobody did. We ate grilled prawns, taramasalata and beetroot salad accompanied by a basket of warm pitta bread and a little bottle of a particularly nice ouzo (Matarelli from Lesvos, which is quite hard to find). This is a friendly family-run place and we will definitely be visiting again. Walk down Nikiforou Theotoki from Liston, and keep looking to the right - the signs are visible from the road.