31 May 2016

Doesn’t this just give you the horrors

Moving on with more articles in the British press about how busy Spain is this year, this one is accompanied by a photo which must be enough to give any traveller to Greece the absolute horrors!!

As far as I know, there are no Greek beaches so totally overrun, and although we all would like a very healthy tourist industry, I don’t think anyone wants this!

28 May 2016

Corfu Villages

One of the prettiest, I believe, is Giannades on the north west side of the island. It has its own beach - quite a walk, and for the nimble only, but well worth the effort. The village itself has everything that one needs for daily living - a small supermarket, bakery and cake shop (!), cafĂ©/bar and a grill room.  A sweet little village house is for sale which we will be putting on the website any day now.

22 May 2016

Out and about in Corfu today

Sunshine at last, and a walk in a part of Corfu that looks more English than England. Just the car registration numbers give the location away.

20 May 2016

Unusual Villas

We get so used to seeing an almost standard design of villas, but this article reminds us how it is possible to construct something so different and yet, in its own way, making the most of its environment. It is refreshing to see something so totally outside the norm - we might not necessarily like it, but it certainly makes you realise how many more different designs there are out there and how many varieties of design there can be. Definitely thinking outside the box!

18 May 2016

Corfu Products

Corfu really is becoming a centre for the establishment of local crafts and products. As well as Corfu Beer, which is becoming well known among artisan beers, there is olive oil from Corfu in specialist shops in Europe, while Corfu herbal teas and skin treatments etc. are featured in many outlets. And now a local company has established a new business with various preparations derived from pomegranates - renowned for their positive effects on health - ranging from a concentrated pomegranate juice to chutneys and sauces. All wonderful I might add!


Office Meeting in the Sun

By the time we had spread our smart phones, ipads and various files and papers over the table there was barely room for the cappuccinos and cakes, but we managed! A trip to the south of the island to view a new villa shortly to be marketed and check on the work on some newly built sea-view town houses, meant that our office meeting had to take place somewhere close by. It's a hard life in Corfu!

So we think we have problems

I keep reading everywhere that Spain is experiencing a bumper year but I didn’t realise the extent of the problems this can cause.
A member of the Mallorca Chamber of Commerce has been speaking to an international publication and had this to say...

“This will be a crazy year. The infrastructure will not cope. Mallorca is booked out. We will have serious problems this summer.

“People come here to enjoy life, but they are stressed because they can’t get a seat on the buses – there aren’t enough buses. Already we have 60,000 rental cars on this island. We are second only to Hong Kong in our car density. The traffic is gridlocked, so people are stressed. There are no parking places.

“If they can’t go in the sea sometimes, they are stressed. Last year we had problems with sewage. The system just couldn’t cope, and we do not let people into the sea if there are such problems. They are stressed because there is no room on the beaches, they are stressed and they won’t come back. Tourism is a vital thing, mass tourism is a tricky, tricky thing. This year will be a crisis year,” he said.

All sounds wonderful doesn’t it, makes you glad to be in Corfu which we consider busy if we have to wait in a 10 minute traffic jam, or have trouble parking right by the beach, or outside our favourite taverna.

17 May 2016

Good news for Greece generally

For the past few years it has seemed that any Greek news is not brilliant news, but this  newspaper article analyses the growth in air links both European and trans-continental, and the picture is definitely very promising.

'Despite its constant threats to depart from Greece, Ryanair has made the most dynamic entrance into the local market. This year it has added Myconos and Corfu to its schedule, with five and three weekly flights respectively. Every week the Irish airline flies 112 domestic services out of Athens: 20 per week to Hania, 14 to Rhodes, 49 to Thessaloniki, 21 to Santorini, as well as Myconos and Corfu.

Last week Barcelona-based Volotea added Myconos and Mytilene to its summer schedule, with three weekly flights to each destination. This comes in addition to its four weekly trips from Athens to Santorini.

Besides market leader Aegean, which this year serves 34 local destinations and 111 foreign ones, the domestic network also features a number of other companies, including Sky Express, Ellinair and Astra Airlines.

At the same time, foreign carriers also have a strong presence at Greek destinations as they constantly increase their international links. Emirates boosted its weekly flights between Athens and Dubai from seven in 2015 to 12 this year. Delta is doubling its New York-Athens flights to reach one per day at the end of May. United Airlines, which had stopped its Athens-New York link in 2011, is now resuming the service with a weekly connection.

FlyNiki will link Austria (Vienna, Salzburg and Graz) to 17 Greek destinations. Finnair is beginning scheduled flights from Finland to Santorini, Lesvos, Zakynthos and Skiathos, while Dutch carrier Transavia is increasing its flights to Greek islands (Santorini, Rhodes, Crete, Corfu, Kos, Zakynthos etc). EasyJet is also strengthening its schedule for the summer, while British Airways is adding direct flights from London to Hania and Kalamata this year.

On Saturday Lufthansa resumed its services linking Munich with Iraklio on Crete and started a new one to Santorini, while on Sunday it added its Corfu weekly service.'

12 May 2016

Wild Flowers

A short walk in the rain and I picked this bunch of wild flowers. There are lots of Love-in-a-mist, Cow Parsley, some Rose Garlic and something I can't identify like a Cornflower, but in miniature and deep purple.

7 May 2016

The "Sven" effect

Watchers of The Durrells on ITV will recognize the photo as the home of Mrs. Durrell's romantic interest, the Scandinavian Sven. I wonder how many will know that this lovely old olive press has been for sale for some time and can be seen - exclusively, I believe, here on our very own website. 

3 May 2016

1st May 2016

Our May Day garland in place on the front door.

2 May 2016

Easter in Corfu

Until the Easter celebrations begin in earnest at the beginning of Holy Week, it is easy to forget that this is bigger, more important, than Christmas in the Christian Orthodox calendar. With a well-publicised programme of events covering the entire period from "Big Monday" right through till the quieter days after Easter Sunday, the atmosphere starts to build up. Many people give up meat, dairy and even fish during Holy Week so that the triumphal pascal lamb is much appreciated when it is served up on Easter Sunday. From whole lambs on the spit, to smaller cuts in the oven, eaten at home or in a taverna or restaurant, this is a major celebratory feast. Many families follow the old custom of taking their uncooked joint to the local bakery, whose huge ovens are given over to the cooking of tray upon tray of lamb roasts. Each tin must, of necessity, be marked with the family initials lest - heaven forfend - the wrong dish is returned to the wrong family. Sadly this tradition - from the days when individual families did not own their own oven - is dying out, and I can't actually think of anywhere in Corfu where we could have taken our own tray of lamb. My niece, holidaying in a village near Patras, did just this, however.

I still find it amazing and moving to find so many churches - one after another - so full of people of all ages remembering the religious reason behind the more secular traditions of pot-smashing, fireworks and souvenir shopping.