Summer Holiday: Corfu, Greece
August 11th and my holiday was beginning!
I had a 05.30 flight Friday morning and a desire to take the train the night before so I wouldn’t 1) miss my flight (it’s happened) and 2) pay a buttload in parking at Schiphol. Hence, why my holiday began Thursday night instead of on Friday. Although, my all- nighter at the airport was not as enjoyable as I had hoped it would be: by the time we were boarding, I was tired and cranky and uncomfortable.
But I was rewarded a bit on the plane when I discovered that I had the whole row to myself. I was so glad I wouldn’t have to make small talk or take my precious nap awkwardly between two strangers.
First stop, Corfu Island in Greece:
I got off the plane and immediately went to change out of the sweats and running shoes (ha, I thought I would actually go on a run while on holiday) I wore on the plane and into shorts and flip flops. Then I realized I hadn’t actually decided what I would do once I landed.
Yes, I had a hostel booked but it was on the other side of the island and I had no way to get there. I thought about renting a quad and getting around that way. But I was much too tired to be trusted to drive on unfamiliar roads that had pretty steep hills, so my next option was to call the hostel to get picked up. I called. And I waited. And waited. And waited.
I waited for 2 hours and called 3 times during that period. “Hi, it’s Jensen from the airport again. Did I miss him? What kind of car should I be looking for? Is he on his way?”. Yep, he was on the way.
He did eventually get there and he was really very nice. I climbed into the van with an Australian woman who was waiting for him as well. Her name’s Gabrielle, she’s in the middle of an around-the-world trip and makes it a priority to come back to this very hostel every two years because she loves it so much. After getting settled and eating some lunch, we met up at the beach just below our hostel. I definitely needed some relaxing, tanning time and a swim in the Adriatic Sea. Which is exactly what we did. I fell asleep for a couple hours and when I awoke, I had a nice tan going on.
I went back to the hostel and grabbed my book and sat next to my new friend until it was dinner time. We sat next to a nice Dutch couple (I swear I run into Dutch people everywhere now!) and a German woman. We had a really nice, traditional meal with lots of conversation. But I was exhausted and when the meal was over, I headed to bed.
I awoke at 08.00 and begun to get ready to head to Corfu Town with the shuttle that left at 09.30. So, I took my time. I had some breakfast and had a relaxing, slow morning. Until I asked where I should meet the shuttle. Turns out, it isn’t 09.30 like I thought, but really it’s 10.30 and I’m an hour late. Oh.
Okay, well how else can I get to Corfu Town? Walk up that unbelievably steep hill and wait for the island bus at the stop? Okay… Good thing I was carrying a backpack instead of my usual roller suitcase. So I begun up the hill.
At some point a taxi driver had pulled over and asked if I wanted a ride up the hill. I climbed in. We begun talking and discovered that he was going to Corfu port just as I was and he offered to take me there with him. I said yes. He was a very nice man who was born in Australia and moved to Corfu when he was young because the island is so beautiful. I didn’t tell him I only spent a night here, but I do agree: Corfu is definitely gorgeous. I haven’t been anywhere else in Greece but this island was so green and lush with blue, crystal clear water and such friendly people, it’ll be hard to top as a Greek island I believe.
Anyway, so he dropped me off where I needed to purchase a ticket for the ferry to Sarandë, Albanië, where I bought a ticket on the next ferry at 16.00 that day. As it was still only about 11.00, I started to venture around Corfu Town.
It was touristy. It was quaint and beautiful but it was jam-packed with tourists. There were souvenir shops everywhere and on almost every corner there was a nail salon trying to sell you fish pedicures (you know, the fad where you stick your feet in a bucket of water and little Doctor Fish eat the dead skin off your feet). But, overall, I really did like the old town. It was quaint and reminded me greatly of Italy, which shouldn’t be surprising considering the history of this island.
After adventuring for a bit, I made my way to the port and waited to go through customs and board my ferry to Albanië.
And then we were off!