I fell in love with Corfu Greece, before ever sitting foot on the little island, in the Ionian Sea. It is situated along the coast of Albania and mainland Greece, with Italy to the west. The “Durrells in Corfu,” series on Masterpiece Theatre prompted this love. I later learned the James Bond movie, “For Your Eyes Only,” was also filmed there. Shows and movies, nearly always open your eyes up to known and unknown destinations. Once landing on Corfu, after a short flight from Rome, we made our way over to pick up the rental car. Usually Europcar allows you to use your own insurance, whether through your insurance company, if they allow it, or a credit card that offers that amenity. So we were at a lost when the representative asked for a 3000 euro deposit. After much discussion from my frustrated travel companion, they finally pointed out if we had used their insurance, we would not need to put down the large deposit. Why didn’t they point this out in the first place?! After all this, we set out to find our rental with Airbnb in a little red car.
After locating our host in the area he mentioned, he hopped in our car to show us where we could park for only 3 euro for twenty four hours. We then walked to our lovely apartment. Our host was kind and helpful. You can find the place on Airbnb.com under the name, Sweet Home in Corfu Old town. Our host Alexander left us a map of the island, with ideas of places to see. We made a plan to visit several beaches the next day. The island is easy to explore by car. There are mountain views, olive groves, and vineyards. Be sure to visit Alexander’s store called The Olive Store; easily reached on foot near the apartment.
The food in Greece is exceptionally good, and beyond reasonably priced. Sofrito, and Pastitsada are traditional dishes of Corfu. The kumquat is the fruit of the island. It is sold as a fruit, or in the form of a liquor.
The writer Lawrence Durrell, who called Corfu his home during the 1930’s, gives a colorful account of his time in Corfu, in his book “Prospero’s Cell.’ Gerald Durrell, his brother wrote of his time there in “My Family and Other Animals.” Both gave a basis for the “The Durrell’s in Corfu.” Part of the filming is in the replica of a town from the 1930’s, called Danilla. The site can be toured after contacting the Grecotel Hotel and Resort, as they are the owners of the mock village. We were lucky enough to have a tour of our own there. After arriving to find the place closed, a car pulled up. I asked the man driving about tours. He said they are only on certain days. I told him about the show being the reason I came to Corfu. He offered for us to come in and take a look. We walked through the set, and though I was the only one who had seen the show, and was thrilled to be having this experience, my travel campanions decided this was truly a treat. We sat at the tables, of pretend cafes. We saw the fire pump used in one of the episodes, when Larry and Leslie Durrell decided they wanted to be firefighters. As we left, I told our host he had made my trip special by allowing us to visit. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/shows/the-durrells-in-corfu/
Corfu has been influenced by the English, the Venetians and the French, but still holds on to its Greek roots. https://www.greecetravel.com/corfu/history.html The Venetian Fortress is worth a visit at the edge of the sea in Corfu Town, also called Kerkyra. https://www.corfu-kerkyra.eu/en/fortresses-corfu.php At the top you can see a good portion of the Island, including the airport. The Barren Mountains of Albania, just across the water, blend into the sea and sky, giving the image of a watercolor painting. Prince Philip of England was born on Corfu. His home Mon Repos Palace will have to be on the list for my next visit there. We did take a little tour train through Corfu Town for 8 Euro, as the day met dusk. Life on Corfu is peaceful, but there is a nightlife. Partygoers making their way home after dancing in a club that night, could be seen at 4 am the next morning, as we rolled our suitcases across the quiet streets toward the car, for an early flight to Athens.
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