We left Vienna in the evening and started the trip with a glass of wine at the airport. Always the best way to begin a vacation.
Once in Corfu we got a cab to the Hotel Atlantis which is right across from the ferry terminal. I don’t know if we got overcharged with the cab because there was no taximeter but we paid 15 euros ‘fixed’ rate from the airport for a three kilometer ride. Probably our fault because inside the terminal was a stall for ‘Corfu taxi’ where we would have gotten at least a receipt. The Greek economy will never get back on track as long as tourists don’t insist on their receipts (mea culpa too).
We checked into our hotel, went up to our room and came down right away to watch Austria play against Portugal in the Euro. Not that there was much to see, we played nil-nil against Portugal. In hindsight we can say at least that we played quite well against the future European Champion which was an achievement especially since we came in last in our group.
By midnight we were in bed but sleep eluded me. The Hotel Atlantis has the advantage of being right across from the domestic ferry but it is also on the main road. With the balcony door open it felt as if the cars and motorbikes drove right through our room.
Eventually all nightmares come to an end and the alarm rang. Our ferry left at 8:30 and with ample time to drink a coffee we started in the day. Just to sit outside and look at the sea even though it was the local ferry port had the vacation feeling to it. It might have helped that we were short-sleeved despite it being overcast. Definitely have to think about a retirement plan and how I will finance a move down south. Warm weather just means so much more lust for life.
When we arrived at the port of Gaios, we exited the boat and waited for our host Villy to show up. She had perfect timing because she arrived the moment we got our luggage out of the holding. Villy is owner of the Pithari Cottage which was going to be our home for the next week.
Our little cottage was right beside her house, divided by man-high walls and a garden door which created the feeling of a little oasis in the ‘city’. City of course might be a bit much since the island only has 25km² and 3000 people who live here. With the tourists in summer there are of course a lot more.
Our home for the next six days was perfect. A bedroom with an enclosed bathroom, a small sitting room with a tv and an entrance that also a had small kitchenette installed. Including the secluded garden we were in heaven.
Since the weather was not working in our favor (a bit overcast with sprinkles of rain) we decided to explore the city. We were really smack dab in the middle and by walking around we already made a mental decision on where to eat in the next days. First we found the perfect spot for coffee and fresh OJ right at the waterfront watching the boats mooring.
After that we explored our town including the local church and cemetery. That was not such a long task since it consists mostly of a really long water front (also the way back to the ferry) and a couple of restaurants, bars and shops.
Eventually we sat down for lunch (not a place we wanted to come back to) and some wine (we were on vacation after all) and then headed back to our small cottage. Even though it was still overcast we wanted to try to find the beaches within walking distance.
It turned out that all beaches right around Gaios are either large pebble beaches or flat rocks. Eventually we settled on the flat rocks, spent a couple of hours dozing and walked home again.
We came back to the cottage and newly motivated after an afternoon in the bikini we did a 15 minute workout (it promised almost instant results which is not true) and a four-minute arm session from Tracy Anderson. Since we hadn’t arrived in perfect shape we wanted to achieve the impossible (didn’t work out that way).
After a long shower I started my evening with a well deserved beer in our garden and then we headed for the fish restaurant around the corner. Already at lunch we had noticed that Paxos offered a lot of pizza and pasta. We decided that we would of course eat only Greek food not knowing at first the Italian influence is part of the island’s heritage. The Greek salad here was perfect (at lunch it came out of the fridge and was tasteless), also the wild greens (if a tad earth flavored) but the octopus and the stuffed squid had been too long on the BBQ. Nevermind, we finished it all.
We found consolation at the main square in form of a chocolate crepe with strawberries and good football games. We had an exquisite seat with a view on a screen and tv and therefore saw both group games (in the last round) at the same time. Yours, Pollybert