Well I am back in the old country again. The weather is not bad too---I am pleased about that because it has never been below 85 degrees through the day in Corfu. I didn’t want too big a difference on my return. My tomatoes survived too, thanks to a friend who heard them coughing one day whilst walking his dog. He kindly quenched their thirst and kept an eye on them.
We arrived in Corfu bang on time (my two female companions and I), and after a very smooth flight we were ushered out of the airport towards a very large ‘Mercedes Limo’. The trip to our residence took about fifty minutes, and we were soon entering the air-conditioned ‘Hacienda’ that was to be our home for a while. The view from our large terraced patio was quite incredible, one of the best I have ever had. The Ionian Sea is crystal clear and varies in colour from the two extremities of blue and green---the Albanian mountains a few miles away rise up out of the sea and seem to stretch at far as the eye can see. The sea was the warmest I have ever experienced, and I delighted in swimming in it every day---it being only yards away.
I swear this is true: whilst laying on our sun-beds on the terraces we could stretch out our arms and pluck the most delicious green grapes from the vines. If we exerted ourselves and lent back a little we could pluck equally delicious red grapes. A very short stroll could supply us with Oranges – Lemons – Limes – Olives - Figs or Pomegranates. The fresh lemons were particularly nice in iced tea which we were drinking quite a lot of.
One day, the resident cat which had been eating quite well since our arrival, presented us with a snake. The snake which we later found out was a ‘viper’ is very dangerous and was very much alive. We coaxed the cat away with a tit-bit and the snake seemed quite happy to tootle off home.
One evening we had the most spectacular thunder storm. It started in the Albanian mountains and we could watch the developing spectacle whilst lying in the sun and looking out over the sea. It gradually got louder and darker (it took about three hours to reach us). The thunder and lightning were instantaneous---the lightning was both sheet and forked, and it lit the whole place up like daytime. We were eating out that night and the torrential rain delayed our meal by an hour or so. The thunder really shook the foundations, and the locals told us it was the worst storm they have ever experienced. It was certainly the best I have ever seen.
The walks were truly delightful; we could walk past the Rothschild estate with towering Eucalyptus trees forming an incredible avenue down to a deserted beautiful beach. Or if we turned the other way we could follow a cliff path which gave wonderful views not only of the sea, boats and coves, but also of lovely birds and butterflies. It was on one of these cliff walks that I met a hospital consultant from England---we had an interesting talk about publishing, He was writing a book and wanted to go down the path of self publishing---I hope what I told him was helpful.
On another day I met a German guy who was a high court judge. His English was about as good as my German so we ended up with a bi-lingual conversation. I had spent quite a bit of time in Bavaria, an area of Germany which he liked very much. He was a charming guy and we spent a good half hour together talking and looking out over the wonderful views. I didn’t mention the war (well, only once) but I think I got away with it.
We realised (my two female companions and I) how fortunate we were to be in this most charming of places. It is described by the locals as "the place where the rich English come to holiday"; I know it could set you back a fair old wedge of spondoolies to stay around these parts for any length of time. I would describe it as the nearest place to my idea of paradise that I have ever been to.
I did see Lord Rothschild riding around his estate on a four wheeled thingy---but I didn’t get to meet him. I did however meet regularly with a member of his staff who told me that his boss was a great guy.
We were driven back to the airport in the same luxurious Mercedes limo that brought us here and had an uneventful flight back to Robin Hood Airport.
So that’s my summer roving done for this year, I am going to another Island next week---the ‘Isle of Arran’ in Scotland, another beautiful Island, but in a totally different way to Corfu.