Saturday, 30 June 2012

Mr Grigg pulls a rabbit out of a bread basket

Colourfully-clad tourists climb aboard The Christina, a tripper boat next to us in Gaios, Paxos.

We are safely moored, rather conveniently outside the ice cream shop, after two attempts. On the second, one of The Christina's crew, from the safety of a white plastic chair on the deck, looks down on us and shouts: 'Malakas.'

It is not a nice word and, translated, rhymes with 'anchor'.

Indignant, I turn and shout: 'Never mind malakas, why don't you stop laughing and come down and give us a hand with the ropes?'

Much to my surprise, he does just that and grins a toothless smile as we thank him for helping us in.

Two ice creams and a shower later and Corfu Bluesman and his good lady wife come aboard for a sundowner before we venture out for a meal.

We are moored in front of the most wonderful building, which has fallen into increasing decay since we've been coming here.

We head for a restaurant and have probably the most disappointing meal of this trip.

The entertainment, however, is stunning.

In the morning, we are woken by a gaggle of Gaios geese.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x

Monday, 25 June 2012

Greece needs your vote

And the sands at Sidari are soft and so deliciously hot.

It makes my toes tingle.

The water is warm and the shallows go on forever. Looking around the beach, it is very quiet. It should be busier this time of year and we usually avoid this seaside resort, with its karaoke bars and kiss-me-slowly-slowly hats.

But this is Corfu, Greece, and the British media has been having a month of field days, encouraging people to stay away.

Don't believe everything you read.

A notable exception is this story on the front page of the Daily Telegraph travel section.

The Greek islands need us. They need you. There is sunshine, beauty, culture, food and, most of all, the hospitality of the Greek people.

So we visit our friends in the north, at our favourite restaurant, The Three Brothers at Astrakeri, where we feast on octopus in red sauce, hake with garlic mash and fresh vegetables from the garden. We watch an agonising football match and cheer and cry with the locals. It is too much to hope for, a win against Germany in the Euro 2012 tournament. It is such a politically symbolic match. The Germans win 4-2 and Angela Merkel applauds.

You could hear a souvlaki skewer drop.

And then, the next day, we are on our way, after being serenaded by our friend, Jiannis, who has a piano in the corner of his office.

'I would really like a small grand piano,' he says, as he plays One Man's Dream by his hero, Yanni, another self-taught pianist.

And we, the impossible romantics that we are, vow to bring him one, the next time we drive down to Greece. Which could be sooner than we think.

So we pick up te boat and head for the mainland for an appointment with England against Spain.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x