Corfu – After Action Review

It’s probably best to read the Corfu blog postings in chronological order, for which you’ll need to scroll right down.

What did we learn or get out of our visit to Corfu? Lots of things.

1. The best value water comes from the little grocery shops out of the main tourist roads.

2. It is possible to learn how to read Greek. This does not mean understanding all the words, but deciphering the Greek alphabet to read the street names is possible. A physics degree helps.

3. For the first week, I drank beer with meals and Diana a soft drink. Corfu Beer company does four varieties: pilsner, IPA, red, dark, and they are all worth drinking. But then we discovered the restaurants all do a half litre carafe of local house wine, whether it’s on the wine list or not, and that was a tidy amount for us to share, for just about the price of a beer and an orange juice.

4. Don’t forget insect repellent and your favourite anti-histamine tablets, because the insects are invisible and ferocious. The local pharmacies are helpful, but might not have what you want (in my case, I sorely missed Piriton tablets).

5. A €5 all-day bus ticket can get you to a lot of places within 20 or 30 miles of Corfu Town.

6. The Achilleion Palace is just about worth a visit, but don’t knock yourself out.

7. Corfu coach drivers have miraculous superpowers that enable them to get round hairpin bends and through village streets that are clearly too narrow.

8. The best food we had was in a small cafe in the food market (magnificent whitebait) and a small – so small it didn’t have space inside to make desserts – pavement cafe outside the catholic cathedral (great souvlaki). About €20 (£15) for two including drinks. And you could get a lunch of pies and filled pittas for under €10 at our favourite bakery.

9. Shared use roads work. All the roads in the centre of Corfu Old Town are paved and all are used equally by pedestrians, cycles, motorcycles and cars. We never heard any impatient honking at slow-moving pedestrians, and pedestrians never stood long in the way of motor vehicles. I felt safer on the shared use roads than on the pedestrian crossings on the major roads round the outside. You just got to be tolerant and show respect.

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