The ancient, wild, potent island of Corfu. A ferry ride across the Adriatic from Albania, a quick stop for us between one adventure and home. We travelled to Corfu for the airport, but fell in love with it’s architecture and the local foods, extending our stay by a couple of hours by opting for a cab instead of a bus at the last minute. In the brief amount of time that we spent there, I remembered how much I love Greece.
From my notes:
We woke up early to run one last time along the coast of Sarandë before we needed to leave Albania; this time, we ran in the opposite direction toward the port, and it was an entirely different world. We hadn’t realized that there was a boardwalk with restaurants and souvenir stands on this end of the street – it definitely was a more active part of town, but there was no more time to explore. Our time in Albania we over. We quickly packed and prepared to leave by 9:00 am, since we needed to return the rental car. This, to be honest, was an absolute nightmare. At the time, all of the roads to the port were closed, our maps couldn’t navigate around the closed roads, and no one spoke English enough to help us. It was so, so, so stressful, especially knowing that we had a ferry to catch, but finally, the rental car company told us just to stop on the side of the road and that they would find us, which was such a relief. After that ordeal was over, we walked to the port, bought our tickets, and finally boarded the 10:30 am ferry to Corfu. Surprisingly, the boat was so old and dingy with no clear windows. It was a bit disappointing having no view, but at that point, we were simply happy to have made it on time.
After we arrived in Corfu’s new port about 40 minutes later, we walked toward the direction of the Old Town, and paid to leave our luggage along the way, before stopping for lunch at a small place across from the water for tzatiki, a local potato/garlic sauce, rose wine, octopus in vinegar, and a gyro. And then, we wandered for three hours. We stopped for coffee (frappes – my first) and for the local Kumquat liquor (so good – we bought some to take home duty free). It was a typical tourist village, full of food and shops. I stopped to buy a pair of leather sandals at one point, since I knew I needed a new pair for the summer. We chatted with the shopkeeper for a bit, a really nice girl from Athens, studying in Corfu. Later, I talked with another shopkeeper, this one selling Turkish cotton products, and purchased one of her drawstring bags that I loved. She was also so nice; I remember her very interesting accent. She said she studied English in Scotland, but was born in Corfu.
It started to rain in the late afternoon, but we decided to skip the 5:20 bus and stay a little longer, which ended up being a great decision, because we found a hidden Greek yogurt shop and ate the BEST local yogurt with honey, kumquat, pistachio, and walnuts. After that, we were satisfied enough to walk back and retrieve our bags to head to the airport for our 8:40 pm flight. It was all very easy from there, especially compared to our earlier trials in Albania. We took a cab to the airport, and sat our front drinking the last of our bottle of Albanian brandy until the gate opened at 6:30 pm. Then, flight to London, no line at Stansted immigration, a 10:27 pm train, and home by 11:30 pm. It was a wonderful end to a wonderful (and exhausting) whirlwind of adventure.
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