Adventurous Corfu


...because sunny weather is for amateurs

“Hey, N. Back, did you see the weather forecast?! It is going to rain cats and dogs and we are still flying to Corfu!?”
“P. Pack, no worries, sunny weather is for amateur travellers and we are pros! Pack yourself the waterproof cover and don’t complain that I did not remind you!”

We are about to land in Corfu, but the weather is really bad. The whole week there were heavy rains, some roads are destroyed and people were evacuated. Is this really the right place to spend a holiday weekend?! Well, at least we managed to land relatively gentle and nobody had to run to the toilet or use the “special bag”. So, let the weekend begin!

We booked a relatively cheap (but good) hotel in Gouvia (Gouvia Hotel – check rates here), but it was well situated in the middle of the island and perfect for our adventurous plans. Arriving on Friday evening with a taxi directly from Corfu Airport “Ioannis Kapodistrias”, it took us only 20 minutes and 25 € to get to our hotel in Gouvia. Since all went smooth, we wanted to take a quick look around the neighbourhood. A dark Corfu beer in “O2 Old School Rock Bar” was the perfect excuse to bring our oldies (Philipp & Nelly) out.

beer and chips
The next morning, we headed directly to the “Kontokali Bicycles Corfu”, where we had reserved bikes for the day. Our goal was the “Paleokastritsa Beach”, with a quick stop at the “Donkey Rescue Centre”. The road we chose was 3rd class and in some parts still wet and destroyed from the storm. However, it still was a very good choice, since there were no cars and we could enjoy the landscape. Reaching the donkey centre was not that easy though, because sometimes we needed to get off the bike and push to avoid flooded streets. The centre is financed through donations, so the first thing we did on arrival was to give our contribution. Then the fun began. First we started by greeting all the friendly cats that live there (yep, it’s not just donkeys they take care of at that place). One of them decided that P. Pack looks quite comfy and tried to directly get into the backpack! But P. Pack was neatly closed and so the cat decided to just lie on top, while the rest of us laughed at the screams from Philipp. It was something like “Help! Help! Do something!! I have a cat on my back!!!”
cat on Philipps back
After meeting the cats the next step was getting to know the donkeys. Some were very shy and some very curious. But they all looked well cared and happy. Most of them had a hard life and deserve a relaxing retirement. One old donkey lady was particularly cute and melted our hearts. She was already very old and blind. Walking around slowly, she did not want to eat anymore. The caring personal told us, she gets very quiet and is used to the permanent darkness that has settled in her life, but they still try their best to make her eat. She was such a gentle creature and we would support that centre with all the power we have. Either with donations or with the power of words.

If you have the chance to be on Corfu, take your time and go and visit the centre. Even a small donation of a few euro is already sufficient and everyone can really make a difference!

Visit the official website here: Donkey Rescue Centre Corfu

Although the visit was very remarkable, we needed to hit the road again. From the Donkey Rescue Centre we took the direction to the beach, but as usually, plans are made to be ruined, and we had an unexpected incident. B. Backs bike broke in the middle of nowhere! Thanks to Google Maps and GPS we found out our position and called the bike company to replace the broken bike. While Philipp and Nelly were making a fuss, we enjoyed the break with the first sunshine of the day. It did not take long and we were on the road again. Big shoutout to Kontokali Bicycles Corfu for a quick and easy replacement!

The plan had to be adapted though. There was no longer time for visiting the beach and we had to rush, because our wine tasting appointment was about to start. We visited the “Theotoky Estate”, which is the first organic winery on the island. Poet “El Greco” (Domenico Theotokopoulos) is a descendent of the Theotoky family.

Nelly tasting wine corfu

The wine tasting experience is described in detail in our Gusto section, do not miss it! We might be backpacks, but we know when the wine is good!

The way home on bikes was a lot of fun. Not because it was easy, but because Philipp and Nelly were tipsy. Please kids, never drink and bike!

Spoiler alert: Nothing happened, all was safe and no one was injured, nothing was destroyed 😉

Biking through the hilly Corfu worked well on our sobering process. We saw at some hilly side at the road a sheep flock. It seemed like we were in a fairytale. The sun was settling down, the birds were singing and the sheep were gazing the newly grown grass. What an idyllic picture, until Nelly ruined it all. She said “Philipp, you know, usually, when there are sheep, there are also…” At this very moment two colossal white monster dogs barked at us with all their might. We literally saw Philipp and Nelly shitting their pants. Running away pushing the bikes (it was a steep, rocky road, riding the bikes was not possible), chased by the two big monsters was not anticipated, but we had to do our best and get some distance. Being horror-struck, but alive, showed us that those dogs were just doing their job, namely protecting the flock.
Still shaking, but grateful for being alive and in one piece we took our owners and biked away to return the bikes and have some time to recover.

The next morning was as rainy and dark as expected, so the adventure was set anew. Taking the bus to Corfu town was another hurdle on our trip. But once we managed to get to the Corfu City Bus station in Corfu town, we felt safe and dry to give the towns sights a chance. The direction towards the old fortress of Corfu lead us through the Spianada Music Pavilion and the Ioannis Kapodistrias statue, where one can relax on a bench and enjoy the amazing view of the bay and the fortress.

As John A. Shedd had once said: “A ship in harbour is safe, but that’s not why ships were built.“, the same is our mantra about travelling. It does not always go as planned, but there is always plenty to remember!

Be safe and do not worry too much! Open your heart and eyes to feel and see the beauty, Greece has to offer you!

N. Back & P. Pack

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