Sunday, 23 December 2007

Merry Christmas!

A Christmas flower...

There's a whole Christmas flower tree below my balcony.

One day left for Christmas and Corfu is full of sunshine!
The weather forecast predicted rain but no, here it is spring time! But you never know! Tomorrow it may rain though there isn't a single cloud in the sky.

If you stroll along Garitsa bay and look at the horizon, you will see the mountain peaks of the Greek mainland and Albania covered in snow. That's why it is cold at night. But the sky is blue, the sea is blue and the birds are singing! That's why I love Corfu. It's a small paradise but some people still haven't realised that. They ruin things. Like those who broke into a small monastery on the 22nd of December and stole a couple of holy items such as the Bible (Evaggelio), which is 200 years old, the holy Cup and other church things.

The monastery of Ayios Noufris is administered by the villages of Ano Korakiana, Skripero, Gardelades and Doukades.

The villagers beg those who have taken these items to give them back.

Those who know something about this incident, to report it to the police.

The police are investigating this case and hopefully they will find the holy items.
It is the citizens' responsibility to care for their possessions and deeds like that should not be allowed in our community.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

ART at Kassiopi village!

Corfu and Food

Corfu Paintings, 3 The Square,



I was recently given an invitation to an Art Gallery at Kassiopi village, on the north of Corfu. As I wasn't able to go there in person, I visited the site, and here's what I found out:

The site is

The first artist is Richard Hewlett, and he is the one who owns the site. The second artist is Chris Stephens and I can only see his paintings on the small card I've got. Both use vivid colors and feel what they see-this is clear from the way they paint.

I can't actually tell much as I can only see Richard's paintings online, but it is clear that he likes colorful images and uses bright and impressive colors. I would say he paints the joy of living in the countryside, that's what comes to me when I look at his paintings. The houses with the red tiled roofs are a typical characteristic of the Corfiot villages and he has certainly succeeded in

depicting the small village of Petalia (see above) which is a very poor, yet full of colors village perched on the mountain of Pantokrator. I've been there many times.

Chris, on the other hand,has got a different style. I would like to see more of his paintings to form a view though. Maybe, next time I have a trip to Kassiopi!

Richard runs painting classes both for individuals and groups, so if you are interested, email him. You can find his email on his site at

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Korakiana village


View from the yard of the church of Ayios Thanasis.

The village of Ano Korakiana, in the distance, looks like it is embraced by the mounts Korakio and Korendi that are located in the north-central Corfu and are 18 kilometers away from the town of Corfu.

The inhabited area of the village maintains a lot of traditional aspects from medieval times, and still shows resistance to the time and pressure of the modern lifestyle. However, the houses and the natural environment of a place are not the only aspects that define it. The people living in it are those who actually leave their indelible mark on it.

Today, the decrease in the village population is evident, despite the settlement, either temporary or permanent, of foreign families. As a result, a village that has got a dynamic presence, is within easy reach of Corfu town and other areas, is near the developed tourist resort of Dassia-Ipsos, starts getting affected by the modern trend of urbanization. The only hope that remains is the activation of some clubs and organizations such as the historic Music Association ‘SPIROS SAMARAS’, as well as the new generation of youths who choose to settle down here, thus going against the grain.

Since 1998, the areas of Ano Korakiana and Poulades (which is a few kilometers away) have been the public district of Ano Korakiana of Feakon Municipality.

Through history, Korakiana had the same fate as the rest of Corfu. However, at two historic moments of Corfu, Korakiana was severely damaged and its population decreased considerably. The first (and the worst) was in 1537, when the Turkish army of Highredin Barbarossa destroyed Korakiana. The second was in 1716 when he attacked the village for a second time.

The population of the village was renewed many times due to the settlement of people from other areas of Greece that were under foreign occupation (Aegean islands, Crete, Peloponissos).

A large part of the village population, right after 1204, came from the seaside towns of Small Asia and Thrace, while during the Venetian occupation, from the Aegean islands, Peloponissos and Epirus.

The oldest families still existing in Korakiana are those listed below:
Savvanis (since 1473), Vradis, Mandilas, Ionas, Markos, Metallinos, Laskaris, kaloudis, Linosporis, Reggis, Balatsinos, and finally, Kendarchos and Kefallonitis during the first half of the 16th century.

The village has got a considerable number of churches. There are 28 churches in the district of Ano Korakiana.

During the English ‘protectorate’ many local residents boomed in Corfu town working as owners (or workers) of bakeries, but generally, thrived in trade and are still keeping it up till now. This economic booming brought along spiritual and educational growth, thus many children started following careers in education or science all over Corfu, as well as in the rest of Greece after the union with the mainland.

Korakiana was also affected by this educational booming and the high educational level of its people is still prevalent in cultural and other types of celebrations of the village.

This is an image of the village after the Second World War, while its roots date many decades back, when the idea of illumination fertilized the village society.

[The above text is a translation of an extract located in the Greek site of Korakiana at]

Monday, 19 November 2007

Art Exhibition in Corfu

Four Corfiot painters displayed their work last week at the Corfiot Gallery of the island. The exhibition is open from 9:00 to 14:00 and 18:00 to 21:00 from Monday to Friday and from 9:00 to 14:00 on Saturdays.

The Painters
Stamatis Anthis was born in Corfu in 1972 and studied painting at the Art school of Corfu. Yolanda Anthi was born in Corfu in 1974 and studied at the Art school of Corfu too. She then moved to Italy where she studied Decoration and Preservation of stone art. Elena Soueref studied at the Art school of Corfu and then at Vacalo school in Athens where she studied graphic design. Spyridoula Zahou studied at the Art school of Corfu and she excelled at icon painting.

All of them displayed works in several media such as oil, acrylic and mixed media. The portraits of Yolanda were impressive and one can easily see that she was influenced by the Italian schools of Art.

Stamatis’ works are highly original and the use of bright colors is a positive aspect of his work. We can see that he is fond of the sea world, and the boats and underwater creatures he paints are vivid and cororlul.

Elena likes the detail in her paintings. Her boats are carefully drawn to the slightest detail and the colors she uses are either romantic or striking.

Spyridoula has studied graphic design and this is obvious from the shapes and colors of her paintings. Strong strokes and harsh lines at times motivate the viewer to find the underlying meaning of each work of art. However, she has painted classic forms as well but her strength is in the brilliant colors and strong forms.

Corfiot Gallery
I.Theotoki 77

Tuesday, 6 November 2007


Here's a picture of the lower square. There's a cricket match in progress.

Sports in Corfu

Sports in Corfu

Do you have some leisure time?
Would you like to get involved in a sport?
Easy! Just stroll to the square and join the cricket club of Corfu.

Cricket has been recognized by the Greek government as the national sport of Corfu as it has been played on the island since the 19th century, when the British introduced this game to the inhabitants. The cricket pitch is located in the lower square of Corfu town, on the Esplanade, amidst the green and the magnificent architecture around it. Matches take place mostly in the summer when foreign teams arrive on the island. If you would like to contact the local team, call 26610 47754, which is the phone number of the Greek Federation f Cricket.

How about tennis?
This is also a local game with tradition. There are many tennis clubs on the island , but the oldest one is situated in Corfu town, at Romanou Street, within walking distance from the Archaeological Museum. This one has got 4 tennis courts. You can choose to play at night as well, as there are floodlights inside. You can also play tennis at a hotel since most of them have got a tennis court. Contact the Corfiot tennis club at 26610 46430.

Golf is also popular here.
You can play golf at some hotels, the best being the one at the area near Vatos village.
Ask the hotel you are staying at for further information on golf facilities.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Ballet issues-a Corfiot's point of view

The old castle.

This is the entrance.

Mourayia place, on the way to the old port of the town.

A romantic road in the old town.

Garitsa bay, the promenade.

Today, I display an extract from Aggelina's blog. Aggelina is a ballet dancer and a student at the Open University. She is young and gifted and I think you would like to know how she works.

"Another day spent struggling with the kids in the dance studios.
One could divide the ballet education in 8 levels. Provided a child starts the proper training at the age of 10, it has the potential to become a professional dancer at the age of 18. Academies usually prepare the children for the first level, with pre-ballet courses taken one or two years before the age of 10.

Right now I teach “babies” around 5 years old the basics along with creative dance games. This is a very fun process and although I really hated being with children at first, now I have come to enjoy it tremendously. You can see the fascination and pure joy in their eyes when they dance. I have also come to the conclusion that they are much more able of learning and performing complex combinations than what I was taught during my education. The kids are doing fine and will do much better in the future.

I also have a level 1 class to teach. They have had some elementary training in ballet but still lack some very fundamental elements. The good thing with them is that they do listen to me, and I am able to reason with them in order to lead them to the result I wish. Kids at the age of 10-12 are very intelligent.

The problem is with a strange class I took over. It’s not really a baby-class but its also not 1st level. They have been described to me as something in between, but they cannot do anything. I struggle with them throughout the hour to teach the discipline. To teach them that during this one hour that we train, they have to focus and give 100% of their attention and strength to whatever we practice. It is a very arduous process. Some children lack self-confidence and are very sensitive. I might appear somewhat frightening to them. Others try but are unable to co-ordinate their body and their thoughts.

Ballet is about discipline. It might look ethereal but the whole truth behind it is one of great (self)discipline and concentration. Personally I hate amateur schools of ballet, because they commercialize dance and do not teach the discipline and abilities required to be a dancer. And yet not every child wants to pursue the career of a ballerina. I remember when I was about their age, my teachers where much more strict and abrupt. They were older than me and required extreme discipline in class. They achieved that through fear. They managed to spread a cloud of fear for them among the children. Maybe due to my early training in discipline, I have been able to maintain and hold this discipline throughout all my years of classical training. The importance of it is vital and yet I am not “willing” (though I might be able) to “force” this among kids. I am currently in search of a way to discipline them through reason and common sense. I believe in their intelligence and as soon they start gaining confidence in their abilities, I am sure they will adapt.

It also strikes me as sad, the fact that some kids have so low self-esteem. I do not know the roots of this problem but as a ballet teacher, I would like to teach them the confidence, to present themselves in front of an audience, either dancing or talking in a certain and beautiful manner. Shouldn’t that be a task of the parents or school teachers to perform? It is something in the traditional Greek families that over-protects children to the point of them not being able to do things on their own and trust themselves. It could also be a problem at schools, when the teachers do not treat every child differently according to each individuality and personality. I have always felt inferior as a child, even though my abilities were above normal. That was because my environment did not show the proper trust and belief in me, the proper recognition of my abilities. Kids are not just kids… they can start and learn to achieve great things. And this is going to be my goal.

Learn more by visiting Aggelina at

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Cultural News


Do you play chess?

Yesterday was the last day of the chess tournament in Corfu town. It took place at the conference centre at Faliraki, a romantic place by the sea with view to Vido island.
The chess festival was organised by the local authorities in cooperation with chess related parties.

Chess games took place on a daily basis from 15.00 to 22.00 in the evening. It lasted for 10 days and involved the following:

An International open tournament
A Grant Maitre tournament
A touristic tournament and
a Rapid tournament.

More information and pictures from Aggelina's blog (in Greek) at

and from Bill's site at


The new book titled 'I won't Cry' by the Corfiot author Liana Vrahlioti is going to be presented at the library of Lefkimi this Saturday, 13th of October at 7 pm.


The dance school of Jenny Theotoki will perform tonight at 20:30 at the Municipal Theatre of Corfu. The funds will be contributed to Floga organization that cares for children with cancer.
Ticket price: 8 euros.


At ORFEAS cinema tonight

the film Hairspray

with John Travolta, Michel Pheifer, Christofer Waken.

An American movie telling the story of Tracy, a fat girl, who tries to take part in the Corny Collins Show. The story is set in 1962, and the director is Adam Sankman.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Nuts-the special ones!

A Greek bio product

Did you know that pistachio grows on a Greek island? And that is the best quality of all other nuts since it is a bio product?

Aegina island produces pistachio, the most popular nut in Greece (and the most expensive and tastier) that has got a special unique taste. It is also a bio product!

Looking back to the 19th century, these special trees, pistachio trees, were not planted in Greece. Only in Aegina island this special tree finds the moisture it needs to grow. The soil is composed of clay, the substance clay pots are made of, so the water runs through it. The soil remains dry despite the amount of water found and that is the reason this nut is so delicious!

What affects the taste of the nut?
1. It’s proximity to the sea.
2. The dry environment.
3. The small size of the trees.
4. The low level of humidity-even at night.
5. The composure of the soil.

The crop is ready in August. They gather the nuts by spreading nets under the trees and shaking the branches with a stick. Then, a machine sorts out the nuts peels them and discards the bad ones. Next, the nuts are washed and are spread under the sun for 3-4 days to dry. Some farmers use a machine to dry them. When ready, they are put into bags and placed into the freezer for 3 days to kill the insects that may have remained alive. In there they can be preserved for up to 2 years. This bio product has no chemicals-just sea salt and real lemon juice on it!

Where can you find pistachio in Corfu?

Certainly in all big stores! Supermarkets have many varieties as well as coffee shops.
Try Demetra markets or Sconto markets all over the island.

For more information go to Aegina

Sunday, 23 September 2007

The square

Here is the square, the peristilion and the chestnut trees.

A stroll at the square

Strolling along the upper square of Corfu can be a unique experience. Just take some time to look around, to admire the view at Garitsa bay, and further on, the old castle. Everything around is green and relaxing.

Take a look at Peristilion, an ancient water tank, which is at the top end of the square. It used to be accessible but since the people started ruining it, the Mayor built an iron fence around it to preserve it. When I was little I used to play there with my friends. We played hide and seek behind the columns and wondered what was inside the locked door. They said it was a huge well with water. Then some kids started drawing on the wall and so the damage started. The restoration took place last year and now it is one of the best well-preserved sights in town.

The square is full of chestnut trees, acacias and tilia/lime trees. Chestnut trees (Kastanies in Greek) drop wild chestnuts (kastana) on the ground and kids pick them up. I also loved picking up chestnuts and carrying them home. I still have one of them which is very old and is hanging from a chain. September is the month for mature chestnuts.

Tilia flowers bloom in spring and their aroma is so strong that it spreads all over the square. The flowers come out in groups and are yellowish. Tilia is a herb that when dried and drank, relaxes the mind. In Greek we call it TILIO

Saturday, 15 September 2007


Do you drink wine?

Learn about it.

Just a little bit of everything you need to know about wine, how they taste it and how you can tell the wine you drink is good!

Myths and Truth

Don’t drink wine on an empty stomach. You get drunk fast!

---Did you know that olive oil helps? You don't get drunk that fast if you eat a nice salad with olive oil dressing.

---Take care! Too much wine causes dehydration.

The wine ‘over the counter’ is never as good as the bottled one.

---No one controls unbottled wine. There is no product name and no responsibility!

---Bottled wine is safer.

If you mix different kinds of wine you get drunk.

---Not true. It depends on the amount of the alcohol you drink. But if you mix different products such as wine (grapes) and vodka (potato), you get drunk.


How to choose the right wine

When does a bottle of wine is not drinkable?

1. Examine the cork: problems at the cork result in a characteristic bad smell. That is not dangerous for your health though.

2. Acidosis: If air penetrates inside, the wine gets spoilt.

Some wines become better when they are left to mature in barrels or in their bottles. Most wines need 2 to 4 years to mature.


Get a glass of wine. Follow the 3 steps below:

Look at it.

Smell it.

Taste it.

Ask yourself:

  1. Is it clear enough to see through it?
  2. Is the aroma pleasant?
  3. Is the taste sweet, bitter or dry?


This Greek traditional wine, dates back to 3000 years, to Ancient Greeks!

This is a unique Greek product. To make it, they add to the white wine retina from pine trees.


South Greece

Petritis Chysohoou, Naousa

Simeonidis Wines

Kavala-olive grove village


Thursday, 6 September 2007

Mount of God

Mount of God, Pandokrator for the local people, is the tallest peak on the green island of Kerkyra (Corfu for the non Greek), and is situated in the northern part of the Ionian Sea , between the Greek mainland and Albania and Italy. The mountain was named after God, Who is pandokrator, that is to say ,He governs everything.

The myth says that the hospitable Pheakes lived on the island long ago and their kind king Alkinoos had an only daughter, Nafsica, who first met Ulysses, the king of Ithaca, shipwrecked on a beach of the island . There is still his petrified ship to see at Paleokastritsa, a popular area on the west side of Corfu.

The northern part of the island where Pandokrator lies is the richest in green. Mount Of God is 918 meters high and has got a monastery on top dedicated to God the Savior. From up there the visitor can admire a wonderful view to all directions , let alone the marvellous dawn and sunset.

Climbing the mount is easy, as there are roads and paths right to the top and a drive by bike , motor bike or car is feasible. There are numerous villages scattered among the green on the way up and there are vast olive groves in every direction. The scenery is adorned by an abundance of tree variety as well. You can see tall cypress trees, pine trees, oaks and orchards and vineyards in between. There you can feel the smell of wild herbs and flowers lingering in the air.

However, the road upwards is winding and narrow so the traveler should be careful when driving. There are many routes one can follow, depending on the area they want to explore. For walkers, the route, Ipsos, Ayios Markos, Korakiana, Dassia, and back to Ipsos is the most popular and the easiest. Up there you can see nature in its full glory , any time of the year.

One of the most picturesque villages , literary perched on the side of the mount is Ayios Markos. The houses are built on the very edge of the narrow road and overlook vast olive groves that reach the beach of Ipsos beyond. To reach the beach from Ayios Markos you need only 5 to 10 minutes by car or 30 mins brisk walking.

A big village on the side of the mountain is Korakiana, Crow Nest in English. There used to be lots of crows in this village years ago, but nowadays there is a big variety of singing birds around, offering the people a unique melody all the year round.
Korakiana is the perfect village to rent a house or a room or even stay there for good. Some foreign visitors have recently bought real estate at low prices and have built their own houses on the mount. It is worth the money and time spent on a housing project over there if one likes nature and especially the green.

Starting from village Korakiana towards Socraki (top) the route is climbing and has got sharp hairpin bends but it is worth the drive. The scenery below is breathtaking. On the first bend upwards the traveler can visit the tiny old chapel of Ayios Isidoros and can light a candle. The chapel has got a big bell that rings only on the Saint’s name day and in emergencies such as fires. It was built a very long time ago to honor the Saint for saving a cart driver’s life . His cart had fallen over the path but the man was alive. This is an old story the local people still tell one another.

Mount of God is definitely a place for nature lovers and adventure seekers as it combines everything, from healthy living on mount lodgings to extensive nightlife on the beach bars and discos. Fun and sports , such as climbing and sea sports , tasty local cuisine and local drinks are some of the most popular attractions.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

A cake for your heart!

Nowadays, the fear of cholesterol makes us try healthier food and prepare less fatty meals. Cakes have always been most people's favorites, so , a recipe of a lighter cake can be quite popular and no less tasty! I have tried the following recipe and I recommend it to all those who avoid eggs.

Here it is:

The Egg-free cake

A light cake for those who avoid eggs and butter.


¾ -1 cup sugar
½ cup olive oil
1 low fat yoghurt
1 cup semolina (fine)
1-2 cups self-raising flour
1 vanilla essence
11/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 orange(juice)
¼ cup brandy
½ cup sultanas soaked in water
½ cup chopped walnuts
Some olive oil to grease the tin


Mix well sugar and olive oil.
Add yoghurt and semolina .
Add some of the flour and the rest of the ingredients till the mixture is smooth and thick.
Pour into a baking dish previously greased with olive oil.
Bake at 150C for about 45 minutes or until golden.

You can put less sugar or replace it with honey or fructose. Also, you can put chocolate chips (dark chocolate) inside before baking. Dark chocolate is good for the body and has got no cholesterol.
Sometimes I add chopped dried figs and apricots, leaving out sultanas and even nuts. You can create your own recipe! It's fun, give it a try!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Talking about Music

The Melos Brass ensemble was created in 1989 within the framework of the Philippos Nakas conservatory. Its members also belong to the National Symphonic Orchestras of Greece, and as a quintet have established themselves as a formidable presence in the area of brass chamber music, performing concerts in Greece and Europe. In 2003 they established the annual Ionian Summer Music Academy in Corfu, in partnership with the Music Department of the Ionian University and the Municipality of Corfu.

The goal of Melos Brass is to promote brass chamber music by interpreting works from the international repertoire, and to encourage Greek composers to write for brass instruments. A number of contemporary Greek composers have created outstanding works for the ensemble.
"Melos" is the Ancient Greek word for melody.


20 September
Concert in Ilioupolis, Athens. Ilioupolis Municipal Festival

11 November
Concert in Ilioupolis, in memoriam of Yannis Zouganelis (tuba) (Venue soon to be announced)

4-13 December
Tour in Japan

7 December
Concert at Yotsuya Civic Hall, Shinjuku, Tokyo, with the Ochiai Boys and Girls Choir. Conductor, Moriyama Takashi

9 December
Concert and masterclasses at the Tokai University Sagami High School, Kanagawa

10 December
Concert at Yamaha Headquarters, Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka

12 December
Concert and open lessons at the Senjoku Gakuen College of Music

To learn more about the team go to

Thursday, 9 August 2007

A day in the life of a Corfiot

Anastasia runs a bakery. Her shop is located in Corfu town, in Alexandras Avenue. It’s a small bakery but it’s got practically everything a customer would expect and a lot more! Her products include bread and cakes, pies and biscuits of all kinds. She also sells milk and a small range of dairy products as well as soft drinks and water.

Her day starts at 6.00 am. Anastasia has to cook and do some housework before she gets ready to go to her shop, which is just a hundred meters away from her house. She’s got a family and two kids and she also takes care of her elderly mother.

“I have to get up early and start moving around to tidy up and cook” she says.

“My kids are still sleeping when I leave for the shop. I must be there at 7.30, just when my first customer arrives. He is an old man who likes going out early in the morning to do his shopping. The other customers come a bit later on. Nearly the whole neighborhood comes to my bakery to get their fresh bread every day. In Greece we love fresh bread and people buy lots of it.

The best selling product is brown bread, especially the handmade one. It is made in a village stove and is sold very fast. I’ve got a big variety of bread. Some customers like smooth bread, white bread or toast bread. This is soft and suitable for the old who have a problem with their teeth! The fresh croissants vanish in a few hours, kids love them!

I also bring some spinach and cheese pies every morning. Sometimes people want cakes with chocolate or fruit. The apple cake is my favorite. It comes from a village bakery, as well as other homemade cookies and ‘pasta flora’, which is Corfiot pastry filled with jam. At Easter, and then all the months that follow, I sell the traditional ‘fogatsa; which is a Corfiot sweet bread made from eggs, flour and masticha essence, and is puffy and sweet. It can be eaten at breakfast or for dessert at all times.

I close the shop at 4 pm and I go home. I am exhausted by then, I only have something light to eat and go to bed to have a nap. At 6, I do my housework, see my mother and sleep, not later than ten. I sometimes watch some TV, but when I am very tired I just go to bed and sleep. On Saturdays I keep the shop open only till 2 at noon, and then I have a free weekend. But sometimes I have to open the shop in the afternoons to refill it with products. My husband helps whenever he can , but this is my bakery and I love it!”

Friday, 3 August 2007

Are you hungry?

You are tired of walking around the town, so now, the only thing you really want is to find a cosy place to sit down and have a delicious Corfiot meal. That’s easy! There are so many nice places around to have a rest and enjoy a fresh meal at any time of the day, or even at night!

If you are downtown, near the square, the best place to stop by is a good taverna. You can have anything you like, from meat to fish and vegetables, but I suggest fresh fish, which is their specialty. So, the taverna is called BARBAS and is located at the PLATI KADOUNI area, which is a wide side street leading to the square.

You can sit outside, under the plants or inside. See the top picture to get a taste of it.

If you feel like drinking something cool or hot, find CHEVALIER café which is in the same area, PLATI KADOUNI. Cool bar with a cosmopolitan atmosphere, good for every taste.

For a quick meal, why not try a pitta? Popular for all ages, this Greek take away is the perfect meal for hungry kids and …parents! You can get a pitta and go or sit at the pitta center at EMPORIKO, by the new port. You have a view to the sea and enjoy not only fresh pittas but ice cream as well!

You see, you’ve got a lot of choice. You can find the right place for you and your family and enjoy a drink or a meal at reasonable prices. For more information about places to eat and drink, visit the following site and then click on the right red banner called: My Guide.

Enjoy yourself!

Friday, 27 July 2007

Some History


Due to its important geographical position the island is the border between the East and the West. Mythology mentions Pheakes, the first inhabitants of Kerkyra whose hospitality to Ulysses when he shipwrecked on the island was made known through the works of Homer in Odyssey.

Mythology also mentions the myth of Kerkyra, one of the twelve daughters of Assop and his wife, Metopis. Poseidon, the god of the sea, fell in love with her, kidnapped her and brought her to this island to hide her from his wife, Amphitreti. However, Pluto, the god of Addis, envied Poseidon's success, and one night he kidnapped Kerkyra and took her down to Adis, leaving Poseidon their baby, Phaiakas. Therefore, in the years of Ulysses the island was named after him and was called the island of Phaeceans.

The island was also called by the Greek name of ‘drepanon’, because of its shape, and ‘Corfu’, because of the two peaks of mount Pantokrator.

In 734 the island was a Korinthian colony. Herodotus mentions that Kerkyra was at that time the best nautical force after Athens. The fact that Corfu possesses a vital strategic position was certainly a main cause for the island's occupation by various invaders such as Romans, Byzantines, Goths, Venetians, Sicilians and Catalans. Romans took over the island and then the Venetians in 1205.

. In 1537 the Ottomans attacked the island and the Venetian aristocrats ordered the residents to destroy their houses so as the Ottomans will not be able to take shelter and then settle down. It is said that over twenty thousand inhabitants were captured during the siege and then were sent to Istanbul. If the island did not have strong fortification it is certain that it would fall in the hands of the Ottomans who eventually surrendered and withdrew from the island. Later on, additional fortresses were built and the defense of the island was fortified.

Kerkyra remained under the reign of the Venetians until 1797. That year, Napoleon occupied Venice and the island was taken over by the French for the short period of one year. In 1799 the Ottomans occupied Corfu and next, after an agreement Turkey and Russia signed, the island was divided into sectors. That also lasted for a short time because, in 1815, the area was occupied by the British who kept the island until 1864, when they finally withdrew and handed it over to Greece. In 1824 the British built the Ionian Academy, which still exists. Till today, on the 21/05 every year, The Corfiots celebrate the anniversary of their freedom from the British by organizing church prayers, sport events and school parades. So, in 1864, Corfu joined Greece. But despite the fact that Corfu became Greek, the Italians never stopped desiring the possession of the island, so, in 1923 they bombed Corfu. In 1941 they occupied the island where they remained until 1943, when the Germans occupied it. The island was freed in 1944.


It is influenced by the west since the island was connected to the west for seven centuries.

The Italian influence is shown at Liston area (Venetians 1205-1214)

(See Liston in the picture above).

Sunday, 22 July 2007


The picture above of Anemomylos was taken in winter and shows the wind mill that was built a few years ago.

Anemomylos or in other words, Mylos, is the palce at the end of Garitsa bay. That place used to have a real wind mill in old days that’s why we call it anemomylos, which in Greek means ‘wind mill’. In winter it is a good small port for the fishing boats, but in summer people go there to have a swim, since on one side the sea is shallow enough for the kids to swim.

On the outer side, behind the artificial mill that was built there, there are small stairs for the swimmers. However, the sea is very deep over there, so if you decide to swim in that area you should be careful. Also the bottom of the sea is rocky and rough but if you like sealife, you will have the opportunity to see fish, crabs and even octopuses hidden in the rocks.

On that small area there is a cafes/snack bars that offers quick meals, and a hotel restaurant overlooking the sea. For a proper Greek meal though, you can visit the series of grill rooms and tavernas just across the street, in the green park along the bay. What can you eat? Souvlaki, pitta,mousaka, pastitsio and the Corfiot pastitsada. You can have a variety of fresh vegetables and salads and then summer fruit and icecream. For those living in the town it is the best place to enjoy a meal by the sea. At nights these tavernas are open till very late and the peak time is around 10 pm. Since it is very hot in the summer, people have dinner late at night!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Herbs: Corfiot Chamomile

Chamomile is found on Mount Pantokrator. The road you can see in the pictusre leads to the top of the mount. There you can find chamomile flowers in springtime and summer.

To pick chamomile flowers collect only the flower top (anthos) not the stem.

The best time to pick chamomile flowers is in the morning, before the sun goes up.

Leave the fresh flowers to dry under the sun for a couple of days.

Store them in a jar and use them like normal tea leaves.

Chamomile is a beautiful small flower that grows on Mount Pantoktrator, as well as in fields and gardens. I remember my mum picked the flowers up from our garden, dried them in the sun and used them to make chamomile tea.
It is good for colds, stomach upsets, indigestion, skin irritation and lots of other
treatments. The best chamomile is the natural one, but you must know where to find it and make sure this place is not polluted. On the mount it is clean and fresh but not easy to get it!

Where to get chamomile:
In big supermarkets you can find chamomile bags or dried flowers. You can make chamomile tea the same way you make common tea.

Chamomile-how to use it

Sore throat and colds

In a cup of chamomile tea add a teaspoonful of honey and some lemon juice. Sip at intervals. This remedy provides you with ample vitamin C and rare honey properties that boost your immune system.

Stomach upsets

Prepare a cup of chamomile tea and add some lemon juice. Drink slightly warm or cold. For best results, drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.


A cup of chamomile tea before bedtime is highly relaxing.

For external use:

Stiff neck

In a pan, simmer some dried chamomile leaves in pure olive oil for a few seconds. When still warm (not hot), apply mixture to affected area. Leave as long as possible and repeat 2-3 times daily.

Ear ache

Prepare as above and apply some chamomile mix (on some cotton wool) to the back of the ear.

Aching joints

Apply mixture prepared as above on joints and leave for as long as possible. Repeat several times (use a bandage to hold cotton wool on affected area).

Mouth ulcers

Prepare chamomile tea and use it for gargling or as a mouth wash after meals and especially before bedtime. However, if mouth ulcers persist visit a doctor.

Skin problems

Women’s rash

Use cold chamomile tea to clean the affected areas. It can be used many times a day as it is soothing and healing.


Cold chamomile tea is soothing and helps restoring the skin’s texture.


Ody, P. (1997) ‘100 Great Natural Remedies: using healing plants at home’ London, UK, Kyle Cathie Limited.

Related Sites

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Olive oil: a local product

This is a small part of an article of mine on olive oil. It explains why I use olive oil daily.

'I use olive oil every day. My ancestors used olive oil every day, too, and they lived to an old age – some lived more than a century. Their main meals were combinations of fresh vegetables, fruit, fish and some meat dressed in olive oil.

So, olive oil has been known for centuries. But it is now that people have become fully aware of its goodness. It can be used almost everywhere, adding a special flavor to food as well as boosting our immune system as it contains Vitamin E. Thus it is good for our health and we should use it every day. Combined with vegetables and fish is an excellent food, as well as with meat of every kind for those who are meat-eaters.'

If you would like to read some recipes that include olive oil, you can go to
and try them!

Good luck!


Bio products online!
I'm sure you've heard about bio-products, they are expanding in Europe and many people prefer them to conventional ones.

This 'green' turn in our lifestyle shows we, consumers, become more and more aware of the benefits of real food that is natural and chemical free. The latter aspect is the one that makes me eager to buy this kind of products, despite their high, at times, price.

In Corfu you can find bio products in big supermarkets like 'Demetra' markets.
What can you get?
Honey, olive oil and a range of herbs.
Sometimes there are vegetables and fruit available.
Also you can get wine, pasta, sauces and jam.
You can get cookies and toast as well.

For online shopping, try where you can find the best prices. This is a Greek site, though, but I hope they will create an English version sometime in the near future.

Also, at
you can find a big variety of natural products.

To view the site in English, click on the British flag at the bottom of the page.

More sites in Greece:
for bio products in Greek big cities
and (Sorry, Greek only!)
for more information on bio products.

What do I buy for my family?
Olive oil, herbs, honey and wine. These are the essentials for the every day meals. I don't buy jams because I make my own, but I do buy cookies made with olive oil and spices. I get them from Demetra market in the town.

Enjoy them!

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Out of the town there are a lot of interesting places to see, and one of them is Mount Pantokrator, the highest mountain on the island. It is 918 meters high and has a small monastery on the top of it. There is a wonderful view to all directions from up there.

On the way to Pantokrator the road is winding and narrow but lies between endless olive groves which are the green beauty of the scenery.

On the mountain there are a lot of villages easy to reach by car, motor bike, bicycle or on foot. Walkers usually follow the route: Ipsos beach, Ayios Markos, Korakiana, Dassia and back to Ipsos from a different road.

Mount Pantokrator is for those who love the countryside and its tradition. Visitors can admire the breathtaking view of the green olive groves and the sea, as well as the magic sunset and dawn. Ideal for relaxing and enjoying natural living in a friendly atmosphere.

Climbing the mount is easy, as there are roads and paths right to the top and a drive by bike, motor bike or car is feasible. There are numerous villages scattered among the green on the way up and there are vast olive groves in every direction. The scenery is adorned by an abundance of tree variety as well. You can see tall cypress trees, pine trees, oaks and orchards and vineyards in between. There you can feel the smell of wild herbs and flowers lingering in the air.

A big village on the side of the mountain is Korakiana, Crow Nest in English. There used to be lots of crows in this village years ago, but nowadays there is a big variety of singing birds around, offering the people a unique melody all the year round.

Korakiana is the perfect village to rent a house or a room or even stay there for good. Some foreign visitors have recently bought real estate at low prices and have built their own houses on the mount. It is worth the money and time spent on a housing project over there if one likes nature and especially the green.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Summer Frutopia

What is better than a cool summer frutopia?

Summer fruit on the island are perfect for a quick cool dessert that will please all the family! This month you can buy fresh cherries, apricots, peaches and green apples. Of course there are melons and water melons as well, but I haven’t experimented on them yet!

What kinds of fruit should you choose for frutopia?

I’ve used some peaches, apricots, cherries and an apple. The more variety you have, the better it is.

How to do it:
Just chop them or slice them (I prefer bigger pieces) and put them into a small pan with some water, not much, just half a cup will do. Bring to boil for a couple of minutes till they soften a bit. Add a spoonful of sugar if you wish (I don’t add any sugar) and stir well. Dissolve 2-3 spoonfuls of corn flour in some water and add to the mixture stirring all the time. In a minute, your frutopia is ready!

Pour it into a bowl (I use a pyrex bowl) and leave to cool. When cool, put it in the fridge. You can keep it in the fridge for many days.

You can eat it alone or add it to yoghurt, toast, vanilla cream or ice cream. It’s fresh and healthy and much better than the ready- made processed desserts sold in supermarkets!

Friday, 29 June 2007

Permanent Tourists: A lifelong trend

In recent years, many tourists who visit Kerkyra island end up in buying some kind of property on the area. Some of them become permanent residents, while others use their new home as a basis for their family holidays, once or twice a year. But why choose this kind of tourism?

Nick, an Englishman, was one of the first to build a small cottage in Korakiana Village, on Kerkyra island. He first visited Kerkyra many years ago with his family, but it was much later when he found out that he could actually get a permanent place on the island he loved.

“At first I thought that I would need a fortune to buy a decent house in a village,” he says. “But a friend of mine, who had already bought a ready cottage in Korakiana village, kept me informed bout the properties sold over there, and soon he spotted a bargain.”

Nick has got a family of five, and they were all delighted at the prospect of a holiday house on Kerkyra. Nick was able to get a small stone house with a yard in front at a very low cost, and he built a two floored cottage in a year.

“When I first saw it,” he admits, “it was a kind of ruined store room with nothing much to attract the buyer, but the scenery all around was fantastic, and that was the basic point. We would live in the nature, breathe fresh mountain air and see a wonderful view every day.”

Nick filled the small yard with numerous flower pots with mountain herbs and flowers, and he made big windows to let the sun come into the cottage. “This will be our permanent house when we retire,” he adds. “Meanwhile, we visit Kerkyra 2-3 times a year and our kids come over in between their holidays too. We also let some close relatives to use it and some friends.”

Nick is just one of the four other residents of the village neighborhood. A few meters further on, a couple from Holland have rebuilt their own house and visit it every summer. The neighbors keep an eye on it when they are away, and they even take care of their small vegetable garden.

Some of the benefits of this kind of tourism, can be listed below:
Save on rents of hotels, apartments etc.
Save on meals of restaurants
Carry no baggage
Make new friends
Ideal for retired people
Ideal for relaxing in a natural environment
Learn new lifestyle
Try new food
Permanent tourism is nevertheless a new trend that will stay!

If you are interested in buying property on the island, visit
and look for the ads for houses on sale. There is an old house on sale at the moment, at Ano Korakiana (see picture).

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

The Old Town

The old town of Corfu has got its own magic that links the new part of the town to the old tradition. Narrow alley ways, pebbled streets and stone walls are a live reminder of that era that is still prevalent on the island. Old buildings are almost everywhere, not only in the town but all over the island. There are still today the traditional small shops that used to be part of everyday life in the past. Not many of them nowadays, but the few that still exist, help to keep the colour of the old era intact, such as the greengrocer’s (see top picture) in the centre of the town. There used to be another one but a tourist shop took its place a few years ago.

The narrow side streets signpost the pre-war era, when all the buildings were close together and there were no cars in the streets. See the picture above to notice how narrow some of the streets are. An extract from a Corfiot writer’s book clearly indicates that. She describes her house which was in the old part of the town. That house was bombed and destroyed during the war, but there is another building now in its place. The author says:

“The building was situated in such a narrow alley that we used to exchange various foods, such as olive oil and flour, through the windows. I remember that my grandma used to exchange foods with the mother of Niso.” (The book, which is about a Jewish family living in Corfu before the war, is now being translated from Greek into English and will be released next year).

Saturday, 23 June 2007

KERKYRA, the green paradise.

We’re back to Kerkyra, which is the greenest of the Ionian islands.

If you come for a visit, don’t omit the following:

The old town:

Wander along the narrow alley ways and old houses, the market and the squares.

The old castle:

A rocky peninsula with a castle which offers a spectacular view.

The church of Saint Spyridon:

Visit the protector Saint of the island. You can see His relics in a silver coffin.

The museums:

The archaeological museum with statues and findings of excavations on the island.

The Asiatic museum : a collection of rare antiquities unique in Greece.

Achilleion palace:

The palace of Sissy of Austria.

Palaiokastritsa village :

Explore the rocks and caves and visit the old Monastery.


The castle was built in the 6th century to protect the city from the Barbarian attacks. It was during the end of the Byzantine period that Kerkyra suffered from the constant invasions so that the entire population was transferred to the rocky peninsula in order to be safe.

Nowadays the castle houses an old church, archaeological exhibits and cafes, and is a place of cultural events. From the top of the castle the visitors can have an overall view of the city, especially of the bay and the old part of the town which look fantastic.

(See the castle on top of the page).

Friday, 22 June 2007

Welcome to my place!

Hello everyone, and welcome to my blog!

I live on the beautiful island of Kerkyra (Corfu for the non Greek) which is next to Italy. Here's some information about the island, just to make sure you learn a bit about my place before we start our trip.

What is Kerkyra like?

Vast olive groves, tall palm trees along the sandy beaches, orange and lemon orchards amidst the groves, and mount Pantokrator on the north with scattered white-washed villages and tall church towers among the green, and the lingering in the air smell of wild herbs.

There you can admire ancient ruins and findings, numerous chapels and temples, museums and art displays for every taste; you can join local feasts and religious ceremonies, listen to band concerts, and watch international ballets and operas almost all year round.

Kerkyra is an exotic island with a European flavor, combining a taste of local and European culture. Several civilizations brought together, that is Kerkyra. You can see their mark everywhere, yet, you can feel that the island keeps its own unique flavor of local tradition.

The myth, the old and the new

The myth says that the people of Pheakes lived on the island during the years of Ulysses’travels. Their latest king Alkinoos with his queen, Ariti, had several sons and an only daughter called Nafsika. She was the one who found Ulysses on the shore one day and then the king helped him go back to his own kingdom, Ithaca. But god Poseidon , the god of the sea, was very angry with Ulysses and he turned his boat into stone, in order to punish him-that is what the local people say to justify the huge boat-like rock in Paleokastritsa bay.

Recent excavations in the town have revealed ancient sites that date back to the 5th century while there are ancient churches and other buildings all over the island.

Referring to modern history, the domination of the Venetians which lasted 410 years, of the French and of the British, left a definite mark on the aspect of contemporary Corfu. The island economy is based mainly on Tourism, as there are still unspoilt, beautiful landscapes and natural scenery all over the island.

Nowadays, the visitors can explore the whole Kerkyra and enjoy not only its natural beauty but also the numerous and unique sights the long tradition of the island has to offer.