It’s hard to believe only one week ago I was basking in glorious sunshine, in temperatures in the high 30s enjoying my annual holiday with my mother and sisters and one of my nieces. The time went so quickly despite us doing nothing but lazing around the pool all day. Since coming home, I’ve not been warm and tempted to put on the central heating.
It all seems so long ago now that I awoke to the sound of the surf on the pebbles outside my window, to enjoying mid morning coffee and doughnuts beneath the pergola, to watching the fishing boats come and go, and the giant ocean liners cruising past the island, to the clear night sky full of stars, to a warm wind playing about my arms and legs at night. Such now is the stuff of dreams and lovely memories.
As villas go, the one we had was perfect with plenty of space. Mum and I had our own separate fully equipped apartment, the infinity pool and views were to die for, with our own access to the beach and a delightful taverna a short walk away. It was certainly worth waiting eight years to book and worth every penny.
We didn’t do any trips as a) it was too hot and b) Mum is getting very frail now and cannot walk far. We also noticed her memory is going, so this really was the last holiday we will all take together, certainly as far as villa holidays are concerned. Now we are all retired, we simply cannot afford it. This, and some other news concerning one of my sisters, did put a bit of a dampener on the trip but we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless.
What I saw of Corfu on the journeys to and from the airport (about an hour and a half’s drive) it is a lovely island but I have to admit I do prefer Kefalonia – it’s more green and the food more Greek.
The two small bays where we were located were delightful, if full of the usual tacky gift shops selling flip flops and kaftans, and unusually for us, we didn’t dwell in any of them. The main bay of Kassopia is charming, the harbour a lovely place to sit and eat of an evening watching the world and yachts go by as we sipped cocktails.
The biggest problem was the wasps, the mosquitoes and biting flies. In all the years we have holidayed abroad we have never been so eaten alive as we were this year. They seemed to make a beeline for Mum and my niece. All the insect repellents we took and bought there did not work. What we did find useful whilst sitting out of an evening were smoking coils that kept the mossies at bay; people even lit these in the restaurants.
We found food and drink to buy in exceedingly expensive – £30 for a bottle of gin/brandy etc. So, much to our disappointment, I didn’t do my usual afternoon sangria or afternoon G&T – between five of us, we would have got through a bottle day! Eating out, however, was relatively inexpensive and in most places we dined, we were always well looked after. The taverna a short walk from the villa became our favourite place to eat and on each visit the owner gave us drinks on the house. The food was superb, especially the fish dishes. On our last night, three of us ordered steaks and I have to admit it was the best steak I’d eaten for many a long time – tender, full of flavour and cooked to perfection.
Whether it is the state of the Greek economy at the moment but this was the first time we were asked to pay for air-conditioning in the villa. At 7 Euros a night for each unit (there were three), we declined to pay but it did mean the rooms were airless at night. Mine at least had a mosquito blind so the window could be left open. The taxis had no air con on either, nor did the airport. Thankfully, we were not there long and there were no delays in flights.
So, would I go again? To the villa, yes, if I could, but at a different time of year when the bottlebrush bush in the garden isn’t in bloom as this is what attracted all the wasps. To Corfu, yes, as I would like to see the island more and explore Corfu old town. Then again, there are still many more Greek islands I’ve yet to visit. Time will tell.