Long ago we visited Corfu three times. We stayed in different places and this time we decided to find a taxi driver who would drive us to Benitses, south of Corfu Town, then across to the west coast and Paleokastritsa and finally to the north coast and Roda.
The voyage to the berth through the heart of Venice was magical. For some years there has been talk of large ships being banned from the lagoon because of the damage some believe they cause to the buildings. Luckily for us that ban has not yet happened, but is is clear that subsidence is taking place at a rapid rate. There is plenty of restoration work taking place and a new tidal barrier has been built, but it is doubtful that that is enough.
Many years ago, Ian and Carole Gordon, Roger and Jill Wilson and Jane and I, booked a weekend City break to Venice with Thomsons. I guess it was a cheapie, but it was great fun. We all loved the City and had time not only to visit the tourist places but to explore areas where the Venetians live and work.
We are in the middle of a very busy six days. No sea days and 6 ports in 6 days!
It has had an eventful history and many of us recall that the differences between Serbs and the Croats led to a horrible war less than 25 years ago. Thousands of people were killed and there were numerous massacres and atrocities.
Churches, monasteries and palaces were damaged, but remarkably the war damage has in the main been repaired.
I can understand why you yachtsmen love to sail in the Ionian Sea. We arrived in Argostoli, the capital of Cephalonia, on Tuesday at 9.00 am. It was a beautiful day.
Many have asked not only where we have been, but where we are going.
After leaving Vigo, we sailed south, running parallel with the coasts of Spain and Portugal. We rounded Cape St Vincent, hoping to see Roger and Jill Wilson waving, but there was no sign of them. Then we were through the Straits of Gibraltar and heading east some 35 miles from the coasts of Morroco, Algeria and Tunsia.
Mount Etna sits in the background.
Sandy met us at the agreed time and place at the end of our allotted time and we blocked the traffic for a while as we poured Jane into the taxi and stored the wheelchair. Sandy didn’t appear to have seen a folding wheelchair before, which convinced me that in the Mafia riddled island, she was probably a gangsters moll rather than a cab driver!
On our way to Oporto, the first port on our second leg, the Captain announced that the weather predicted for Thursday was such that we would be unable to berth at Oporto. The storms had built up after our departure from Southampton and the Bay of Biscay was living up to its rocky reputation.
We then spent time at Castrelos Park and the recently restored Palace. The gardens were of a French design and in one small pond stood a miniature version of the main house.
The original plan had been that I would go home, leaving Jane on the ship. I would collect the post, check the house was OK and then meet up with Andy and Jane Houghton who were joining us for the cruise. The intention was that we would go down to the ship in the taxi together.