The plan was supposed to be that I flew into Kerkyra on the island of Corfu about 5:00 PM, which would still be daylight. I would rent a car at the airport and be able to find my way south to the village of Vitoulades near the southwestern part of the island. Since it would be daylight, businesses would be open, I could stop for dinner, ask directions.
Instead, due to British Airways goofing up twice, I arrived at nearly 10:00 PM on a Monday night, and it was 10:30 PM by the time I had my rental car and went to leave the airport. The car was a little Suzuki – similar to the Hyundai that I drive back home. I had a moment of panic – do they drive on the right or left side of the road here? I forgot to ask at the rental car company. But the driver’s side was on the left, like in the States, so I figured they must drive on the right side of the road. My theory proved correct, by the few cars I. encountered on the highway so late at night.
What an adventure – The roads twist and turn, sometimes the highway seemed to be just one lane wide. Cars pass with very little clearance, thank goodness I rented a sub-compact car. There is no set back for buildings… restaurants and homes can be right next to and into the road, as far as I could tell. A large truck came at me the other way, and I nearly hit a motor scooter parked along the highway trying to make room for it. Parking is as far off to the right as a car can get, meaning sometimes traffic has to pull into the oncoming lane to get around. I must have been crazy to think I wanted to do this! I thought to myself.
I had a map of the island of Corfu from the car rental place, but was guessing if I was on the right highway… it looked like the major highway heading south hugged the west coast for quite a ways. When I saw the sea off to my left, I figured I must be heading the right direction! There was a full moon last night, and the moonlight shone off the waters of the Ionian Sea… I thought of a legend of the moon spinners. I wish I’d had a decent camera, instead of just my smartphone, but I will never forget the luminescence of the night.
I kept stopping to try to make sure I was headed the right direction on the map. The main road turns inland, then south again towards Lefkimmi. I had to turn off after Perivoli. I finally saw the sign, and turned off onto a small, one lane road, that soon took me into a village, which I assumed was Vitoulades. I really didn’t know where to go, so stopped at a busy taverna and asked about Villa Angelika and Spyros Varelli. Ahh, the men exclaimed, seeming to know what I was talking about. They had very poor English, I had almost no Greek (the world ecclesia means church)… they asked if I spoke German, no sprechen zi Deutsch. The next thing I know, a man who looked to be in his 50s opens my rear car door, climbs in and gestures for me to drive ahead. OK, I start laughing to myself. I only drive about a block to a building that seems to have a party going on, and spilling outside. I stop, the guy gets out and asks around and then a man appears who introduces himself as Spyros Varelli, owner of the small inn where I have paid to stay for a week. He manages to communicate that his daughter will lead me in her car to Villa Angeliki .
So we take off again through one lane streets to countryside. with her small car in the lead. We turn left after I see a sign that says Villa Angeliki and wind and twist and turn our way through the night past what seem to be cypress trees. We pass a few houses and other buildings, and finally get to what seems in the dark, to resemble the pictures I saw online. The daughter indicates to park in a small side space just off the road. We get out, I get my bag & suitcase, and follow her up outside stairs that appear to be marble, to a balcony and at last to the studio that will be my home this week. I have a private balcony, and open the doors to look out. I love it. The moonlit night is quiet, no traffic, fresh cool air. I am a Yankee on a Greek Island. It was worth the hassle of getting here!