After last years holiday with my Mum & Sister, we had every intention of booking up to go on holiday to Corfu as a couple this year… and then along came bump and with the main tourist season for the island only starting in May […]
One of the travel experiences high up on my wanderlust list is to go on a cruise. Neither me or Sean have ever been but we’ve both heard so many good things about them that it just cannot be missed off of our list of […]
I mentioned before we went away that I quite liked the idea of delving into some real Corfiot culture by taking a trip out of Acharavi and into Corfu Town. At a meeting with our Thomas Cook rep the day after we arrived we discovered that we could take a boat trip from Kassiopi (About a thirty minute drive from Kamari Apartments) into the Island’s “capital’. We would receive a guided tour of the Island’s coastal attractions by our Captain and then once we arrived we would have four hours to get in plenty of shopping and site seeing – this was a trip set to please us all.
We opted for the evening trip rather than the day trip meaning that we would be able to spend a day chilling out by the pool before heading out to explore once the heat of the day had passed.
Having visited Kassiopi a few days before, I was excited to get to return even if just for a short while, to see what it was like during the evening. It really is the most beautiful and picturesque little town. We boarded the Cosmic Cruiser which was waiting for us when we arrived at the harbor and originally took our seats inside. Why? I’ve no idea!? Once we realised that the only view we were going to have was the back of the captains head, we moved and took up our seats at the front of the boat.
Our Captain was a great tour guide, pointing out some of Corfu’s main attractions as we passed them. “And on de riiiight”, “and on de leeeft”. We saw the mansion at which Charles and Camilla often stay with the Royal Family when they visit the island, the villa owned by the owner of Ferrari, part of the James Bond set of For your eyes only and many beautiful bays & beaches.
The best bit by far though, which I failed to get on camera as I was too excited, was seeing three dolphins leaping in and out of the water. I swam with dolphins when we were in Mexico and absolutely loved it, but seeing them in the wild was so lovely and so unexpected.
We arrived in Corfu town at around 6pm, and decided to turn left into the old town rather than right which would lead us to the new town. Never let it be said that Corfu Town is an easy place to navigate – we found ourselves wandering around it’s shop lined maze for quite some time before we could make head or tail of where we were. It is the perfect place for sampling locally made produce and crafts and with Corfu’s lack of tourist markets, it’s great for those who love to haggle!
I picked up some Ouzo in a little speciality shop for Sean. Whenever we go abroad he likes to buy a bottle of the local alcohol to display as a memory of our travels and so I thought this would make the perfect gift for him. We also bought some other gifts while there including friendship bracelets for Libby’s friends.
Once we were all shopped out we went on search of somewhere we could grab a bite before making our way back through the old town, taking in the magnificent buildings on the way back to the harbour. This wasn’t an easy task – a lot of the places that look like restaurants are actually just bars or sandwich shops. In our hunt, we entered a small little bistro, which from the outside looked lovely, however we left after five minutes without being greeted by anyone and being made to feel quite uncomfortable by a group of leering Greek men. Not nice! Anyway, we finally in a family run restaurant at the border of the ‘maze’ where we had a lovely yet seemingly expensive dinner. The difference in price compared to back in Acharavi was at least €20. The pizzas there were huge and very tasty.
The boat trip back to Kassiopi was beautiful. It was dark and the shorelines of both Corfu & Albania were lit up with what looked like dotted fairy lights. The skies were clear and the moon shone brightly leading us back to base.
I would thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone visiting the North of Corfu, we had such a lovely evening exploring the old town and immersing ourselves in the traditional Corfiot culture.
As some of you will probably know, I recently went on Holiday to Corfu with my Mum & Sister. We booked last minute (well, three weeks in advance) through Thomas Cook and weren’t really sure what to expect from this little island, aside from more […]
The last eight weeks have been really quite shitty what with being in hospital, recovery taking longer than I expected and an unexpected change in my circumstance so it’s fair to say I’ve been in need of a bit of a pick me up. Mum & Libby […]
You might have seen on twitter over Easter that Mr ventured off for a weekend of Mountain Climbing in an attempt to complete the three peaks challenge. Faced with the prospect of spending Easter on my Lonesome, I had planned things to keep me busy over most of the Easter Weekend – a shopping trip with my sister on Friday, work followed by a girly evening to celebrate my Best Friend’s birthday on Saturday and a day of training for the upcoming Dirty Dozen race and catching up on some work on Sunday. I’d left Monday clear as we weren’t sure what time Sean would be home.
It turned out that due to 70mph winds, torrential downpours and mini cyclones their trip was cut short so Sean was home late Saturday night. Woohoo! Understandably, after 27 hours of driving and climbing the highest mountain in the UK, he was inclined to have a chilled out day on Sunday. We watched a few movies on Amazon Prime, had roast Lamb and then watched a few more.
On Monday we woke up quite early and decided to head out for the day. I have been wanting to go to the zoo for aaaages, and so when he suggested we head to Howletts Animal Park in Canterbury, I was SO excited!
It took no longer than 40 minutes for us to get there, and Sean did pretty well at putting up with my excitable chanting of “We’re going to the zoo! We’re going to the zoo! We’re going to the zoo!”. True love right there.
Upon arrival we were checked in at the desk and informed that by visiting the park, we were donating to the Aspinall Foundation – a charity that keeps both the Howletts & Port Lympne parks open and works to protect wild animals across the pond. We were also given a complimentary map and guide to the activities going on on the day.
We decided to just see where the day took us rather than tying ourselves down to any times and so just wandered around at our own pace. Neither of us had been there since we were really young, and like anywhere, the park seemed a lot smaller than either of us remembered, the animals closer together than our memories served, the enclosures bigger. I guess that’s what you get when you haven’t been somewhere since you were 6!
We arrived quite early on in the day, pretty much as soon as the park opened and so as we walked through, the initial few enclosures the Lions & Tigers were still sounds asleep and some of the monkeys were snoozing in their huts, but as the day went on the animals started to get over what we decided were their Bank Holiday Hangovers. Clearly they’d been at a Madagascar style party the night before…
The highlight for me was definitely the elephants. There are thirteen African elephants at Howletts- the biggest group here in the UK and at the head of the Heard – Massa. The Matriarch and eldest Elephant to live at Howletts, she really is beautiful.
The monkeys were great too and made a point of putting on a show to everyone who peered into their enclosure and there was the cutest family of Dusky Langurs with a teeny tiny baby who was being taught how to climb by his older brother. I could have climbed in and taken them home! Adorable.
Of course we couldn’t pass up the chance to visit the ever famous gorilla section of Howletts. There are two enclosures for Gorillas, one at each end of the park. One seemed to be home to the more energetic bunch who quite literally run around like crazy peeps. We arrived just in time for feeding time and it was hilarious to watch them all run around trying to collect as many carrots as they could possibly carry before another came along and got them. At one point, one of the seemingly younger gorillas had two in his mouth and both hands full! And another pair were rough and tumbling alla round their enclosure, up and down the vines & shoots and quite literally rolled down the slide like those comedy cartoon characters you used to watch as a kid. They really were very funny.
In the second, newer enclosure, it seemed the Gorillas were more used to having people like us gawp in at them and so they pranced around seemingly posing for photos and making us all laugh at their antics. One of them, the iconic silver back male everyone always talks about even grunted at a little girl after she called his name.
We really did have the best day out at Howletts Zoo. I’m ready and waiting to slot a trip to Port Lympe in the diary to see the Giraffes next!
Back in September we spent a long weekend in an old childhood haunt of mine with Sean’s family. Hayling island is a small island off of the south coast of England, in Hampshire. I used to go there with my parents when I was younger […]
We’ve just returned home from a week away to St Leonards, a little sea side town just outside of Hastings. We stayed at the Combe Haven Holiday Park in a pet friendly caravan. I think I will write a little bit more about the holiday park […]