I guess we ought to declare from the start that we are confirmed Philehelenes. We fell in love with Corfu immediately more years ago than we care to mention!
To give you an idea of our commitment to the island, we decided to live here 6 years before moving here. We would have loved to up-roots sooner, but I didn’t finish my 30 year contract with the Metropolitan Police Service until April 2002.
I retired from the Metropolitan Police Service in London on April 17th 2002 and by the 22nd April that same year we were living in a rented house just outside Kalami in a village called Βλαχάτικα (Vlachatika – English spelling!) We have since moved to the quiet village of Loutses which is part-way up Mount Pantokrator and the last stop before the village of Old Perithia!
Our first house in Loutses was also rented. How we came to find that house was a story in itself! You can read about it elsewhere! This house was always intended as a stop gap as we had bought land in Loutses upon which we intended to build.
During our many visits, we have made many friends – both Greek and English. As our site builds, you will get to meet some of them and hear some of our stories about the many characters that you just cannot avoid if you visit Greece.
As a visitor from England, you suddenly realise that Corfu and the Corfiots are a whole new ball game. You soon learn that:-
- Time has little meaning to the average Corfiot. Forget trying to rush them. It just isn’t going to happen.
- They are (in the main) the most unmaterialistic people we have ever met.
- They are some of the worst drivers, with some of the worst roads to match (They are improving though) …. and yet they seem to survive.
- You will be hard pressed to meet a mean Corfiot.
- They are without a doubt, the most hospitable people that we have ever met – even with total strangers.
It would be easy to try and list what makes up the character of the average Corfiot, but I fear that list would never end.