Crossing lives in Corfu

October 11, 2020 in GREECE | Comments (0)

I have loved Corfu ever since I read My family and other animals, and my brother rolled off the bed laughing as I read out loud about Gerry, Larry and the scorpions. I have returned four times. Now re-inspired by the TV series The Durrels (Enkelresa till Corfu), I returned yet again in 2019 to meet my past lives and the Durrells’ as snippets of my rambling meandering diary show. Usually I write more like a jouranalist thinking of an audience…this is simply a diary …

I chose my hotel for this view. The White House – where Lawrence Durrell lived with Nancy, at one end of Kalami village. In those days there just a few houses and transport was by boat. This is not where the family lived together as depicted in My Family and Other Animals – this came later.
View from our hotel when the sun drops behind the mountain. In the morning the light fell like magic on tne sugar cube shape of The White House
A luscious gorgeously sour and salty margarita – with real lemon juice 11 euros at The White House – best margarita of the trip though the most expensive (still cheap compared with back home). Margarita is my modern life. In the old days we just delighted in baklava.
Kaloura with its old fishing boats. old building and evocative trees. I got an uncanny deja vu feeling I had seen it in my long ago 3G family holiday boating past. And finding mention of it in Lawrence Durrell’s writing about a fisherman’s body turneing up here after a storm when they lived ast The White House.


My family and other animals is probably my favourite book ever. Of course it was on the agenda as we left Dover on a ferry bound for Calais and Greece, Liz and I. backpacking 1967.

We hitch hiked which was the usual way to live on One pound a day / or more realistically 5 dollars a day. You never ate in restaurants – bought the odd apple at a shop and munched it waiting for lifts.

The first Eureka – finding Greek magic was Thassos. My diary now lost said “I feel the brightness and whiteness and silver grey greenness I have always known inside me when I thought about Greece”.

By the time we got to Corfu we were seasoned. We had been on Crete, ascended and descended the White Mountains by terrifying bus, seen the little white houses drenched with hanging grapes with little old ladies on the steps in the sunset.

So now Corfu with Liz. First memory the youth hostel – unthinkable – dirty chaotic full of early versions of hippies. The Irish girls who hitch hiked every day at lunchtime because there was no money due to Itish bank strike. The travel agent in Corfu town offers us a bus ride with a bus full of American sailors. Their big ship was in town.

The sailors were very polite and eyed us from safe distance. Now at last I got a chance to talk about Gerald Durrell. The travel agent knew him and pointed at his house – villa peeping out through lush forest along the beach Glyfada.

Next time I returned to Corfu, the second time, it was with my own precious nuclear family. We had fun – it was our first holiday together in Europe – previously we always returned to South Africa. It was our first holiday eating at restaurants as we did every single day. We discovered bacclava. We discovered ancient olive trees and cypresses.

We rented a car just for one day – otherwise caught buses – after all we had come all the way from Sweden by bus, train and boat.
Our first stop after Corfu Town was Palekostritza where we found flower bedecked rooms just off one of hte beaches. We hired pedal boats and went snorkelling at the mouth of the bay.


The third time on Corfu was with my 3G family, my parents Marj & Hen, husband Roland, and children Duchesne and Julia (later called Aleah, who left us behind on this earth in 2016, forever missed).

I had rented a villa. All my fantasies of rich family life (as opposed to the split life of Sweden) were nurtured by the idea of a villa in Greece.

30 Sep

This morning I saw the irridescent blue trumpets of morning glory and got a fierce squirt of distress mixed with buried delight. I remembered OUR happiness when we arrived for our first family holiday on Corfu – arriving by ferry from Brindisi (bus to Rome, train to Brjndisi) – first stop Palaekosttitza. And there we saw a fence draped with morning glory. We – Roland, Julia. Duchesne snd I marvelled over the atmosphere of voluptuous warmth and maybe even joked about lsd coming from the seeds. It zoomed up like a torpedo at my mood of happiness this morning – lsd – god I hate it and the dangerous fantasies and distortions that ruins lives. I wont talk about it here.

Duchesne & Julia getting a horse drawn ride. Horses were very important in Julia’s life

Kalami Corfu – where Larry lived

Content today, though I can never forget the personal tsunamis that swept part of my life away.

Now I am in an amazing place.

The White House – which was already renovated and extended during Larry’s time here with Nancy. Now it is a very nice restaurant and hotel

This is The White House where Lawrence Durrell lived with Nancy. It’s not where they filmed most of Enkelresa till Corfu (The Durrells). Below is the hip bar… Larry would have liked it? more below…

Drinking beers as liquid lunch so we can lie on cushions and use wifi. What a dreamy place. The obligatory olive tree, worn rocks that Larry wrote about. The limpid turquoise water that I first discovered in Greece when the Med was still full of underwater colour.

I think Larry would have liked the gentle Bohemian flavour here with the cushions under the olive tree and all his books for sale – and Gerry’s. Of course these days the likes of avant garde Larry would be in some obscure corner of Vietnam or somewhere as adventurous as Corfu was in the days the Durrells lived on the island.

The White House – lounging cushions under the olives – beer & Greek tapas – apart from the conventional tables under an awning with view of the sea and what looks like a good menu

KAMINAKI. Back to memories of my second visit with my children.

When we returned again with our children and my parents for a 3G holiday I rented a peasant lady’s house on the main road above Kaminaki Beach, which lies a few coves south of Kalami. It had to be a villa because of My family and other animals. I found the villa in a pamplet at the Greek embassy. I insisted to the amusement of the Greek official at the embassy that we must hire a house with a donkey. It turned out that the peasant Lady lived in the house beside us and indeed had a donkey, Rideros.

I searched for the houjse which was on the main road above Kaminaki Beach. I didn#t remember the concrete structures, but I think this is it. Two weeks here with our 3G family.

Just up the way from this house there is a sign today in 2019 – “Villa with donkey“. Maybe we started the fashion of villa with donkey or is this a descendant of our peasant lady?.

One of my treasured memories is Marj my mum playing with 8 year old Aleah/Julia on our small pebble beach at Kaminaki and in the water leaving me to laze and dream and absorb the colours and sounds of Greece. Duchesne had a few teenage aspirations emerging. Very good looking. – always immaculately turned out and absurdly popular in his circles in Täby.

Yet anohter Spiros taverna at Kaminaki Beach. The water is moody here, after the first rains at the end of summer

Hennie, my beloved stepfather, was so good natured and in love with our boating existence that holiday on Corfu, a holiday that was one of their lifetime memories (and mine). We had dragged our red 12 person inflatable all the way from Sweden and every day set out for adventure over the tranquil inky blue water – during a heat wave. No better place to be than the water. I remember Hen got rather bad tempered on one occasion when he drank those high alcohol beers – he quarelled with the owner of the above taverna. The taverna looks much the same, and all these people from my past were with me now. My mum Marj and beloved Hennie were killed in an accident in Jan 2006. I was in the car with them and I spent 5 months in hospital.

30 Sep

1937 30 Sep Thomas Place

Sunset on water as taverna fills up. Can see White House

1 Oct

NOW. Now at Thomas restaurant for my truly perfect veg moussaka ordered yesterday

Thomas Restaurant, the best for miles around, at Kalami – seamless with the pebbled beach and pastel water with a view over to Albania. Albania looms as a threat because of its pirate internet companies that suddenly commandeer your 3G or 4G as teh Greek wifi switches off for whatever reason
Delish veggie moussaka at Thomas Place

Corfu Town

We rented a car on our third day – since I imagined we would be scouting around all the sites from The Durrels and my own past lives. I had forgotten how winding and slow the roads were or how nervous I am after our fatal car accident.

TIP: From Kalami we could have visited Corfu on a daytrip by boat – and skipped the hassle of driving and parking.

Our first stop with the car was Corfu Town, where we managed to find parking on the waterfront. There is an Italian flavour to the architecture of the Ionian islands facing Italy, and Corfu town is no exception. It reeks of forgotten history, and ramshackle charm.

Corfu town. Faded, crumbling, leaning, pastel coloured, charming and hot. I nearly fainted in the heat when I visited with my young kids and had to be placed a ta table and fed water…now it was mild weather –
The first cafe where I requested a cappuccino the owner had a minifit o frage that I should dare to ask for cappuccino at lunch time. I wandered off and found a new cafe (I thought), and as I opened my mouth to ask for a cappuccino, the same angry man cam in and shouted “Get out”. The people in the cafe all looked at me with the understanding that I was an undesirable. Strange – in Greece there are two very clear types of people: The wonderful cafe and restaurant owners who love their guests and often give away treats; a d those who seem to hate and resent them for taking up their time, full of suspicion that their guests are there to rob them.

DEJA VU

After Pelle managed to park on the seafront we walked along the marble pavement towards the old town. I suddenly remembered I had bought a white Panama hat here all those decades ago. So I snapped a pic to record the thought. And then to my amazement our footsteps arrived at a hat shop selling Panama hats! There is a very strange eerie feeling in the veins as past moments come rushing in because you are walking without knowing it on the actual stones you once tread upon when you were young and your precious child was still alive and full of her own playful chuckling whimsy.

2 Oct 

At White House comfy for coffee.

A bit silvery today due to clouds that will hopefully clear before a tirade of weather comes in this evening. Waiter told me it is 4 months since they had rain. I could see he felt I was insensitive or simply foreign to wail over it.

DURRELL PAST

So I read in my Durell history today that the local English elite or rather someone’s Mummy (who apparently knew the Durrells in those faroff days) looked down on the Durrells for naked bathing and worse – fraternising with the local Greeks – as explained by the daughter of “Mummy”: “We love our servants – they are proud people but know their place” ( ie they know their place is below the expat British ) .”The Durrells were” said “Mummy” “insensitive” in upsetting all the subtle little arrangements between people. (see book). Reminds me of South Africa when I lived there all those years ago. Some white people spoke like this about “liberals” who they insisted upset the Africans by treating them as equals.

I am longing to have a boat ride. Pelle less so. I want to relive gliding over these glossy waters with my family and “lovely mummy” as I was happy to nickname myself in those faroff golden days. I did a little illustrated story for my son with the characters Lovely Mummy; Daddy Woodcutter, Shanie & the little blue dog Rindepest. (a mini sausage dog).

Today as we drove along the northern fringe of Corfu I felt we were coming near the gravel verge where I once danced around on our family video as the silver Subaru let-out deep vibrating beats.

Sure enough we came to a gravel verge and I got out to take s pic. It was a bit unpicturesque so I wasn’t sure. Then 5 mins on there was s picturesque gravel verge with sea below the weeds. I took a pic of the view remembering the thoughts and experiences at the time.

One night in the peasant villa at Kaminaki I woke up with hand on my breast on an enormous lump. I didn’t tell anyone as I didn’t want to ruin their holiday. At least for a few days I didn’t tell them. I kept saying things like “so you will remember me.”

Like… I bought my kids gold chains with those words – “so you will remember me”. They thought I was being a bit odd.

Finally Roland told them my BAD NEWS. Duchesne came in a sweet grownup way and put his arm round me and said “Sorry mama.”

Roland called a nice Greek doctor (like the one in My family & Other Animals), who said since it was so round it was probably a cyst. Later an operation showed yes this was merely a cyst though it left an ugly scar.

The kids took it as a sign that I panicked for nothing. A little unfair as that cyst was the size of a golf ball sticking out of my breast and was solid instead of liquid filled.

31 Sep

PALAEKOSTRITZA

I was here all four visits to Corfu. It is still beautiful with its pale rocky hills, monastery and dazzling water. But there is a mysteriously forlorn look to the big parking lot by the beach and waterfront. We used to walk between bushes to the third beach which I remember as pure magic and the scene of bathers, sunburn and our favourite restaurant, Now there were various rusty fences as barriers – I cannot imagine why they would do that or let that happen. They? A non functioning city council? Our restaurant was now hidden behind two others. I couldn’t find a way to our rooms among the flowers. But the beach still had a mountain backdrop and I could still remember Julia in an enchanted state playing and singing to herself on the beach as we sat with Duchesne and enjoyed the togetherness you feel after a nice meal in a friendly restaurant where there is a Spiros to talk to you about his aspirations to plant flowers..

Palaekostritza – we stayed here on our first family trip. Its both beautiful still and spoilt in parts, and was full of memories of my young children, one who is no longer with us.

1, The first adventure with Liz and the sailors. It looked stunning – and exotic,

2. Our visit as a nuclear family when we stayed in rooms up some white-washed steps among grapes and geraniums, near a little beach (I call third beach) where Spiros had his restaurant. It was the first restaurant we could afford with our kids – since restaurants in Sweden were utterly and absurdly expensive in those days before some liberalization of licencing laws multiplied the number of restaurants and made them competitive. Every day Duchesne had a mixed grill and he grew in front of our eyes on this six week family holiday. We visited the monastery of course.

3. With the 3G family – to visit the monastery.

4. To pick up the threads of the past – and visit the monastery.

View down fro the monastery.. We pedalled a boat to the waters down there on our nuclear family holiday, and the kids snorkelled.
the monastery – with the bougainvillea already withering for the autumn
Middle beach at the end of the long bay at Palaeokostritza

2 Oct

SIDARI

Our northern discovery today 2 Oct took us to Sidari. Worse than I remembered it, with small pubs and tavernas looking like prefabs with Ticky tacky signs spreading endlessly and no parking anywhere, though the fetching sand cliffs remain.

One man
‘s meat is another man’s poison

My first visit to sidari was on my first Corfu visit with Liz Whaley. We wanted to see something unspoilt – “a real village” we told our informer. He looked up bus times and suggested an itinerary of 2 buses to Sidari for the day. I remember our happy adventurous mood. Something went wrong with the itinerary and we had to walk and spend the night. Was it a pension – B&B?. Two strong memories remain – (1) a middle aged woman pretty in the blue Corfu traditional dress riding a donkey. (2) 3 students from Ox-Cam also staying over. Two were charming and one was stamping his feet in the waves and muttering. “What’s the matter with him?” I asked. “He is angry because you are from South Africa!” he laughed.

We returned with Marj snd Hen to Sidari and were shocked to see the development. I remembered the dunes and somehow think that the wonderful magical drive from Palaekostritsa in 1984 up the hairpin bends through Spiro’s village Lakes also took us to Sidari, when I saw the striated sand dunes plus some development

Now as j say the development was awful. I wouldnt return to Sidari.

3 oct

After storm freshness – to be truthful a bit sticky. Amazing sight from our gallery / our balcony overlooking olive branches waving in storm winds and sky flashing and rumbling. royal drums I said,

Kaloura

NOW We are at Koloura / few minutes away round the headland. It was a harbour when the Durrells lived on Corfu. Larry mentions it in his own account of life at Kalami, and it features in the Durrell TV series when the family arranges a picnic to visit Larry / but he is actually faraway in Paris.

I’ve had my deja vu here – that was yesterday with the rush of blood to the heart. I realised our INFLATABLE boat had seen this from the water / along with its pandanus (I believe) palms (and a leguminous tree )

This is where we saw / yesterday / a fisherman weighing his white bait catch, proudly telling me it weighed 4 kilos (tessera).

Looking over to white ridged low cliffs I remembered snorkelling and seeing a solitary anemone of two – already we were bemoaning loss of life from the Med remembering how Roly and I snorkelled over gardens of anemones in 1971 thereabouts. He held my hand to float me over a bay in Paxos – my first snorkelling since our student trip to Inhaca island and it’s underwater extravagance one took for granted would forever decorate tropical sea floors.

I see a dilapidated stone church in the loop of the bay. I am sure we must have walked there but the memory surfaces between waves of submerged consciousness. Like waking after a night of drunkenness and trying to remember.

I am treading carefully and a lizard scuttles into a stone crack – a memory recreated from similar experiences.

That Duchesne’s friend Backe seems to be there shows that fantasy is at work or we walked somewhere similar on Paros . Indeed I remember Aleah in her deep chuckling way noting me swilling brandy in a Paros park to kill the pain from a gruesome abcess. How she could laugh,

We were the first to sit down in the seaside dining area at Kaloura today after the heavy rain

So nice the sun is here again filtering through moist warm air. Pelle had begun feeling unwell – now reckons if is change of blood pressure medicine. He has struggled more than me to walk the steep steps through the olive gardens – afraid to take the lift to and from the 4th level because of lights flickering in the storm.

Steps to and from our room ont eh fourth level – in a bungalow block on the cliffside with its olive groves and flowers

He feels a big better now he knows what it is. I was worried too / always worrying when someone with s quadruple bypass becomes fantastically tired and unwilling to do anything.

1830

Hell just seen that Telecom Albania had grabbed me. Don’t know if had data roaming on or off. Very worried about the Albanian robbers.

Been reading Prospero’s Cell

Wow. How can anyone write after reading Lawrence Durrell?


Somewhere between Calabria and Corfu the blue really begins…You enter Greece as one might enter a dark crystal…Mirages suddenly swallow islands,


NANCY and I … are confused by the sense of several contemporaneous lives being lived inside us

Lawrence Durrell Prospero’s Cell

,
Certainly I am feeling this sense of contemporaneous lives myself in Corfu – perhaps not mysteriously – its the different lives I have lead that crossed here – my own lives, my children’s lives,the Durrells lives – since I brought their magical Corfu existence with me and we read My family and Other Animals to the children here every night.

Kalami beach in front of Thoomas Place

Kalami Beach – the home made pier where we caught our boat at last to Agni

4 Oct 2019

White House

By the white rocks where Larry snd Nancy swam. Coming down from s strung up day. Worst idea was to go to to Benitses first – and the Achilleion Palace, I read in internet there was s wrong and a right direction to get there from. Adventurous or ok. I realised from Benitses we had chosen the adventurous and wailed as weheaded up a narrow road for a mountain peak. Pelle was exasperated and turned back. So we never got there.

The white rocks at The White House – probably much the same bar the bench
View over rosemary bushes and windy sea to hazy Albania

Pelle would like to drive around but I am too terrified a lot of the time with narrow roads where you hurtled close past other cars. I was to happy the first day lounging on the White House cushions. Under an olive. I have been so taken with my Durrell world and past life. I guess he feels outside it as I twitter on with my memories.

Rhodos was all our memories made and repeated. Our wonderful monastery route. The city wall and museum.

Here I am lost in the past and more terrified than ever of the narrow winding roads in case we meet a bus. Yesterday we did one awfully scary drive past the White House and winding road one car wide. Met another car – local guy – and saw his jaw drop. Obviously only locals drive here. My heart neatly stopped beating I could hardly breathe.

We managed to come up. To main road at Loutri. I am longing to take boat to Agni.

6 Oct

Last day, it will be 25 deg, checkout 12.

Last night was perfect. The whole day very nice, since finally we lett the car and did some walking. Also it was only 21 deg C great for moving around on own two feet

Along the dliffs between Kalami and Agni. There are walking trails almost everywhere on Corfu, but some a bit hair raising I imagine as this one did have some areas needing care bit to fall.
Cliff path with view of the cove between Kalami and Agni

First we walked to the first Agni bay below the Beach House villa. Tucked around our point complete with deja vu prickly pears and a small stone house with well. The path goes down marbled steps (recent) from the road past the White House and between fences to a small pebbly beach and more of those smooth wave worn rocks that Lawrence D wrote about. The cliff was wild still with a rough but distinct footpath through the natural cliff clinging vegetation on one side and steep olive grove on the other (fenced) (once ambitiously high. ). We managed to skirt around the headland by using a stepping stone and editing for retreat of A wave. Then saw a path that rejoined the other more usual pathway marked on our Corfu hiking map.

When the path suddenly dipped at a steep angle I became afraid and my fear meant we turned back. Pelle only told me afterwards he could see the tavernas of Agni beach and we were some 5 mins away,

But we were going later in any case.

I had a swim at the dramatic high pool above our room – it began very hot but after I got wet and sat struggling with Facebook I chilled down and took ages to warm up after returning to the room and subsequently setting out attired in my favourite Desigual trousers and oyster top plus puffy pink down jacket – carrying my lilac plastic raincoat for safety ( showers a possibility)

Cocktail at the White House – where with its international standard I paid 11 euro for a Margarita with real lemon juice , silver Tequila and lemon sec in cocktail glass ringed with salt. We sat on the seaside platform(photo) and I saw the Swedish honeymoon couple was there with her looking glamorous with fanciful blonde hairstyle, (met them today at breakfast and they were very appealing with easy conversation and humour)

It was a good moment sitting there with my favourite cocktail and seeing the watery world brimming between its living mountains. And contemplating on the White House where Larry snd Nancy lived and where we have spent many happy moments (for me at least) this week lounging on its cushions under the great olive tree.

Twice we have had aubergine dip and pita bread and olives (2,80 per item x 3) lolling there on cushions as I have portraited flowers with the glassy glassy ocean background.

This time ( evening yesterday) we were waiting for the moment to take the boat to Agni beach Taverna Agni, which left from “last pier before the White House”. It looked a bit home made that pier but in good time our boat swerved towards the narrow little pier where we sat on chairs on the beach beside a Sunshine Travels cottage to rent.

A thrill to at last be waterborne – I planned badly not booking cruises instead of a car – would have been cheaper and nicer to boat and walk,

It took a mere 5 mins I guess and I managed to catch the last stretch flying around the second promontory. Taverna Agni blazed welcome lights at us and had its own pier, (now)

It was also closer to the beach than I remembered with its covered area extended in various stages over time.

The original taverna as it was when we visited in 1985/6 was shown in old snaps on the notice board. I showed my naive enthusiasm for the past by chatting to a woman (the daughter in law of Aphrodite and sister in law of Elena) about my frequent visits that wonderful holiday we had our own boat. She first suggested the woman tavern holder I remembered was Aphrodite but I stabbed my finger at a young dark haired woman with heart shaped face. Helena she said (Elena) . She was only 16 in 1984 she said. So perhaps it was 1985 or 1986. The unlikely thing about Aphodite is I would have remembered that name I think / instead I can hear hennie’s voice trying to say Elena. Also when I shared with my confidante the memory of her saying / I don’t want to get married – life is better without a man / and talking about visits to Paris snd London to buy perfume Aphrodite did not seem likely as she was pregnant at the time.

I had 2 starters – fried halloumi with honey and stuffed long green pepper / later lemon yoghurt dedouflskissert while pelle had a beef souflaki 21 eur, our most expensive meal. At Thomas Place we pay 35 euro ca for a meal including m Tequila Sunrise – here we paid 59 euro. But so glad we did it at last.

Though without the old snaps I wouldn’t have recognised its expanded self – with the plastic rain covers brought out now that October rains are likely. The friendliness was still there. Though I missed Marj and Hennie, and the kids fitting in happily. I guess D was 12 – young teens / and got himself invited with an English girl and older guys one evening. Not sure how we knew that they had mocked him as he joined them without money and accepted drinks. Vaguely remember Marj telling him about paying one’s own way. Why didn’t I think of him being without money when he headed off? At that time we were better off than any other time dur to the success of MacMedia. Roland’s success really through his ground paving ways. I thought I contributed with my layout capabilities and writing – but they bring in little without entrepreneurship. But one day years later I was sobbing I think as I told my mum that I was no one without Roland. I felt I had been very conceited not to realise it.

Anyway point is we could for the first time afford to eat whatever whenever – with MacMedia behind us. We used to split the bill with Marj and Hen – which also seems Insensitive now if I think they were pensioners and we had 2 kids.

Once I remember Marj was annoyed at some extravagance of ours.

I rented our villa via the Greek embassy. All the villas I fell in love with were taken / boasting the kind of magical views we have had now from SAN Antonio. it was gruesome to find our villa so noisily placed on the main road by a curve where everyone hooted. No sea view / olive view though. The walls were mercifully thick, the windows shuffered and the floors marble / just right for the heatwave which hit 39 deg C.

Every day we could smell burning as spontaneous fires broke out all over and the Greek airforce dipped up seawater and water bombed the fires. The local Greeks / our neighbour/house owner told us the Turks were lighting the fires. I guess it was broken glass acting as magnifying glass on suns rays.

I still remember her long unruly grey hair and fancy that she rode Rideros the donkey. We had insisted on a villa with a donkey and the Greek embassy had found us this one. Now I notice that nearby the Kaminaki turnoff there is a sign Villa with Donkey.

Every time she rode or fed Rideros Julia/Aleah would squeak with elation and shout Rideros.

The old Lady delighted at this attention .

We had planned to maybe walk to Agni today but it’s very hot and humid again though only 25. Pelle struggled up the hill Elia pi bad whhere we are sitting now. He has resisted s my suggestions to come here for happy hour earlier.

Looking back on our holiday – been feeling down and flat now we are back / grumpy and bad tempered.

I would love to have it again taking more boat trips and without the car that took a whole day to fetch from the airport snd to do a little jaunt to Palaeokistritza – and other disappointing trips like Sidari.

It was meant to be 750 m from the bus station – actually I did enjoy the bus ride / but it felt like double snd I whined away in tiredness and 29deg heat and boredom frustration. Poor Pelle – he managed to stay quite calm but finally snapped “stop saying this is not 750m”.

Palaekostritza – my fourth visit – was a mess. They had made a huge gravel parking lot – maybe for buses trafficking this way in season?

The water was still turquoise and the cliffs still there / but a general scruffiness had replaced the glamour. I remember seeing one restaurant that first visit by bus with the Americans.

Then when we came with our nuclear family, I remember it all seemed rather developed in an elegant way. A touch of glamour between the checked table cloths and the water and beaches. Now the beach just looked like a dump from a building site (not dirty just hurriedly made)

We had our charming accommodation with white painted steps and flowers / maybe I gave up too quickly in my search this holiday – it may have been behind some ugly new buildings. For the first time in their lives our kids were dining in restaurants / in those days Stockholm had so few restaurants that ordinary families could not eat out.


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