Every day at Corfu I was waking up very early. My mum, sister and our friend Majka were still asleep when I was stealing myself outside our apartment to watch the sun slowly rising above the sea. The sky for the first 4 days was clear and smoky blue. Everything was quiet and still in the mesmerizing moments of the sun taking up the residence on the sky for the rest of the day. Even though each morning was similar, I was magically captured by its stillness and certainty of another fine day.
On Monday 21 September I woke up one year older. And very early again, like I was afraid of sleeping too long, since my life was going at its own pace, regardless what I was doing. I felt full of energy. The sun was slowly moving up, promising another beautiful day. I was not sure what we had in plans for today, but in a way I was glad that I am not in the UK, that I can look at another amazing sunrise, painting the sky in pink. The quietness of the morning made me feel alone and happy, hidden from the world and exposed to its beauty at the same time.
I drank my morning coffee sitting with the doors to our apartment wide open, taking in the morning air and the view. My travel companions slowly came to live and we all decided to have a day full of activities, since it was my birthday. The plan was to go to Paelokastritsa, visit Monastery of Theotokos, take a boat to see the coast and visit Vistonas village – Cheliedoni vineyard and his owner Panajotis Korikis. I could not wish for a better day!
Paelokastritsa greeted us nosily. The car park was packed with buses and the beaches nearby filled with towels and sunbathing out of season tourists. We have quickly decided to escape by climbing to the monastery not realising that we were not the only ones with the idea. The way up was narrow and curved but well worth the struggle – the views were simply beautiful. The blue sea lying below, rocks descending into it like slow giants and the golden tongue of the beach disappearing into the water… The nature at its finest.
After visiting monastery we have took a boat ride along the coast to see the rocky giants a little closer. The breeze was light and subtle and the cold water cooled my hot skin. This short cruise took us away from noisy Paelokastritsa and offered quiet adventure off the coast. It was my birthday present from Majka and she could not give me a better one, since I love being on a boat – any boat really – and I love being out there, on the sea.
We could not stay very long in Paelokastritsa and felt the need to put our rented Nissan Micra to the test. Vistonas village awaited! We got lost on few occasions, with our sat nav trying to find the best way (which was not necessary the best way for us) but finally managed to get to the village and stopped at the first shop offering local products like wine and olive oil. We tasted the wine and to be completely honest – did not like it a bit. It was bitter and smelt vinegar. We have quickly bought few olive oil flasks and decided to look further, for the wine we were going to like and wanted to drink.
Cheliedoni vineyard and his owner Panajotis Korikis greeted us warmly on the other end of the village, offering white and red wine for very reasonable prices. We had a brilliant testing session, drinking as much as we could, being offered very generous samples. The owners of the winery found out about my birthday and I was given a bottle of red wine to drink in the evening, with a blessing. I did as I was told, celebrating my birthday with my mum, sister, Majka and our lovely hosts at Vladimiros apartments in Barbati. This evening I would love to repeat next year, with more people around, in a beautiful, friendly and amazingly warm Greece. Having birthday party far away from home was one of the best ideas I have ever had.
The shop and vinery we have visited is located at the end of Vistonas village, the family are really friendly and they sell only wine – so do go to them! They give you a sample to try too!