We arrived in Greece cheering with whoops of joy and relief, so happy they let us out of Albania without proper paperwork.
This lack of adequate documentation was not our fault. We have the naughty, naughty rental car company to thank for that. Those charming folks who thought it would be perfectly fine to send us on a road trip through the Balkans with only a COPY instead of the ORIGINAL documents. Yeesh. Needless to say, each entry and exit of places like Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro and Albania, were fraught with anxiety, irate border guards and visions of Third World prison cells. 🙂
It was a grueling yet exhilarating trip through Albania. Nine hours over the worst roads we’d ever seen, through achingly beautiful countryside with people who looked like they’d stepped right out of an Old World painting.
We were scared and awed and loved every moment of it, but didn’t realize how grateful we were for “civilization” until we arrived in Greece and suddenly we had GPS (yeah, we went through Albania with an inaccurate, indecipherable map the size of a small car :-)), cell phone coverage and even the occasional English-speaker. 🙂
We arrived just before dark, settled our jostled bodies with a frosty bottle of Mythos and a lovely Greek pita filled with greens, chicken, tzaziki and, of all things, French Fries. Then we boarded our ferry to Corfu, finding seats on the top deck so we could soak in the sunset over the ocean.
The gorgeous view, cool sea breezes and gentle rocking of the ferry dissolved the last of our stress and we arrived in Corfu ready to start the next phase of our adventure. We had chosen our hotel online, expecting little for $12/person. Imagine our surprise when we woke the next morning to find THIS!
Our first morning we spent by the pool, soaking up sunshine, reading books, falling asleep, recuperating from 8 days of cross-country driving. Mid-day we dined poolside on Souvlaki, French Fries and sparkling water.
Finally we dragged our groggy selves away from the pool, got dressed and went to…Starbucks. 🙂 Yes, I know you’re “supposed” to only do local, native things when you travel, but every once in a while it’s such a comfort to duck into a place that “feels” like home. If home had everything written in Greek. 🙂 Besides, this particular Starbucks had a view to die for and was right above a little church we wanted to explore and an island we wanted to visit. So off we went, touristy as can be, not caring in the slightest. 🙂
Refreshed by cold drinks and ocean breezes, we hiked down the hill to the church shown above. It is a tidy little place, white-washed and weathered, with a teensy courtyard inhabited by pots of flowers and a slumbering dog.