Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Palaiokastritsa, Corfu

You get to pick your own legend here.

Kolovri Island in Palaiokastritsa Bay (above) is:

  1. The petrified ship of Odysseus, turned to stone by Poseidon in revenge for the blinding of his son Polyphemus the Cyclops, from which wreck the captain alone was able to swim ashore to be rescued by Nausicaa.
  2. The petrified remains of the Pheaecian ship belonging to Nausicaa’s father, which transported Odysseus home to Ithaca after all his wandering but which, on its own return, was turned to stone by Poseidon (see above).
  3. The petrified remains of an Algerian pirate ship which, while pursuing a local vessel, was turned to stone by miraculous intervention following the prayers of the monks of Palaiokastritsa’s Monastery.
  4. None of the above because several other islets claim to be the petrified ship of Odysseus and they can’t all be right.
If you look closely you can clearly see the approximate shape of an Ancient Greek trireme. The high, curving forecastle and sterncastle with the short central mast bearing a single square sail would be typical. It’s just suffered erosion in the last 2,200 years, that’s all.

The Monastery of the Virgin Mary is itself well worth a visit here. Some monks still live there; we actually met one. In addition to a beautiful small church they have an interesting little museum of wine-making including a donkey-powered mill (but without a donkey).

The view from the high hill overlooking the bay is spectacular.

Apart from this Palaiokastritsa is famous as a family-friendly beach with good restaurants.