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To Angeloklastro on Corfu

Home -> Europe -> Greece -> Travelogue Greece -> 26 June 2015

Friday 26 June, to Angeloklastro on Corfu

Breakfast by the sea, RodaAfter the quiet day of yesterday, we are going to make some effort again today. But first to the beach for our daily breakfast. An English lady has a restaurant where we can have breakfast for € 2.50 (an English breakfast with fried eggs with bacon and Teije takes scrambled eggs). And what could be better than having breakfast at the beach in the sun? The extra cup of cappucino is more expensive than the whole breakfast. Drinks are relatively expensive everywhere in Greece (about the same price level as in the Netherlands), but the food is cheap.
The bay of Agios Georgios The bay of Agios GeorgiosThrough mountainous area we drive to Prinulas where I see too many ravines and far too close. The mountains I find beautiful but those depths may be a little less deep or otherwise a bit further away from the road. From this height, though, we have a beautiful view over the bay of Agios Georgios with an elongated sandy beach. It is surprising that there is not a real village or town here, there are mainly tourist accommodations and facilities such as restaurants.
Olive grove at KriniWe are not yet driving to the coast, but we continue to the south through the interior. There we see many olive groves under which nets have been laid. Previously we have told somewhere on the website that the Greeks beat the olives from the trees with sticks but it seems that they don't do that in Corfu, they but just wait until the olives are ripe and fall from the branches, into the nets. But we also read somewhere that ripe olives are not suitable for food or olive oil. We have to find out the exeact truth about that. It is in any case strictly forbidden on Corfu to cut down olive trees, they should not even be pruned!
Angelokastro, Corfu Climb to AngelokastroSlightly beyond the mountain village of Krini with its narrow streets we see Angelokastro, our destination for today. The Castel of the Angels is a Byzantine building on the highest cliff (305 meters) on the west coast of the island. Together with two other castles, it was the defense line of Corfu against raids. The castle was regularly attacked and besieged but never conquered and played a mayor part in defeating the Turks.
From a distance it looks impressive but personally I find the stairs going up to it a much more impressive challenge.
Finally upstairs, Angelokastro View from AngelokastroFortunately, we have a good excuse to stop very often on the way up, namely to take pictures of the surroundings and the views. The first mention of the castle was in 1272, long after the Byzantine Empire had fallen apart after the conquest of Konstantinopel by the crusaders. From 1386 to 1797 it was in the hands of the Venetians and until the end of the 16th century it was even the capital of the island.
In 1999 there were excavations and objects were found that indicate that there was already a Byzantine settlement in the 5th to 7th century and more remnants of Byzantine settlements were found in the area. The residents were likely to be accommodated in the great fortress when in danger.
Church of the archangel Michael on Angelokastro Angelokastro, CorfuWhen we are finally on top of the mountain we see mainly boulders and some ruins, but there is also a small church dedicated to the archangel Michael. From the top we have a view over a large part of Corfu and in clear weather you could even see Kerkyra. In case of danger, for example when a fleet of pirates arrived, a large fire was ignited, as a result of which the other castles on the island were warned and reinforcements could be sent.
Looking into the depth, Kastelli Pfff, the climb to the castle is behind usI am especially happy that the climbing is over, this was not an easy trip. Fortunately, there is a cafe where we can recover. But I think that such a climb in one day is sufficient. Teije wants to go to Palaiokastritsa (=place of the old castle) and I'm afraid we have to visit another castle but it is just a seaside resort about 10 kilometers from here. If there ever has been a castle, it is gone now. There is a monastery, but we skip that. And we don't find any traces of the Greek hero Odysseus; he would have been washed ashore here and met Princess Nausicaä of the Phaiakes who helped him to return home.
Overgrown ruin of a Doric temple near RodaThe rest of the afternoon we stay at a beach for some sunbathing and to rest for a few hours and after that we also go back home, to Roda where we walk through the village to see the remains of a Doric temple. But the temple from the 5th century bc. is rather overgrown. Yet there is a sign that between 2000 and 2006 almost € 300,000 has been spent on restoration of this place and the Roman baths a little further. Maybe they bought weed seed for it? Because it did not deliver much more than that, or it must be the gangway between the vegetation.


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