As we were in Kassiopi for another day due to the weather forecast not being favourable for our destination, we decided to take the local bus for a trip to Corfu town. It takes over an hour from here, but the views along the coast are wonderful. The road meanders with some sharp hairpIn bends high above the villages and holiday resorts below. The driver of the bus, which is actually a huge air conditioned coach, has obviously done this trip dozens of times before, squeezes easily between the oncoming traffic and other obstacles which makes the passengers hold their breath and close their eyes. The fare was €3.80 each way, per person. If you took the same length journey in the UK it would require you to re-mortgage your house or get a bank loan.
When we approached Corfu town, the bus took a different route than usual. Previously, the bus station was located close to the Corfu town market, around the corner from the castle, and close to the waterfront. In fact, an excellent location for a short walk to the narrow streets, shops and tavernas in the old town, and everything else you might want to see was within a short distance of the old bus terminus. But now they have built a huge new bus station out of town, on a dual carriageway! (I think the Greek sign implied that 1.97 million euro of European money was granted for this work – less than was granted for the castle renovations I told you about!). This monstrous edifice looks like an airport terminal, with acres of glass, a high roof, numbered gates, a cafe, marble floors and posh loos. Bizarrely, there is no illuminated sign or arrival/destination board to be seen anywhere, maybe they ran out of money, so the poor girl on the information desk was inundated with inquiries from passengers as to departure times and which was the right bus. However, this is only the terminus for the Green line buses. If you want to catch a Blue line bus, they stop at the same place in town as before.
It was a hot, noisy, dusty and somewhat dangerous walk into Corfu town from the bus station, along a very busy road with mostly no pavements. I felt sorry for people who were having to do this for the first time, they would not find it easy, and poor old ladies on holiday would find it a bit of a trek, as would those young girls wearing fashionable high heeled shoes….. As we knew Corfu a little bit, we worked out where we were going to end up – at a huge road junction at centre of town, where we have often sat for a drink for a spell of people watching, on previous visits. So after our marathon hike, we collapsed in the same cafe for a coffee. Everywhere was so busy! Loads of Greeks going about their business, holiday makers studying maps to try and make sense of where they were, planes taking off overhead, police motorbikes with flashing lights. And of course there was not one sign anywhere pointing to the direction of the new bus terminus!