Home   Contact  

Madisons Adventure



2013 Voyage

2011 Voyage

2010 Voyage

2009 Voyage

2007 Voyage




Jess' Views



Final Month in Greece

Here is the final blog of our summer jaunt to the Mediterranean.

September was a fabulous month with lots of visitors and we had a good road trip back to Scotland too.

Karl's Dad Ken visited us at the beginning of the month for about 10 days and we had a great time hanging around various bays and quays in Corfu. Fortunately his visit was timed well as our friends Jimmy, Glynis were visiting from Edinburgh too and staying with their pals Margaret and Gordon in the NW of Corfu so we arranged to hook up a couple of times with too. So Ken had a lovely time in Petriti, Benitses, Kassiopi and Corfu Town. We had a great afternoon in Corfu Town with Jimmy and the gang and we also all hooked up for a pool day in Kassiopi too. Too much food and drink was definitely consumed during this time.

Once Ken went home we had a few days before our next visitor arrived so hung out in one of our favourite little villages, Petriti. This is good for Smudge for walking, great shelter for Madison, good tavernas and a great wee pool bar too. There were quite a few yachties that developed harbour rot alongwith us, so there was a lovely wee floating community there that kept popping in and out of there over the last few weeks we were in Greece and plenty of folk to socialise with.

Our old university friend of 20 years, Philip arrived on 13th September for a weeks sailing holiday. He had never sailed before so we had a plan of where we could take him without going too far and hopefully places with good shelter just in case the weather came in. We spent a lovely week with Philip which included an encounter with dolphins - although they didn't come as close as they have before so we spent about 30mins sailing after them trying to get closer. He experienced all kinds of yacht manoeuvring and berthing - sterns-to, anchoring (so we could dinghy ashore too), and alongside mooring. On our arrival, sterns-to, in Gaios on Paxos we all cracked a beer and smugly watched half a dozen yachts vying for only a couple of spaces. Tempers flared and there was lots of shouting, some crazy manoeuvring (thankfully not too close to Madison), equally crazy speeds and the three of us sat out on deck enjoying the drama. It's always better when it's not your drama. Who needs TV, people-watching is much more fun!

Philip was keen to learn how to sail and tie up. He definitely earned his competent crew badge from Yacht Madison! Who knows we might be able to rope Philip into a bit of crewing when we bring Madison back to Scotland in the New Year.

We did a bit of sailing, more motoring than we wanted. C'est la vie, but we visited Gaios, Lakka, Petriti and Corfu. We had a couple of nights in each place. Great food in Café Italiano in Gaios and also in Leonidas Taverna, Petriti. We managed a special order for an overnight storm with high winds just for Philip in Lakka so that he could experience us dragging anchor, forcing us to reset in the dark and it also meant we stayed an extra night there. However Lakka is a beautiful place to be stuck so none of us minded. On our last day in Corfu town before Philip flew home we went for a fish spa too which was an unusual and quite pleasant experience.

When Philip went home we had a few days before Margaret, Laura's mum came so we headed back to Petriti again. This would be our last visit here as once Margaret arrived we would head to Lefkas via Gaios so we could organise ourselves for leaving Greece.

So Margaret arrived on 24th September and after a late evening walk around Corfu Town and a night alongside in the harbour we all departed for Gaios the next day. We were to have two days passage making to Lefkada just to make sure we had plenty of time to winterise and check over the car before heading back home.

In Gaios we had a lovely evening stroll before heading for another great Italian meal in Café Italiano. Italian is Margaret's favourite cuisine so we knew she'd love it. We didn't have a late night as we had to head off early the next day for an 8 hour trip to Lefkada town. Unfortunately on both days we didn't get favourable winds and had to motor but as we were on a deadline we just had to get on with it. Margaret enjoyed it all the same.

Once in Lefkada we tied up on the town quay ready to organise ourselves. We had arrived on a Thursday night and had Fri-Wed to sort car, marina, hopefully squeeze another wee trip with Margaret and finally lockup Madison for a few months. We had a lovely long walk early on the Friday morning with Smudge around the salt lake and windmills in Lefkada.

Thankfully ensuring the car was ready for the trip home only took Karl a couple of hours on the Friday so we could relax a little over the weekend until we went into the Marina. We took a drive in the car south of Lefkada to Nidri and most importantly the Seaside Bar in Vlikho Bay and we also went to the Nidri Waterfalls, just outside of the town, for a lovely walk and an obligatory frappe.

On the Sunday we decided we had time to go for a sail into Nidri itself and explore it a little. There was a nice Italian here too that we knew that we could go to for dinner. We had a lovely afternoon with Margaret exploring Nidri and a great meal out before turning in. The next morning we got up and the forecast was not good so we thought it best to get away sharp and a good sail back to Lefkada. It became clear that the weather was really turning for the worst so we called up the marina to see if we could come in a day earlier on the Monday and thankfully they said yes. The only good thing about this was the wind was behind so Margaret finally got a good sail in. Getting into the marina a day early turned out to be a great decision as the weather got much worse, there were terrible storms for a couple of nights and days and a lot of boats that were on the town quay got into problems as they were too exposed. We were so glad this wasn't us. It's quite good to watch a lightning storm but only when you know you're tucked in safely somewhere.

We managed two visits to our favourite restaurant, Ey Zhn, in Lefkada town. The second visit was for Laura's birthday and there was even a birthday cake as a surprise. There was also a second visit to a fish spa. However Margaret wasn't too keen on this and had to be distracted by games on a smartphone. Margaret also ate her first gyros meal too!

On Wednesday 2nd October we locked up Madison and drove to the port of Igoumenitsa for the ferry to Italy. The Italian ferry going home was much better than the one coming thankfully and we managed to get a cabin that was pet friendly which meant Smudge was a lot happier. The top deck of the ferry was also for dogs so she could get out and stretch her legs properly with other dogs. She was a lot more relaxed. Upon arrival in Italy we had a 7 hour drive to Zofingen, Switzerland where we staying at Aunt Allison's again. It would seem however that the motorways of Europe are in a permanent state of road works and we only averaged 50mph and didn't get into Zofingen until about 3am. We were very tired. Thankfully we didn't have to get up too early the next day and we didn't have to drive anywhere.

Our day in Zofingen was very relaxing. Smudge was taken to the vet for her worming treatment that was needed so she could re-enter the UK and we had a good wander around the Brockie, which is a charity shop in a huge unit on two floors and is always worth a mooch. On the evening we had a family meal where Allison and Thomas fed 13 of us before turning in with full stomachs. Not only did we have a great dinner but the following morning before we set off for our drive to The Netherlands Thomas baked us some fresh bread to take with us and gave us some homemade jam and juice and other goodies. We quickly text our friends in The Netherlands to tell them we had breakfast sorted for the next day.

So off we went for another day's drive across Europe. Again the road works were terrible and it took much longer than it should have and we only averaged 50mph. So much for 'no speed limit' on the autobans, we didn't get a chance to utilise this facility! We arrived later than planned at Tracy and Adrian's in Haarlem but thankfully their little girl, Rose had been allowed to stay up and say hi. Laura was promptly summoned to read the bedtime story, Cinderella. Jake, who is only 18 months was already in bed so only one story was required.

Tracy and Adrian had dinner ready for us which was very welcome. After a good night sleep and a lovely breakfast of homemade bread, all 7 of us piled into the cars and went off to a country park for a walk (bike ride for Rose and a push and toddle for Jake) and some lunch. It was a lovely day out and just what we needed after spending the day before in the car.

In the afternoon we said our farewells and headed for the ferry terminal, which is only a 15min drive from Tracy and Adrian's. This time Smudge had to go in the kennel again so she wasn't very happy. No matter how many times we visited her and tried to persuade her to go, she wouldn't use the sandbox provided and soiled her kennel overnight. The poor wee thing was stressed but there was nothing we could do short of sleeping in the actual kennel with her. After an overnight trip we arrived in Newcastle and drove the final few hours to Edinburgh. Smudge just knew we were home straight away and it was like we had never been away.

She has settled straight in and is very glad to be back with her friends, Milo and Teddy (Aunty Pat's dogs down the road).























This Web Page Created with PageBreeze, a free tool to Build a Website