June 2009

June 2009

  • June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel
  • June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel
  • June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Hotter Than July!

Those of you who watch the webcams so avidly will have noticed that for some time now the thermometer has been showing temperatures in the thirties – culminating with 36 degrees on 25th May.

Hotter Than July!, June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Since then, it has dropped only 1 or 2 degrees, but when we first sat down to write this (27th May) it was steady at 30. Corfu is not usually quite so hot at this time of year, which is why it is a popular time for visitors who like to get out and walk and admire the dazzling display of wild flowers. However in the last few days, Corfu has shown once again just how capricious it can be when it comes to weather. Sporadic storms over the past few days had at least one dramatic result – a tall palm tree in the Corfu Yacht Marina was struck by lightning and turned into a blazing torch! Luckily the fire was put out by swift-acting yachties, but too late to save much of the electronic equipment in the bar next door to the tree.

We had so much rain this winter that so far the countryside is resisting the heat and everything is still green. Those of us who live here are in no hurry for the real heat of summer to begin – May and June are such lovely months, with their many manifestations of new and revived life. This is the time when the nights sparkle with fireflies and echo to the sonar bleeps of the Scops Owl, seeking a mate. The Nightjar makes its contribution to the evening with a deep churring sound like the beat of a giant pulse. Tortoises emerge from their winter hiding place, to rustle through gardens and those verges that have not fallen to the ubiquitous strimmer. They seem to have an urge to cross roads – a hazardous trip – but they do not seem to appreciate our efforts to pick them up and put them back in the grass. This is also one of the two annual occasions when the cat population of Corfu receives a boost – it is too hot for the slender little kittens and they are flopped out everywhere, in gardens, on windowsills and doorsteps. Don’t forget to put out a big bowl of water for them and keep it topped up. It goes without saying that this applies to dogs as well.

There are other animals that appreciate a saucer of milk or water – they tend to be nocturnal visitors but if you are lucky you may hear them scooting the saucer around and catch a glimpse of them. Hedgehogs! They have been known to line up with the cats and eat their own share of Whiskas, with the cats very wary and keeping their distance, but it is milk that they love.

Flower of the Month

Flower of the Month, June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

At this time of year Corfu’s hillsides provide one of the most striking sights – that of slopes thickly covered with yellow broom, especially beautiful along the northeast coast. The flowers emit a buttery scent that perfumes the air and seems to be a distillation of everything we love about Greece. In ancient times, the Spanish Broom was used to make ship’s ropes, and its stems broken down to make fibres from which ship’s sails were woven. Linen and hemp were not resistant enough to salt water.


Fireflies, June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

One of the recurring topics on Agni forums, along with pleas for mozzie repellents and how to avoid wasps, the fireflies hog the headlines during the spring. For the record, they are to be seen on May and June evenings. In America they are called ‘lightning bug’ but are, in fact, neither bug nor fly, but beetle. They are not the gentle creatures their name suggests, but are carnivorous and feed off other insects and even snails. The early summer displays that so enchant us are performed by the males – wouldn’t you know it? – as part of their mating ritual, and the light they give off is called bioluminescence. Multiple flashes from the males, single half-flashes from the females. There are several different species, and females are able to mimic the flash sequence of a different species, thus attracting a male for the purposes of a quick snack rather than a nifty spot of nookie.

Talking of Snails

Back to the Agni forums, where regular and prolific contributor, Maggie, recently described watching snails being prepared for cooking by a neighbour in her Corfu village. She describes the washing of the snails in water to which washing-up liquid had been added. We had always understood that common-or-garden snails were not the edible kind, but it is probably just another example of the Corfiots doing things their own way!

That Reminds Me....

That Reminds Me...., June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Of the way Mr Portokalis, in the film ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ sprayed Windex on everything as a ready remedy. Nia Vardalos, the star of that film, has a new film opening soon, called ‘My Life in Ruins’ Filmed in Greece, it describes the adventures of a Greek-American girl who is working as a tour guide, accompanying groups to the various archaeological sites of Greece. En route, she discovers her true self, falls in love with the handsome Greek coach driver and generally re-enacts the story that some of us here in Corfu lived for real back in the good old days. The film is a must-see for those of us who still have stars in our eyes and romance in our hearts!

Cinema Corfu

And it also reminds me that these days films are shown at the local cinema almost simultaneously with their general release in Europe. Not like the bad old days… when you could wait years to see a longed-for film. ‘Angels & Demons’ was on in Corfu in May – how up-to-date is that?

Don’t forget that in the summer Corfu offers one of the most charming cinema experiences – the open-air cinema re-opens at the Phoenix Theatre in Corfu Town. Sit under the stars, sprawled in a deckchair with a cool drink on the table beside you, and enjoy a good selection of films in idyllically old-fashioned style. Open-air cinema was always a highlight of summer in Greece.

Animal Stories

Being bitten by mosquitoes or stung by wasps is not a pleasant aspect of the holiday. Horse flies and scorpions come into this category too. But there are other creatures in Corfu that bite – and one of our friends discovered this a while back. Visiting a Greek couple whose son had just completed his veterinarian training and had returned to the island to open a practice, she walked into the courtyard of their old country house to see a Capuchin monkey sitting on a branch of the fig tree. One of those women who acts before she thinks, and adores animals, she reached up to it, as you would to a kitten. Not hearing the couple calling out a warning, she was surprised but a little flattered when the animal leapt on to the shoulder of her jacket. It was then she noticed that it wore a chain. She also noticed that its feet were dirty and not wishing to have her black jacket soiled, she attempted to brush the monkey off.

Warning – don’t ever try to give a Capuchin the brush-off! This one screeched and bit her hand, right there on the ball of the thumb where it would be most painful. Now a Capuchin has long, curved teeth and it doesn’t like to let go.
Eventually freed, and in excruciating pain, our friend was driven to a local doctor. It was a public holiday and he was watering his vines. He asked her what had bitten her, scarcely raised an eyebrow when she told him, and stuck her hand under the icy stream of water. This acted as an anaesthetic for one thing, and he followed it up with anti-tetanus jabs – no, not in the middle of the vineyard. No one seemed at all surprised when she admitted to having been bitten by a monkey. Some things are just part and parcel of the Corfu experience it seems. This happened about 30 years ago, and the scar is still there and still hurts in damp weather. No matter what happens to you in Corfu, it always makes a good story.


Triva, June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

So many of the international (i.e. American/British) TV shows are syndicated, and inevitably find their way to Greek screens, with varying levels of success. We have seen Greek versions of game shows, talent shows, reality shows, and so on. Now it seems that there is a Greek version of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. The mind boggles. We can think of several Corfiot chefs who could play the Ramsay role standing on their heads – which is about the only thing they do not do when in a tizzy. In the end, however, the programme aired with a chef who had only a minor tantrum on screen, while the expert chef hosting the programme was a charming chap – all quite disappointing really in view of the potential for mayhem!

What's On This Month

What's On This Month, June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

As usual, finding out what is going on in Corfu at any given time is not the easiest of tasks. The most comprehensive information probably comes from your Greek neighbours or shopkeepers, but may not be the most reliable. There are some important religious festivals this month, notably June 8th, the Feast of the Holy Spirit, June 14th, All Saints Day, and June 29th, St Peter and St Paul. Sports events, too, get under way in the first fortnight of June, with Inflatable Boat races taking place in Garitsa Bay, Corfu Town. The annual Brindisi-Corfu sailing race takes place between 1 and 8 June. For lovers of the spectacular, look out for the gorgeous, mostly scarlet, Ferrari cars that gather at the Chandris in Dassia for the annual rally of the Italian Ferrari Club.

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Polly Vromikos Rides Again June 2009

Polly  Vromikos Rides Again June 2009, June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

I adore the world of the Internet, and I am especially addicted to forums and blogs. If I had read that sentence five years ago I would not have had a clue what it meant. Now I can write it and it makes perfect sense to me. Shows how quickly the world changes.

In fact, a funny thing happened to me on the way to this forum – as Frankie Howerd might have said in his interpretation of the farce by the same name. I got sidetracked, as so easily happens when Google presents you with a list of intriguing alternatives. I found myself in a World that rivals that of the Hobbits, the Lord of the Rings or Discworld.

I refer to the world of forums. I was just wondering, fingers poised over the key that would open the door of the Agni forums, why, how and where the term originated and I know about the Roman forums thank you very much, but this is an Internet forum. Thanks to Wikipedia, I got more than I bargained for, which should not have been a surprise. Soon I was gamboling in glades of self-education (it’s tempting to write ‘elf-education’ but I will desist) that were peopled with characters called trolls and avatars, sock puppets and lurkers, necromancers and gravediggers; where a monster called an octothorpe prowled and flame wars raged, where an Internet meme spread like the plague, and only, as you might expect, wikis were able to control the chaos.

Sounds like a good plot for an Internet game to me, but that’s what happens when you troll, or surf, the forums!

Polly  Vromikos Rides Again June 2009, June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

When it comes to blogs, things are less colourful it seems – they are simply on-line diaries, run by individuals on the whole. Google reckons there are over 110 million of them, and lists 779 million entries, whereas Yahoo reckons it has received 4.7 billion entries. I find the world of trolls and sock puppets easier to comprehend than that of sheer mind-boggling numbers, so I think I will just pop down to the forums now. Might grab a tiropitta on the way.

See you next month, friends, if the Trojans don’t waylay me in the forums first.

Agni Travel

Agni Travel, June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Now into our 7th year, we thought it was time for a professional makeover!

With the help of www.goodchildsdesign.co.uk we are planning a new image and website design.

With more Greek Islands being added to our listings and our move into Italy where Tuscany, Southern Italy and Snow Skiing are planned for next season, it was time to improve our image.

This month too, our next printed brochure will be available. Email sales@agni.gr for a copy to be posted to you.

Greek Videos

This month's video comes from the island of Tilos:This month's video comes from the island of Tilos:



Speed Boat Rental

Speed Boat Rental, June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Visiting Corfu, Paxos, Lefkas or Kefalonia soon? We can help you pre-book your boat - at a location close to your accommodation.

Why Rent a Boat?

Renting a motor boat will give a whole new perspective to your view of any of the Greek Islands.
You won't believe how many quiet bays and coves you will find as you motor along the coast.
You could even have a beach all to yourself for the day to sunbathe, picnic and swim - imagining it as your own piece of Paradise!

Speed Boat Rental, June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Agni Travel offers competitive pricing and very big range of boat engines, speedboats up to the capacity of 220 HP. (For the smaller boats, no license is required.)

Speed Boat Rental, June 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Especially during the months of July and August, pre-booking a boat is recommended. Contact sofri@agni.gr for more details.

Make the most of your next Greek island holiday by renting a boat.

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