We have spent the last 2 weeks revisiting places from last year in the Ionian Islands. This brought us back to Corfu where we arrived Greece at the end of May 2014. I enjoy the city of Corfu very much with the charming old town, the daily market of fruits, vegetables, and fish. All this within some minutes walk from the anchorage over looking the old Fort.
The absolute best part of Corfu is a shop in old town that make their own ice cream and it is incredible. Papagirgis Patisserie is highly recommended if you visit Corfu. Our last dinner in Greece we returned to a very small family owned fish restaurant because this is where our first dinner in Greece was with Hans and Iris in May 2014.
Our overnight crossing from Corfu to Crotone, Italy was very pleasant and it was nice to see dolphins again. Crotone is in the Calabria region which is the foot of Italy. I had my first incident of falling into the water from the dock so perhaps that qualifies me as a “real cruiser” . Crotone is a nice town, not too big and not too small. It was once known, long ago, for the beautiful women, art and architecture. Today the local economy has been boosted by oil platforms not far from the shore. More fish markets here than we have seen prior and a nice daily open market for fruits and vegetables plus other local products.
Calabria is known for their hot peppers and spicy cuisine. Last night the street along the waterfront was packed with the local people walking and enjoying a Saturday evening. Restaurants were busy, different music venues along the long street; a very pleasant atmosphere. We met 2 American couples in the marina on Sunday. Bob and Barb are from San Francisco and Paul and Diane are from S. Carolina. Because of my fall into the water, Bob and Barb stopped by to see if I was ok because Bob saw it happen. Then one hour later Paul and Diane arrived to the marina and moored next to us. So the six of had good times when we met for the evening social hours.
Next port along the boot of Italy was Roccella Ionica. A small quiet marina with a silting inlet. Only 2.7 m when we visited. Staff is friendly and will come out and guide you in if you ask. Call them on channel 14. The trick is to go very close to the breakwater with a red light on. When I say close I mean 3-4 m.
3 hours after arriving 2 Italian Coast Guard boats arrived with refugees crossing from Africa. The refugees had been in a small boat for 2 days at sea before they were rescued. As you can see small children made this life threatening journey.
We estimated each coast guard boat had a minimum of 50 persons per boat. They were brought ashore and checked and then boarded buses to a facility where they will be detained for some days while papers are processed, finger printed and then who knows……..
The refugee crisis in Europe is desperate. Since the people on the picture arrived to Italy just in the beginning of the week, we have had following news. Next day a boat capsized outside the Libyan coast and 200 drowned. In Austria on a Autobahn a truck with 71 bodies was found abandoned on Thursday. In Gothenburg Sweden 200 children without parents arrived last week! Some of them abandoned on the streets by smugglers.