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Missed excursions in Corfu
When my mother visited Corfu, she was very taken with the Achilleum, the summer palace of Empress Sissy of Austria-Hungary, and has been steadily encouraging me to see it.
My Lonely Planet notes there’s surprisingly little to see on the inside, but it does look a million bucks on the outside…
… when it’s not swamped by scaffolding. Under restoration works since October 2022, closed to the public.
The Achilleum palace is near the village of Garouna, 10 km south of Corfu Town.
Depicted, on the kiosk outside my accommodation, the Garouna Guys, a local folk troupe, playing tonight. Which normally would guarantee me checking them out.
Except. June 5 is the public holiday of Whitsun, or if you will, Pentecost. (The vernacular name for it here, which momentarily tripped me up, is Feast day of the Holy Spirit.) It is a handy signpost for the beginning of summer holidays here, even if it is a movable feast, and tour companies organise Holy Spirit day excursions.
A great feast day like Whitsun will also be greeted by village fairs (πανηγύρια), when the whole village turns out to party. Often enough with an out of town band playing.
I’m sure the good folk of the village of Kato Pavliana, a half hour drive away from Corfu town, were having a blast with the Garouna Guys on Whitsun morning. But I’m afraid I’m going to have to give them a miss.
One more venue I missed, by half an hour, was the Byzantine Museum of Corfu, and occasionally still functioning church of Our Lady Opposite the Mountain (Antivouniotissa).
The mountain, if I’m reading Google maps correctly, is Northern Corfu.