Iraklion to Corfu
21 April 2002 - I woke up in plenty of time to meet JP in the lobby at 6:00 a.m. Even early Sunday morning, a taxi to take us to the airport arrived promptly. The airport was already busy. We got coffee and split a pre-packaged croissant, then went in search of the "authorities." After searching and asking questions, we finally found where we were expected to go for weather and filing a flight plan. Our leg that day was to Corfu, a city on Kerkira, an island on the northwest coast of Greece, right next to Albania.
We obtained our weather briefing, then went to the air traffic control tower to file our flight plan. It was a beautiful morning, although thunderstorms were forecast for later in the day. Since this would be a domestic flight, we didn't need to see Passport Control. JP and I cleared Security then made our way out to the ramp, where a van picked us up and took us to the airplane. A short time later, the fuel truck arrived. We filled the tanks, completed the pre-flight, and we were ready to go. I called ground control for our start clearance, which we received promptly. I started the airplane and moments later we were airborne. During the climb to 10,000 feet, we encountered a few small cumulus clouds; but nothing threatening, then settled in for our relatively short flight.
Our route took us over several islands along the west coast of Greece. Instrument flying charts show navigational aids not cities, so despite the clouds below us, we dug out an atlas and had a marvelous time trying to identify islands and towns we flew by. Greece has some spectacular mountains. Two hours after our departure, air traffic control started giving us progressively lower altitudes, setting us up for our descent into Kerkira. Two and a half hours after our departure, we touched down. We were directed to our parking area and shortly a van arrived to take us to the terminal.
We found a taxi that took us to our hotel, the Corfu Palace, which was a major upgrade from the previous evening. Our rooms looked out onto the Ionian sea. Awesome! JP and I went down to the restaurant for lunch. Afterwards we agreed to meet for a walk around the town in about an hour. Unfortunately, the forecast thunderstorm made its appearance. When the rain finally stopped, we headed for an old fort sitting on a large rock, that overlooked the harbor. We didn't get very far before we realized it was closed. Climbing to the top would have been fun; but we ended up walking through the town, which is a tourist destination in the summer. Corfu was everything Iraklion wasn't. It's a beautiful town with great architecture. It seemed as though almost every window on the narrow, winding streets had a flower box. Eventually we found an open café on the street for dinner.
I was in bed fairly early, still catching up on the sleep I'd missed the last night in Egypt.