Finally came today folks - after 43 days! And it lasted just over an hour as I got bored. No seriously...
As such this is only a short post covering a couple of un-connecting things but here is proof of me chillaxing. Check out the lethal trainer-sock tan line!
Late last night after my birthday meal to myself I came back to my hotel and opened five birthday cards that Kate had transported over with her those days ago. I was thrilled to hear from my nearest and dearest and the positive words they expressed.
Not only that but I was lucky enough to have collectively received enough money from them all to cover my 3 night hotel stay! Needless to say after such generosity and several ales, I found this quite emotional. Thank you again people, so much.
In fact, by contrast where I'm staying next appears to be very affordable so I'll even have some of my birthday money left over to cover some nights there too. Speaking of which, any ideas on where is next people? If you look at the little world map applet on the main blog page and zoom out you'll notice Corfu happens to be very close to a large landmass - irrespective of how strange and surprising that location might sound... :-)
As I mentioned once before over the weeks, I really get a super sense of satisfaction that I am learning when I have a feeling, experience or opinion confirmed by another. Imagine my delight then as I would encounter several instances of these in the next 12 or so hours. #lovethatfeeling.
Speaking of that birthday meal I stumbled upon a cracking Greek taverno restaurant that provided an incredible ambience. Unsurprisingly it was family opened with Mama and Papa at the helm but with a superb bunch of staff also. Within a matter of minutes the waiter and I very bantering away and for the next hour or so so we would continue to chat 'travel' at every opportunity when he wasn't serving other people. The use of the word Waiter sounds so old fashioned doesn't it and might immediately conjure up images of the archaic white-shirt and bow-tie which wasn't the case here.
The 'waiter' spoke three languages and was learning a fourth. As you do. He was just awesome and it was refreshing to finally have someone serve the tables with some charisma. Where was he from? Only that country I recently spoke so highly of: Romania. He had been here in Corfu for four years having initially looked to travel and further his job prospects.
And what did he say which struck an immediate cord with me? Firstly how beautiful his home country was and how only the locals knew it and that the rest of the world appears not to. That the old gypsies had minority thieves had tarnished the image of the country for years. I simply returned the words 'I understand my friend, I really do' because at that point he didn't know I had been. Later I would tell him the countries I had been too as The Unlikely Traveller and then the conversation moved to how beautiful the girls were in a specific country. 'YES' I exclaimed - I totally agree and we basically agreed on our country-list of fine females. Nothing crass or derogatory here lady-readers, just respect and admiration for good-looking females! :-)
Then at my final breakfast this morning I sat across a table from an older couple who sounded a little 'well to do'. She said something to him along the lines of they were here until the 1st of July which interested and intrigued me. Shortly after I would initiate conversation with them which would see us pass an entire hour on travel related stories! It was fantastic and emphasises just how much I love listening to people's travel stories and picking up whatever tips and tricks I can.
Within the first 30 minutes I acknowledged to myself I was probably speaking to the most worldly-travellers I have ever met or known.
This couple had checked into this hotel for a couple of nights whilst their boat was being attended to and whilst their friends head over at the end of this week to go sailing with them.
Oh, that's in a 48 foot boat that can sleep 8 - not bad for English standards hey. He was a retried doctor (consultant radiologist) that had lived in all parts of the UK and even lived in Chew Magna at one point. By the end of the hours conversation we collectively - yes I held my own for a short while folks :-) - spoke of so many places we'd visited and that they'd live in or spent good time in.
And the few feelings, experiences and opinions I had confirmed by them were:
Mallorca really is that beautiful an island.
Capri was just 'nice'.
Sicily gets the big thumbs up.
Corfu is delightful - especially the beaches on the west coast
Corfu town is well worth staying in
Croata is lovely but the people aren't 'MED' people - they're of course Slavics who operate differently.
My claim to fame was finding a place they hadn't been too but I had - VENICE. Naturally they had it planned to be sailing into here within the next year.
It's a good life folks - now let's go and live it!