We arrived to a quiet Corfu – ahead of the beach season, ahead of other tourists. Some shuttered shops and restaurants had not yet opened. We knew that would soon change when we saw repairs underway and paint being applied as the days turned warmer. Anticipation was in the air. The first week we spent wandering and observing the narrow lanes of the Old Town, our new neighborhood.
On a good weather day we decided to walk to the British Cemetery and that is when we discovered the glories of Corfu in the spring.
First, we wondered how the British came to have such a high profile in Corfu. After the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, Corfu became a British protectorate. After a rocky relationship that lasted only 50 years, Corfu left Britain and joined the kingdom of Greece. Still, it seemed the British had not entirely left. Tourism from the UK remained high and many Brits have made Corfu their home. Probably the most famous British residents were the Durrell family, the subject of the popular TV series, “The Durrells in Corfu.” Lawrence and Gerald Durrell went on to become well-known authors.
The British Cemetery dates back to 1814 and became the Anglican final resting place on Corfu.
We planned to return and see how many we could find. Now the search was on. How many wildflowers could we see and photograph on the island? What a delightful prospect!
Another day, with cameras ready, we headed for Mon Repos. As we approached, we walked on a narrow sidewalk by a high stone wall and there, at eye level, we were delighted to see a profusion of wildflowers.
Finally we saw Mon Repos through the trees. The house was built in 1828 on a promontory over the sea.
Clearly, springtime on Corfu is the perfect time to look for wildflowers and the weather is ideal for long walks. What might be off-season for some turned into the right season for us. On our daily strolls we pulled out our cameras and started a new photo collection – the wildflowers of Corfu. What better souvenir to remember our visit to the island? This was truly an unexpected find.