Friday, 9 November 2007

Kanoni - The first and most famous corfiot resort

I decided on early September to do a big stroll with my bicycle around the Garitsa and Kanoni districts of Corfu town. The weather was sunny and very warm, we hadn't already passed on to the fall.

Kanoni is a suburb situated south of the town, in a peninsula where the ancient town of Corfu was, easily reached by the bus line Mantouki - Kanoni (passes through the town centre as well). It's a mere 3 km distance to the tip of the Kanoni peninsula where the famous Vlaherna church and the Mouse island are situated.

So, let's go to the tour. I followed the internal bay road which leads to Kanoni. Behind the road, there is a district called Garitsa, followed south-easternwards by another minor district called Anemomylos. Both, together with Mantouki, were the first real suburbs of Corfu Town, developed in the 17th - 18th century.

Here it's a Google Earth satellite image of Corfu Town and Kanoni area, in which I drew with Photoshop the route I followed. Excuse me for my poor Photoshop skills!

I passed by the remnants of an old building on the internal bay road, probably a hotel.

A picture of a charachteristic section of the Garitsa bay internal road:

After cycling some hundreds yards, I found a very old church, probably 400 or 500 years old. Forget me but I can't recall its name...

In the Anemomylos district, there is the oldest still running and the most famous church after one of the St. Spyridon (Corfu's patron saint), the Iasonas and Sosipatros Church. It is dated from the Byzantine years, so actually it's one thousand years old! It is fully renovated and services are being held every Sunday.

Turning right from the bay road, you will get into the main road to Kanoni. In the beginnings of that road, on your right hand you will find an old villa, probably over one hundred years old. It's called "Kokotos Villa", named after its the owner. Some people say it is spooked, personally I haven't heard any remarkable story or experience about this fame. Here is a picture of the house, taken behind the lattice-work.

The Kanoni road is very narrow and it's an one-way street as a result of its narrowness.

Also the area continues to experience a non-stop built-up, with new houses and apartment buildings been built year after year.

The road still continues for about one kilometre till reaching the tip of the peninsula.

In the last photo, you can see on the right side the beginning of a minor road leading to the marshes near the airport's runway. Following that road, you will meet a tiny church, built in the traditional corfiot style, as well as a football stadium.

Back on the main road, after 500 metres you will finally get to the tip of the Kanoni peninsula. There, you can see the famous Vlaherna church and the Mouse island. It was and still is, the most recognisable image of Corfu worldwide. When I was taking photos of the place, an aeroplane was landing, flying above Mouse island and Vlaherna church. I have to notice that the Corfu's airport runway starts right after the Vlaherna and the pedestrian bridge which connects Kanoni with the village of Perama. Especially in summers, you can stand in the middle of the bridge and wait for a plane to pass over your head. The experience worths any waiting!

Going back from the tip, we finally follow the ascending road which leads back to the town. That road offers us some great views of the Vlaherna and Mouse island, as well as the runway.

When the road going back to the town reaches the highest elevation, there are some big hotels, such as Hotel Royal (in the following picture - its name echoes the former grandeur), Hilton Hotel (now Corfu Holiday Hotel) and some other lesser known ones.

The entrance of a secluded villa.

Another photo with a view which someone can get by driving the main road to Town. You can see the Runway, the football stadium and the two masts of television antennas.

On that road, there are some really cool houses like that one:

These are the ruins of the oldest church ever built on the island: the old basilica in the ancient town. Archeologists say that the basilica was built somewhere between the 2nd of 3rd century A.D., making it a very important finding for christianity and Corfu.

Finally, the road leads you back to the Anemomylos district where we can get some real cool views towards the sea and Corfu town.

No comments: