Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Greek Easter


I will let age take the hit for this one, I just went away on a holiday with my roadbike. I am not sure when things changed but a few years ago that never would have happened, or at least I would never have admitted it! Me and Katie went out to the Greek island of Corfu for Easter, the bikes came along and we did a cycle tour around the island. The Greeks out there are known to celebrate Easter properly and it was a seriously cool event. Their culture is based around food and socialising and this really was the emphasis of the religious festival. The main town out there is Corfu town. It is a very picturesque place and for the whole Easter weekend the majority of the islands inhabitants could be found in the towns small streets and squares. There were big processions, fireworks, pot smashings, egg smashings and every family had an entire lamb on their barbeque and were laying on massive feasts for the occasion. Food is a bit of a passion of ours and the Greeks really understand the value of quantity so that side of things was a real winner! The craziest part of the whole easter event was the pot smashing. The main square in the town filled up from all directions with a steady stream of people. Everyone was there from grans to babies and the odd dog brought along for good measure. Once there was literally no space left to breathe a small space, literally only a few meters deep was cleared in front of the buildings surrounding the square. This was the target for the buildings occupants to hurl terracotta pots into from the balconies above. It is lucky to get hit by flying fragment (probably not whole pots) so being up close and personal with the carnage is meant to be a good thing! We were about 4 rows from the front which was more than close enough for this unordered chaos.




Greeks like competition and a chance to show off and so there were progressively bigger pots emerging from balcony windows. The climax was when a few 6foot tall pots requiring 3 people to lift them were dropped less than gracefully from a 4th story balcony. It was quite an engaging experience. The police there were taking a blase approach to protecting the safety of the onlookers and after they had blown their whistles a few times it seemed that they reasoned there was nothing else they could do and so let the crowd bulge past any optimistic safety tapes laid out on the ground. The cycling was nice, the locals thought we were totally insane, no one else cycles out there. The north end of the island has some really scenic terrain, the roads were quiet and the weather was nice without being overkill. All in all it was a really nice trip even if it does mark a dangerous descent from the cool steps of mountain biking towards becoming some kind of leisure cyclist!





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