Galaxidi

Galaxidi is a very nice, quite distinctive town with a long maritime history. Up until the 1950s, when a road was built between Itea and Navpaktos it was only accessible by boat! This is our second visit having also stopped here a couple of years ago when we caught the bus to the ruins at Delphi.

We had only intended to stay a couple of days on our way to visit Corinth, but after a bout of strenuous relaxation on the day of our arrival I strained my back and could barely move. It was awful, I felt like a 60 year old! Unfortunately it took the best part of two weeks for my back to recover, or so I thought. The worst part about that was not being able to move about and go exploring.

But I did eventually make it to the Maritime Museum which was really very interesting. Galaxidi was built around two natural harbours and was a centre for ship building from the earliest of times. Many of the residents were ship builders, ship masters or owners and became very wealthy, hence the large and impressive buildings around town.

Galaxidi was heavily involved in the Greek War of Independence and was a key Greek port from which armed boats secured the Gulf of Corinth for the Greeks. The town was destroyed 3 times between 1821 and 1825 by the Turks and in 1830 it was still described as ‘completely demolished’. Despite this Galaxidi still boasted over 100 ships and by the 1870’s they were building 15 to 20 ships a year for the Mediterranean and Atlantic trades. However, by the end of the 19th century steam had replaced sail and Galaxidi ship builders did not adapt to the new technology and the town rapidly declined into insignificance.

Due to the current virus problems Galaxidi was relatively quiet and wandering around the streets was quite pleasant, apart from the number of stray dogs. As we took a walk up to the church of St Nicholas one evening one of these decided to try and bite me. It seemed rather old and didn’t manage to get its mouth open far enough to actually bite me properly, but it was enough to keep us off the back streets! On the positive side we did find our now favourite restaurant, The Absinthe Tapas Bar.

Whilst here we also met an English couple who have spent a number of winters in Galaxidi. Our friends from Mai Tai also wintered here and in Itea last year and, having spoken to the lady who runs the port we can negotiate a 6 month stay for a very reasonable price. The only issue is there is no guaranteed berth, but it isn’t apparently busy, and is unlikely to be so this year with all the pandemic problems.

We are told the town is quiet over the winter, but not deserted. There is a boat yard near by in Itea and a decent chandlers in Galaxidi which will act as a postal address for any stuff we order. Galaxidi is also only a couple of hours from Athens Airport. We are seriously considering this as opposed to heading over to Italy. As we’ve been in Greece since the Coronovirus started we also won’t have to worry about trying to cross national boarders when the next but one wave of lock downs start.

And so thinking that my ‘bad back’ had fixed itself with the aid of some pain killers we set off to return to Cephalonia to see Keith and Tracey. We’d planned to leave on Sunday the 9th, but thunderstorms kept us in Galaxidi for an extra day, so we’re now off on Monday, looking to be in Argostoli on Tuesday, 11th after stopping overnight in Mesolongi.