How not to fall in love with this beauty? How not to fall in love with this nature, these views, this wilderness, all these different greens and smells and blossoms and birdsongs? And not least, this feeling of peaceful solitude.
It’s one of these perfect sunny winter days on Corfu and I am walking along a gravel path at the feet of Pantokrator mountain with my guide Spiros and his girlfriend Marcella. No single cloud is showing up on the perfectly blue sky above and around us and the Ionian sea to our feet and the snow-covered Albanian mountain tops on the other side of the bay. What a blast! And what a privilege to be the first to walk this newly marked hiking route through the flora and fauna of zoologist and nature lover and addict, Gerald Durrell. The Durrell Trail.
Spiros picked me up at The White House in Kalami – the meanwhile world-famous former home of Gerald Durrell and his family. From here, he started to explore the unique nature of Corfu. And this Spiros and me do likely, following the new trail nicely marked with a capital “DT” for “Durrell Trail”. To discover and learn about the flora and fauna of Corfu, there couldn’t be a better guide than Spiros. He seems to know a story literally for every bush and flower and tree, the Greek names, the English names, the scientific names, the specifics of every species, what they are used for in the kitchen or for medical treatment or why they are important for the geology and biology of Corfu.
I can so much see young Gerald Durrell walking these ways with his best friend Spiros SSSS – his eyes and ears wide open, soaking in all the fascinating stories his companion was telling with passion and profound knowlegde only a local since generations can have!
“My” Spiros is the same kind of rooted deeply into Corfu’s history. And it’s just perfect that The White House owners managed to find him to lead their groups on the Durrell Trail. A walk, by the way, that’s suitable for everyone – from children to seniors, hiking beginners to mountain pros. Its four to five hours will pass like nothing and back at The White House one can conclude the day with some meze from the kitchen like we did. What else to say than again the words from the beginning: How not to fall in love with this?