Date: April 26, 2004
Cities: Lefkada, Nidiri, Rio
We left Corfu by ferry, then drove south and napped while we passed
through a tunnel to Lefkada island. We rode a small boat around the
island owned by the Onassis family, of whom Olympia is now the sole
heir. One of Eirini's friends is the daughter of a poet and owner of a
nearby island, so she had been to the island for her friend's wedding
to a Swiss man just last year.
Hotel Porto Rio was right near the new bridge, which
was 15 poured-concrete sections away from completion. There were 23
individual sections suspended from either side of each of the four
towers. The northern two towers were complete. The third tower south
was short three sections on each end, and the fourth tower south was
missing five sections on the north end and four sections on the
south. Allan is studying building construction, so he watched the
bridge construction as we ferried across.
Eirini says the first official crossing will be by the torch runner
for the Olympics, so it had to be done soon. It won't be fully tested
and open to vehicular traffic until after the games. The new bridge is
supposedly going to carry passenger vehicles and buses but not
commercial vehicles. This sounds like a political issue to get support
from the ferry owners, rather than a structural issue.
Since the bridge wasn't completed, we took the
15-minute ferry ride from Antirio to Rio, next to Patras. The hotel
was shiny and new (or newly renovated), but the fancy new electonic
card-swipe light switches hadn't made it as far up the hall as our
room, so we used a wedge of paper like in Corfu.
Hotel Porto Rio has a substantial casino area which draws lots of
well dressed people in fancy cars. They offered a buffet dinner if you
paid the cover charge to enter, but neither of us was interested
enough in the casino to pay to explore it. Along the water, the hotel
has a nice beach, a pier where locals fish, and a gorgeous pool
area and outdoor dining which presumably are used when the weather is