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.

2004Hotel 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.

2004Since 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 warmer.

cookie by
Allan West and
Jane Dominguez