|Anubis in the Book of the Dead - a guide to the journey from life to after-life used between 1550-50 BC|
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|The St Christopher Chapel in the coach and car park of the Corfu Town Green Bus Terminal|
In the coach park of the Green Bus terminal on the edge of Corfu town there's a chapel to St Christopher, patron saint of travellers. There' no similar chapel at the harbour where the ferries leave for the mainland and the ports of the Adriatic as far as Venice, nor is there so far as I know one at the airport, now managed by a German conglomerate, where contemporary politeness would have made a 'multi-faith room'. The Green bus station is quite new, replacing a friendlier fume-filled space near the sea at the foot of the town. The new terminal appeared in 2016. Richard Pine, who lives in Perithia, furthest village from the city on the north coast of Corfu, was vitriolic about the place - Ο Νέος Σταθμός...
|The old Green Bus Station near the sea|
Simon. I discovered to my alarm and despair that the bus station moved over the last weekend and one is now deposited in a no-man's-land near the airport. Too too shaming. RP
Dear R. Is that bus station move a permanent one? Coming into town, there must be a point you can get off earlier with a reasonable walk to the city centre. I hope so as I too rely on the bus. S
It has been planned for years - a real, modern, bus station - fully functional, devoid of humanity, androids serving coffee, miles from anywhere because planners do not take people into account. At present there is no stopping point between Lidl and the terminus but they will surely have to invent one, as it goes everywhere except where one needs to. Bring back the old one - at the Spilia - sez I…
I’m trying to work out how you get from the new and inconvenient (except for airport tourists) Green bus terminus. No problem where it is for me. I just use my folding bicycle which stores in the luggage compartment. I suppose there’s a shuttle into town, but there might be a convenient stop closer to the city centre. It seems rough on the local people who have no interest in being close to the airport and want to get into town. If you find out anything vaguely positive let me know.
…there is a shuttle but that is presumably not a long-term solution - the bus into town goes up the long hill past all those shops selling electronics etc, down the other side, out onto the roundabout by the 'other' Lidl and there you are. In the middle of no-mans-land. The return is even more stupid as it goes all round the world, including San Rocco, to come out exactly where it should have started from, but doesn't stop!
|Walkers to the city centre making their way carefully from the new Green Bus Terminal|
I have just been at the new Green Bus Station. It’s as miserable as you’ve observed. But the staff are proud of the place. I strolled in wheeling my little Brompton bike and was ordered out again. I folded it up and was forgiven. But at once two cleaners arrived to wipe the floor where my bicycle wheels, leaving no marks, had passed. I gather there’s a stop on the way out of town by the Old Port – Café Sette Vente - which may make things a little better, but as I cycled into town from the new station up that brief stretch of firmly divided dual carriageway - Ethniki Odos Lefkimis - I passed a single file of tourists negotiating the narrow rough path (I wouldn’t call it a pavement)... ...that runs up Dinatou Dimolitsa, leading to a longish stroll up Mitropolitou Methodiou into San Rocco Square. A mess! I admit the old bus station was probably not so good on health and safety with people and buses and diesel fumes mixing it in that little space, but it was agreeably located. Like most things people will get used to it, but I cannot say or think anything good about this non-place, its access so unfriendly to anyone on foot.
Someone must have ensured this little church to St Christopher was included in the new building's plans, yet when I asked around this July no-one I asked upstairs in the office, nor at the enquiry desk knew anything about it or could answer my question about the superb icons being painted on its interior walls. The chapel is hardly larger than a wardrobe, perhaps an allotment shed - no stasidia nor lectern and the stand for candles, once lit, sits, on the pavement outside.
|My ebike outside the St Christopher chapel at Corfu's Green Bus Terminal|
There's a collection box and case for beeswax candles inside. I'm used to myriad sizes of Greek churches from spacious cathedrals, the barn sized churches - all 36 of them - that are dotted around Ano Korakiana, attached in many cases to families, some locked and unused or even, like the distant Church of the Prophet Elias that marks our southern parish boundary ruined, but for a protective roof, to the small roadside Kandilakia marking the place of an accident - fatal and survived - and others that look similar but are markers reminding of a church some yards from the road. There are even shrines hardly larger than a sun dial or an elaborate garden bird feeder, with room for a small icon, and a candle, imitating the doors, windows, dome and cross of a larger church.
Thou who wast terrifying both in strength and in countenance ... didst surrender thyself willingly to them that sought thee; for thou didst persuade both them and the women that sought to arouse in thee the fire of lust, and they followed thee in the path of martyrdom...
The story I learned, perhaps at a Sunday school, in childhood:
|Hieronymus Bosch's 1490 painting of the legend replete with symbols|
... a child asked Christopher to take him across the river. As they crossed the river the child grew heavier and heavier so that Christopher could hardly hold him up. Struggling to the other side, Christopher said to the child: "You put me in danger. The whole world could not have been as heavy on my shoulders as you were." The child replied: "You had on your shoulders not only the whole world but Him who made it. I am Christ your king, whom you are serving by this work." The child vanished
|Irene Vitouladitou's unfinished work in the St Christopher Chapel at the Green Bus Terminus in Corfu|