“In The Book of the Bath, Françoise de Bonneville wrote: “The history of public baths begins in Greece in the sixth century B.C.” where men and women washed in basins near places of exercise, physical and intellectual.
Later gymnasia had indoor basins set overhead, the open maws of marble lions offering showers, and circular pools with tiers of steps for lounging.
Bathing was ritualized, becoming an art – of cleansing sands, hot water, hot air in dark vaulted “vapor baths,” a cooling plunge, a rubdown with aromatic oils.
Cities all over Ancient Greece honored sites where “young ephebes stood and splashed water over their bodies.” www.wikipedia.com
Public bathing was not simply a matter of cleanliness or convenience. Ancestral heritage in Greece, points to the sacred ritual of cleansing through the healing powers of water.
Coming together to swim and share an aquatic experience is still very apparent in Corfu today.
Could there be an underlying fear of open water that is laid to rest when part of a human pod?
Is there a Darwinian gene remaining from our days in water which ushers us to behave like primitive sea lions when we hit La Mer?
Corfu Town in particular, has its share of communal bathing locations, be they public or private, that a have their ‘regulars’ all year round.
Photo: Salvanos Giorgos
The older residents of Corfu swear by the sea’s healing ability to soften the pain of arthritis and rheumatism, to regulate circulation of any kind and to encourage a positive state of mind.
Mon Repos, Anemomylos and Bagna d’Alekou (Faliraki) are all popular locations in Corfu Town, each with a unique historical background.
Beware that if you swim and drink from the water at Kardaki, you are bound always to return to this sacred island.
Swimming with the locals, which tend to be friendly most of the times, one becomes part of a social behaviour that spans centuries.
Further out of town there are a number of swimming locations that demonstarte similar human aquatic behaviour.
At La Grotta in Paleokastritsa and Canal D’Amour in Sidari, the population of humans rises exponentially during the summer months.
With a lack of beach front but unique rock formations and incredible waters, these locations appear more like Darwinian mating grounds.
With the shape of a mermaid itself, Corfu Island is the quintessential water healing destination.
Corfu Island is surrounded by exquisite Ionian Blue waters that are simply divine for any water loving person.
Ionian waters are not simply clean, crystal clear and safe, they sparkle golden in the sunlight and their colour conjures up images of mythical dimensions.
If you have some more photos that might exhibit particular aquatic human behavior in Corfu, please post!
We wish you water.