The Elusive DEKPA Form
08 June 2014 | Corfu
After anchoring under the old fort of Corfu town, we go ashore to explore and find Corfu's capital a most appealing place. Corfu continues to preserve its old-style charm with lively cobbled plazas and its narrow alleyways lined with both designer and local artisan shops. Following a leisurely wander around in the beautiful late afternoon sunshine, we stopped for a drink at a stylish bar situated on The Liston. The Liston was built by the French in the early 1800's motivated by the buildings along the Rue de Rivoli in Paris, which gives a Parisian feel to the place. It was here that we experienced our first Mezedes (an assortment of small amounts of food such as squid, sausage, peppers, eggs and much more) that accompanied our glasses of Ouzo, very nice and at a cost of just 9 Euros for 2 people.
When a yacht enters Greek waters for the first time, you are required to obtain a DEKPA. This is a log that a few years ago required a stamp at every port you visited in Greece. This was later down- graded to a requirement to having it stamped once a month. We now understand that this has been further down- graded to having it stamped once a year. A welcome reduction in bureaucracy! Anyway, we needed to obtain our DEKPA so off we went.
This was much more complicated than we expected. We were sent back and forth between the Port Police and the Tax office to pay the fee. Luckily we were on our bikes so the distance was soon covered. Once paid and back to Port police we were sent around the building several times to various rooms to exchange and stamp forms and pay further fees before the elusive DEKPA form became finally ours. The Greek authorities certainly believe in leaving in the middle man, as Paul said why employ one person to do a job when you can employ six?
We were fortunate in being around when Corfu town held one of its annual festivals that celebrates its union with the Ionian Islands. We enjoyed joining in with the crowds and enjoyed watching and listening to many large brass bands all in very grand attire as they marched through the streets with much aplomb and observed varies Greek dignitaries lay wreathes on a central memorial. On our last evening we decided on a romantic meal out. We saw a lovely restaurant and found ourselves sitting at a candlelit table for two on a narrow street, that gave us a lovely view of the picturesque balconies and climbing vines. This evening certainly lived up to our expectations and made a memorable finish to our stay in Corfu Town.