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Strange but True ?

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Steve:
Ban on Smoking

The first (unsuccessful) anti-smoking legislation in Greece was passed in 1856 amid fears that civil servants could cause fires in their offices.

Stevie,  8)

Steve:
Freshwater Terrapins
 
Corfu is home to two species of freshwater or pond terrapins - Emys Orbicularis and the rarer Mayremys Caspica Rivulata. Both can grow up to 10-12 inches long and like to hide in the vegetation at the water's edge. As they are cold-blooded, they clamber onto the bank or a convenient rock to bask in the sun. They lay 10 to 15 eggs in sandy soil on the bank, which take about three months to incubate. Adults hibernate in the mud on the bottom of the pond or slow moving river. Food consists of small fish, frogs etc. Freshwater terrapins can be spotted in several places in Corfu including the river that runs through the Ropa Valley to the sea at Ermones and which passes Corfu Golf Club.

Stevie,  8)

Steve:
Roadside Shrines.
 
When driving around Corfu you can see metal boxes on legs (and their grander modern equivalents, often modelled on churches) by the side of the road. Inside the small glass doors an oil-lamp flickers next to an picture of a saint, an icon and sometimes personal mementoes. The top of the box is usually crowned with a cross. These roadside shrines are erected to serve as a memorial for the victim of a road accident. Alternatively they may have been placed there by the survivor of a potentially fatal accident, to publicly thank a saint for saving them.

Stevie,  8)

Steve:
Insects.

Naturalists have recorded 83 species of butterflies on Corfu.
Corfu has 40 species of dragonflies, out of 41 species recorded in the whole Ionian.
Corfu is a beetle-watcher's paradise. One beetle, Agapanthia schurmanni, is only found on Corfu and in parts of Northern Greece and Macedonia.
The island has 64 species of crickets and grasshoppers, among them the bizarre Mole Cricket, which as its name suggests digs burrows, in locations with moist soils, for its eggs.

Stevie,  8)

Steve:
The Petegolia (the Gossip)

Re-enacted in the Old Town on the last Thursday of Carnival every year, the custom of The Corfiot Petegoletsia dates back to an old tradition of street theatre. Corfu Town's narrow cobblestoned streets - called "kantounia" - are lined by tall houses. Actors, playing local housewives, stand in their windows exchange scurrilous gossip about local affairs, in authentic Corfiot dialect. The performance culminates with traditional songs and mandolin music.

Stevie,  8)

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