You probably remember those 80s comics series called "Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles" in which the anthropomorfic turtle heroes emerged from some NYC manholes (which were supposed to lead to the turtles' house): that was my first recollection of a manhole, a important but ofter overlooked detail of the urban enviroment.
Their use is to provide access to the sewage, telecommunications, electricity and water systems. For some, they are the entrances to an unknown undiscovered and daring underworld. Some are linked to the subway system or others with the ancient vaults and tunnels that were used for defensive proposes. Some also carry masonic or other mysticistic signs, like the swastika or "the square and the compasses". There are many explanations and theories about those "out of place" signs but most of them deal with conspiracy theories.
In Corfu Town there are plenty of them. They could be found very easily as they appear almost on every road or pavement. Many of them bear some acronyms like "YK" ("Corfiot water company"), ΔΕΗ ("Communal Electric Company") and "ΔΚ" ("Muncipality of Corfu"). Others bear the name of the factory that they were made or just bear cosmetic symbols.
|Marasli and Zafeiropoulou junction- no less than 6 manholes could be counted!|
A photographic anthology of some manholes found scrathered on Corfu streets surface
Now let's propose you a little game that can be played on your own or in a team; For those who live in Corfu; next time that you go out for a walkm look down and try to spot every of the twenty four manholes depicted above. If you spot them all, then you will be considered a descent urban explorer!