Day 8: Corfu

Corfu Travel Blog

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Old fort
 

Today was our final stop in Greece - at the island of Corfu. Corfu is a sad, sad story. For almost their entire history the people of the island have tried to carve out a life while facing serial conquests. Of course the last to conquer them were the Greeks. It is the second largest island in the Ionian sea.

 

Several of us set off for a Jenni-guided tour of downtown Corfu, taking a taxi from the port to the center of old town.

 

We started at the Esplanade area which is bounded by a very old fort and the sea on one side. We toured the fort, taking a lot of pictures, enjoying the spectacular view of the sea and ringing the fortress bell.

Old fort - church

 

Once we left the fort we headed south on the Esplanade to see the Maitland Rotunda, which honors Sir Thomas Maitland, the first British lord high commissioner of the Ionian Islands. Past this there was the statue of Count Ioannis Kapodistrias (1776-1836), the first president of independent Greece. From there we passed the Corfu Palace Hotel and then the Archaeological Museum as we made our way to the Tomb of Menekrates. It's a simple circular tomb of a notable resident of Corfu who drowned about 600 B.C. Can you imagine folks coming to see your grave 2600 years after you died?

 

We kept on walking the day away - heading toward the part of Old Corfu known as Campiello, with its stepped streets and narrow alleys.

Streets of Corfu
It's a beautiful spread of small mom and pop shops, old churches and souvenir stands in a maze of streets. Eventually we wound ourselves around one of the more notable main streets (beautiful French and English buildings line the street) called Kapodistriou where we took a lunch break.

 

After lunch we decided to walk rather than taxi back to the ship. What's another couple of miles when you've already walked five right? At the far north side of the Esplanade we passed the elegant Palace of St. Michael and St. George. We then follows the coast road back to port and it was a beautiful walk. One thing we all noticed everywhere in Greece is that you don't smell the ocean even when you are right next to it. That briny familiar ocean scent is not present nor was it in Venice.  Something special about the Mediterranean sea that leaves it with no odor I guess.

Jenni poses at the old fort

 

Back on the ship the group prepped and preened for our second and last formal dinner. By now we had our waiters in the palm of our hand - they brought out one of every dessert for the whole table as an extra gift and also snuck us out iced tea and other treats. The service staff really work hard on these ships to make everything go smoothly and so many of them have interesting stories about where they are from, their familes, etc.

 

There was more dancing as there had been each night but I found that after learning so many different dances (cha cha, samba, salsa, merenge, etc) I was confusing the steps. At least I was getting a little better with my Italian after hearing it day in and day out on the cruise. (Costa is an Italian cruise line so English is not the primary language). One thing that was interesting (and sometimes tiring) is that all announcements on the ship are done in about 7 languages so it can take awhile to get through the announcements.

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Old fort
Old fort
Old fort - church
Old fort - church
Streets of Corfu
Streets of Corfu
Jenni poses at the old fort
Jenni poses at the old fort
Sunset over the marina of Corfu
Sunset over the marina of Corfu
Jon and Jenni at the old fort
Jon and Jenni at the old fort
Judy, Diane, Jenni at the old fort
Judy, Diane, Jenni at the old fort
Jon attempts to move mighty manmad…
Jon attempts to move mighty manma…
Sanjay hangs out at the old fort
Sanjay "hangs out" at the old fort
Sanjay rings the bell at the old f…
Sanjay rings the bell at the old …
Clock tower at the old fort
Clock tower at the old fort
View of the ship, port, and Corfu …
View of the ship, port, and Corfu…
Tomb of Menekrates
Tomb of Menekrates
Homes of Corfu- gorgeous
Homes of Corfu- gorgeous
Palace
Palace
Palance
Palance
Coast road
Coast road
Port of corfu
Port of corfu
Old man fishes at Corfu
Old man fishes at Corfu
beautiful home
beautiful home
urban bench
urban bench
Judy at the old fort
Judy at the old fort
Jon, Jenni, Sanjay, Diane at the o…
Jon, Jenni, Sanjay, Diane at the …
Casey, Ginny, Judy
Casey, Ginny, Judy
Sunrise
Sunrise
Corfu
photo by: TaxMonkey