Friday, July 31, 2015

Monday, June 8, 2015 – Corfu, Greece – Partly Cloudy – 83F

Port Background. Corfu (Greek: Kerkyra) is the most northern of the Ionian Islands.  It is the second largest of the group next to Cephalonia and has a population of approximately 115,000.  The island is 39 miles long and densely populated.  Albania is only two miles from the tip of Corfu.  About one third of the people on Corfu live in Corfu Town, which has narrow streets and alleyways, several churches, and still displays a Venetian influence.  There are two forts in Corfu Town – the Old Fort dates to the 6th Century; the New Fort was built by the Venetians in the 16th Century.  The economy of Corfu depends primarily on tourism, but agriculture (olives oil, wine, and vegetables) also plays a role.

It’s a warm and humid day on the island of Corfu. 

There are great views of Corfu town and the bay from the back deck of Queen Victoria.

20150608_ views from ship 2 (Small)

 20150608_Corfu from ship (Small)  20150608_ views from ship 1 (Small)  20150608_ views from ship 3 (Small) 20150608_ views from ship 4 (Small)

Views of the Area from the Ship

We are not on tour today so our plan is to walk to and around Corfu Town (alternatives would be cabs and the city bus – the bus provided by the ship would have cost us $12).  The walk is approximately 1.8 miles so we will need to find as much shade as we can.

As we begin the walk, we are able to get a great picture of Queen Victoria from the other side of the harbor.

20150608_QV docked (Small)

Queen Victoria Docked

Our route took us through the neighborhoods surrounding Corfu Town – narrow streets with a variety of small stores and shops.  We found a market and purchased some cold bottle water for a euro or so.  That would tide us over on our trek.

 20150608_on our way to Corfu town (Small)

20150608_enroute to Corfu town (Small)

Finding some shade on the way

We finally arrived at the City Center, which today, was bustling with both tourists and residents.  Parks were full and the restaurants were packed with patrons ready to chow down.  I sort of remembered the town from our last visit but quite a few shops had changed.

 20150608_Town Square Corfu (Small)20150608_Corfu Town vendor street (Small) 

Corfu is Packed Today

Walking to the end of the City Center, we came upon a large old building that appeared to be a kind of palace.  That’s exactly what it was.

The Museum of Asian Art is a museum within the Palace of St. Michael and St. George. It is the only museum in Greece dedicated to the art of Asia (Chinese art, Japanese art, and Indian art)

20150608_Museum of Asian art (Small)

The statue of Adam, built in 1837 and supervised by a local Corfiot (interesting term for a resident of Corfu) sculptor, sits near a fountain in the front of the building.  The statue is somewhat confusing because this Adam is wearing a robe instead of his traditional plant garb.

20150608_Museum of Asian Art 1-1 (Small)

Adam Statue

One way out of the city center is through an archway attached to the Palace (below). 

20150608_Archway entrance (Small)

Archway of the Palace of St Michael and St.George

A combination of heat and walking persuaded us to get a taxi back to the ship.  We ran into some other passengers also looking to get back so we shared a cab (our portion 5 Euros).  It was worth it – it was still pretty hot outside.

After a quick lunch and some rehydration, we were back outside on the open deck – reading and enjoying great views of Corfu Town and the island.

20150608_E shooting Corfu Town (Small)

Snapping some good shots of Corfu Town

Without much warning, the partly cloudy day turned dark and the rain came down in buckets.  I just pushed my chair under a lifeboat and watched the skies open.

20150608_Raining Corfu (Small) 20150608_downpour Corfu (Small)

The Rains Came to Corfu

While pretty heavy, the rain didn’t last all that long and soon a cloud covered Corfu Town was once again visible.

20150608_Corfu Town (Small)  

We stayed out of the deck until it was time to get ready for dinner. 

Tonight is Informal but a coat is still required in the Britannia Restaurant and most of the ship.  Our good luck with seating continued as we secured a table for four just for us.  On the menu tonight:  Pan Seared Snapper (waiter removed skin and squeezed lemon juice) – Cream of Broccoli Soup – A custom made green salad and Crepes Suzette for dessert.  The dinner was delicious and the service was quick but not hurried.

The headliner tonight was a British comedian from Liverpool.  John Martin was an absolute hoot even though I had to struggle with his accent.  Don’t ever be late to his shows.

After the show, we went up to the Commodore Lounge and introduced ourselves to Clarolyn.  She remembered us and recalled that I lectured about criminals – close enough.

Her set was very pleasant and the lounge is very relaxing.

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