Greece and Turkey 2012


CORFU: Multiple sites all over the island       9-25-12

A brochure description of our stop today: Corfu, or Kerkyra in Greek, is the second largest and the greenest of the seven Ionian islands. It was Homer's "beautiful and rich land" and Odysseus' last stop on his return home to the island of Ithaki. Shakespeare reputedly used Corfu as a background for The Tempest. Centuries ago Corfu invited the Venetians to protect them against invading Ottoman pirates. Overstaying their welcome, the Venetians were in Corfu for the next 400 year, with the result that the architecture in the Old Town of the island's largest city, Kerkira, looks more Venetian than Greek.

We have found that renting a private car when we travel and making up an itinerary as we go is best for us. It turned out to be so today also. The island is small enough (a little over 40 miles long and about 25 miles wide at its widest point) to criss-cross and get to most of the interesting places in one busy day. Carol shoots photos from the car; not having to stop every 5 minutes lets us pack a lot into one day.

Before we discuss specific sites, what are some general impressions of Corfu. First, it is a beautiful place. It stretches from the Ionian Sea to the Adriatic Sea and is surroundedCorfu by several countries (each one of which was a part of Corfu at sometime in history). In fact, throughout history Corfu had numerous conquerors, each of whom left their mark on the country. The island is surrounded by smaller islands making for picturesque and interesting water views. Agriculture consists of olive trees and more olive trees with some vineyards . Cyprus trees are everywhere. It is a green landscape dotted by numerous villages. The villages are not dissimilar to ones we have seen elsewhere and are, for the most part, clean and painted in colorful garb. But speaking of color, by law people can ONLY paint the outsides of their homes one of four colors: yellow, reddish brown, rose pink, and a coppery adobe.


We started in Paleokastritsa on the side if the island farthest from where we docked. On the Adriatic Sea, it has cold water beaches, is mostly closed down for the winter, and felt like a typical summer town. From there we visited a Monastery. Again, killer views and the largest collection of cats seen anywhere.


We criss-crossed back to the other side of the island, sightseeing all the way to Achilleion Palace. This was a summer palace built by a colorful German princess. Beautiful place, a little over-the-top with Greek statutes but a great setting and now used forCorfu conferences and receptions.

From there we drove back to the Old Town in Kerkira by way of two sets of ruins, one on each side of the road - Greek and Roman. Not much to see but not difficult to get to. Largely piles of rocks. Corfu

Our final stop was Old Town where we had fish soup and walked through the shops in Old Town. Carol didn't buy any jewelry and I didn't get a watch (the technology was not up to snuff). But it's always fun to look.

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