I wish I had prepared a little bit more for sightseeing in our ports of call. Venice grabbed all my attention, and that wasn’t fair to Corfu and all the wonderful places we have visited so far.
I wish I could tell you more about the history of Corfu, but it is obviously an ancient Greek port, a charming mix of old and new. Near the city center, where the bus dropped us off, is the Old Fortress. We passed on going inside for just 4 euros each, and instead made our way through a neverending marketplace maze and emerged at the New Fortress, which still looked pretty doggone old.
We did pay 3 euros each to walk around inside the New Fortress. We climbed to the top and were treated to a fantastic view of the city and the harbor. There weren’t any signs, even in Greek, so I’ll have to go online later and read about it. There weren’t many signs anywhere at all. After the fortress tour we looked in vain for the Byzantine Museum but it was not to be found, by us, anyway.
You couldn’t miss the market streets, however, and we did score some bananas for David, finally. I bought a woven bookmark and a handmade photo album covered in real leaves. David bought a collectible spoon for his mom, and a keychain for himself. The prices were very reasonable, almost cheap.
Neither of us was very hungry for lunch. It was hot and humid from a morning rainshower, and we were still trying to cool off from our trek to the top of the fortress. But when I saw a sign for a gyros special, we had to stop. We ate outside by the Spianada, authentic Greek gyros for me, and a Greek salad with tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, and a block of feta cheese for David, which he liked. I just had to share my lunch with an adorable calico cat who sat by our table the whole time. Lots of stray cats, here and in Dubrovnik as well.
I am not exactly sure what the picture is, but according to our city map I think it is part of the Palace of S. S. Michael and George.
A lot of the pictures that I took show everyday life in Corfu – from shuttered windows with peeling paint and rusted hardware to old fishing vessels half sunk in the water where they were moored. Corfu is most likely as old as Ancona, only it looks the part. At dinner, Gary told us that he had chatted a little bit with his Greek waiter at lunchtime in the city, and was told that 50% of Greeks are unemployed. Now is the time to duck and run to escape a political comment: wouldn’t it be smart for the United States to take a careful look at Greece, and do just the opposite?
Even if the Greek economy is taking its toll on the city, Corfu is still a city full of charm, tenacity, and tourists.