July 28th 2002
Exploring Corfu Town
As we will pick up the boat tomorrow, it seemed to best idea to explore Corfu town, the (logical eh?) capital of the island Corfu... Corfu has an interesting History which began in 743 BC as a colony of the Corinthians. Around 200BC the Romans took over. Many years later, Corfu asked help and protection from the Venetians against the Normans (I never realized the Vikings came that far !) It is from this period that most architecture and style is remained. Actually, walking through Corfu town, you breath Italian atmosphere, mixed with leisure of Greek Islands. Never the less, the French, Germans, Russians and the English played their part as well in history. One of the legacies is the cricket game played on the grass for the Esplanade.... Finally in 1864, more than 25 Centuries, Corfu became Greek again.
We started our exploration chronologically (or was it because it was next to our hotel ? :-)), so we visited the Archaeological Museum of Corfu and enjoyed their great ceramic collection (great in both ways...). The fortress at the right was built in 933 to fight attacks from the Slavic countries.
From the fortress we were not blown almost out of our shirt by storm and rain, but also we had a nice view over the island and Corfu Town. The park at the front of the Esplanade is a large park, which is THE place to go at night...... great atmosphere !
Although the weather was not playing with us, the mood was good and as we quickly moved from tree to tree, we still found some dry moments to shoot some nice pictures. At the right the defense from the fortress. Now used by fisherman, to stall their small boats away from wind and waves. Actually this spot was used in the eighties to shoot an attack at an Albanian harbor in the James Bond movie Octopussy......
The Esplanade was more wet than busy at this time of the day. Later that evening when the weather cleared up, you could walk on the heads !!
In one of the most popular tourist streets, we found the church of Agios Spiridonos, dedicated to the patron saint of the Island, which mummy is kept here and visited by lots of Greek people (see picture below, people actually line up to see him and kiss the coffin. Is this the reason, I see so many men called "Spiros" on the Island? guess this will be it.......
At the right the so called Venetian Well, one of the many Wells in the old town. In the old days the center of the neigberhood.
Not all parts of Corfu town are that nice...... as soon as you move aside a little bit from the "tourist routes" you get in backstreets like this.... But still it belongs to getting the feel and it delivers unexpected views !
After all this strolling, it was good to relax a bit at our hotel room and prepare for diner that evening. Other than the night before, we picked one of those small family restaurants in a small backstreet, cheap, good food and terrible service, hahaha !! But we enjoyed it very much !
Tomorrow, we will move on to Gouvia, where we will go on board of the Friendship 33 we rented for the coming week. To overcome some dead time, we will also try to get to the very typical Corfu monastery at the airport. Just check tomorrow again !!
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