Is it possible this is the last day of November? Judging by the weather I’d say “no.” But the calendar assures me this is so. A perfect day to explore the main town of Corfu. Called Corfu town (original?). We had a very enthusiastic guide today. It was a pleasure to see “her” town through her eyes. There are beautiful buildings from various periods, Romans, Venetians, British……. and so on. But this being Greece….. The parks and many buildings were in poor repair. The was garbage around (nothing as bad as in Nepal mind you). A general sense of unkemptness with no insensitive or funds to do anything about it. A few days before we arrived, the garbage collectors had been on strike and the town’s Central Park was full of garbage as a result. They were on strike as they hadn’t been paid for a few months. Good reason to strike in my humble opinion. I find myself wondering how many of them cheat on their taxes. This seems to be a point of national pride. Our guide was keen to point out a positive side of the financial crises as it affects Corfu. More people – 80% of the island’s population – are growing their own vegetables. People are being kind to each other and sharing what they have with their neighbours. More people are getting back to tending their olive groves and grape vines. People are getting back to fishing and farming. In her view this is restoring a sense of unity and community. Glad to hear an optimistic outlook from a young person.
After our obligatory tour – led by the inevitable red Viking lollipop- we had free time! My favourite part I have to say. We do learn a lot – are sometimes frankly told too much – on these guided tours but it can get a bit tedious standing around listening to this and that about building architecture and dates. I like hearing about the juicy bits – who conquered (or failed to do so) who, when, why, what happend next……. We had refreshments in a lovely outdoor sidewalk cafe then struck out for the Venetian fortress with various classical British additions). I scampered to the top and will share a picture of the view in a bit. Dad was happy strolling around the lower levels. Then a shuttle back to the ship and shortly afterwards dinner at the Captain’s Table (just the name of that specialty dining room – no Captain – he was on the bridge sailing us away.)
View from atop the Fort. There’s the sweet ship Viking Star in the distance.