We arrive in the Corfu region at daybreak.
If you have never wanted to go on a cruise, you should be on this one. The water is as smooth as glass. We have never felt a ‘rolling’ other than crossing another ship’s wake. So we are ‘sold’. Anyone want to do a booking for next year and do 20 days in the Mediterranean doing both the east and the western region? If you give the office a call today, we will give you $100 per person off a 2013 Mediterranean cruise with Holland America. Sharon will take your details and Lyn will call you back on our return – how’s that for a good deal?
I never have trouble waking up, and so this morning, even though there was a time zone change, I wake early and decide to ‘go ride a bike’ in the gym for 30 minutes. Lyn keeps telling me to ‘relax – why not sleep in’ and when I want to go to bed early, I get told to “stop being a party pooper”.
We then have breakfast with Kevin Hardes. Kevin worked in the same office as me in Sydney back before we were married and he had noticed my face and believed it was Lyn and I when he noticed Lyn. (Dam – it takes more than just me to recognize me.) Would you believe that their dining room table is right next to ours? And we hadn’t noticed them until day 3. Such a big world shrank very quickly.
As we hadn’t done an offshore excursion booking, we are not allowed to disembark until after 10:00am. We do a ‘deal’ with a couple of taxis and for 50 Euro each, we see Corfu from a number of vantage points around the island. We see Paleokastritsa and Pelekas from high points and our two hours is up very quickly. We arrive in the Corfu Town and a Festival is on (some festival to do with ‘naming’ things or people, we are told). It had to be a festival. Two brass bands marched past us in the narrow streets, as we were squashed in shop doorways to save getting walked over. There were ladies and children in traditional dress as well. Lots of color and they looked like they were enjoying themselves.
We find a place to have lunch, not very good and not worth a tip, and then do some browsing around the touristy shops before walking the 2.5 km back to where we catch the tender to the Noordam. We commence dinner before leaving Corfu. It is luxury to have a great ever-changing backdrop as we dine.
Corfu is the second largest of the Ionian Islands and often noted as the greenest. Much of the island still consists of olive groves, mountains or woodland. It is thought to have been the model for Prospero’s and Miranda’s place of exile in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. Corfu is yet another World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO because it contains picturesque reminders of its Venetian, French, and British Past. Corfu was one of the first Greek Islands to attract mass tourism in the 1960’s and the capital, Corfu Town, was renovated for an EU summit in 1994 and is now one of the most elegant island capitals in the whole of Greece.
Instead of going to the Vista Lounge tonight, we attend a Pool Party at the main pool. Vivienne and the HALCats are there to make music and dancing a fun time for all of us. We even do some line dancing but when asked to play “Waltzing Matilda”, we get told, “it is not in their song list” – and there are over 800 Aussies on board. Gotta get better than that, mate!