Wednesday, June 13: Corfu, Greece
Our tours had a late start this morning, as 500 tourists sat in the lounge for an hour waiting until the busses arrived. We had been reminded last night to turn our clocks forward an hour for the new time zone. Perhaps the bus drivers didn’t get the word.
I was visiting the St Paraksevi monastery to and the Paleokastritsa Caves by boat this morning, while Jeannie was taking a “Wine and Dine” tour of Corfu town.
When we arrived at the boat dock, it was entertaining to watch the somewhat controlled chaos of all the little privately owned tour boats clamoring to get to the single gangway where one guy was shouting at the boat drivers, coordinating the onboarding and offboarding of the tour boats, which varied in size from 6 passenger to 16 passenger. I lucked out and got into a 10 passenger boat where everyone had a seat by the rail, for good photo ops.
The caves themselves weren’t exactly what I expected. I was expecting (from the description of the tour) that the boats would be entering large caves lined with glittery rock formations. Sort of a Howe Caverns experience. In reality, the caves were about the size of a 1 car garage, which the small boats pulled into for a few minutes and backed out of.
The real cool thing about the tour was the water itself, which was crystal clear, so that you could see to a 20-30 ft. depth. In total, it was a beautiful aquamarine color.
After an exciting drive up a narrow switchback road in our (huge) motorcoach, our next stop was the monastery, which for some reason, was the only “rest stop” made available on the tour. That would have been OK, were it not for the fact that there was exactly one toilet for the 3 busloads of people that arrived at the same time. The monastery itself was not terribly interesting, but our guide did her best to give us enough details of local customs and beliefs to make it so. Then it was back to the ship.
Jeannie had nothing but praise about her tour. In her words: “After a 30 minute drive into the countryside, we stopped at the restaurant Spiros & Vasilis. The setting was beautiful, with the tables under the trees dressed with white linen. Our feast began with the traditional shot of (homemade) ouzo, after which they served a selection of homemade wines from their own vineyards. This was followed by my favourite Greek appetizers; taramosalata, feta cheese with olive oil, and tzatziki. Then they gave a cooking demonstration, showing how they prepared every dish; they even gave us the recipes for every dish they prepared for us. Finally we enjoyed the main meal of mousaka, Greek salad and fruit.
After the meal, we went down to the old town of Corfu for some shopping.”
Back on the ship, I really enjoyed the Beef Wellington for dinner, which was the tenderest piece of beef I’ve had in a long while. There was a show that was part musical, part magic show, which we really didn’t ‘get’. Before we retired for the night we got a little dancing in.
As a side note: looking back at my posts so far, it may seem as though I’m only complaining about the trip. Actually, we are having a FABULOUS time on the trip. I’ll try in the future to include more of the good stuff. : -)