The Big Trip: Corfu

It was our fifth morning of our cruise and the destination of the day was the last one in Greece. It was the island at the north-western corner of the country, holding a lot of heritage and beauty: the island of Corfu. Although we did not originally plan to take a pre-payed trip in Corfu, we changed our minds after some careful thinking 🙂 . We decided that if we are there, we really must visit a special palace which we have seen on pictures to be quite nice: Achilleion Palace.
Corfu
Although the name of the trip held one destination, as we have already seen on other trips during the cruise, this did not mean that it was the only thing we could see. We also had the pleasure the see a lot of the island (granted, only from the bus) and to spend some time in the old town-center of Corfu, so the day was quite promising. We started of as usual: numbers on clothes, bus at the port, tour-guide on the bus. No changes there 😉 .

Being quite far away from the port, our itinerary had the Achilleion Palace as first point to visit, so we headed off to the higher points of the island, up to the famous palace built by the beloved empress of Austria:Sisi. The entry fee to the palace was, again, included in the tour price, so unfortunately I have no idea how much it was. For sure it is an acceptable price, because there were a lot of tourists visiting 😉 . We were walked by our guide through the main rooms on the ground floor, followed by a walk through the lovely gardens with a spectacular view of the island. The gardens are also home to the two famous statues giving the name to the castle: the beautiful statue of the dying Achiles and the huge statue of the victorious Achiles. There is a lot to learn about the history of the palace (if you have a guide) and a lot to see in this beautiful building, so I think it was a great decision to visit it.

Once we were on the bus, we started our descent on a somewhat different route than we followed to climb. The road was extremely narrow and frankly I have no idea how our bus driver managed to go through them. As the guide mentioned: “we just had to close our eyes and let things happen” 🙂 . After our eyes being closed a few times and a short stop at a terrace close to the airport, we quickly arrived to the city center, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In places like this, even McDonald’s has to follow the architecture and color scheme 😉 . Also, the main square in the town center is the largest square in entire Greece (I must admit, after seeing Athens’s “main square” I really understand why 😉 ).

The whole island gave an interesting impression of multiculturalism. According to our guide the people here even speak a very different dialect than in other parts of Greece, a dialect greatly influenced by the Venetian times. The palaces, the buildings all hold the marking of great European rulers without making it “too European”. It is a great mixture of elements making Corfu stand out from the rest of Greece. If we had to choose a place to return to for a couple of days, it would definitely be this island 😉 .

I have uploaded some picture here.

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