Friday, November 9, 2012

Oct Cruise - Corfu, Greece

We were docked in Corfu, one of the farthest northwestern Greek Islands in the Ionian Sea, for our second shore excursion.  We kicked off the day bright and early with a tour of the Achilleion Palace, built by Empress Elisabeth of Austria in 1890 as a summer retreat.

During World War II, the German Luftwaffe dropped lots of bombs on Corfu.  Much of what we saw in the old town, as well as part of this summer palace, had to be rebuilt after the war ended.

The Achilleion Palace was obviously constructed around a central theme of the mythical hero Achilles from the Trojan Wars.  We saw Achilles in various statues and murals as we toured the palace.  And it just so happens that our sixth grader recently finished an abridged version of The Iliad in her English class, so she knew all about the life of Achilles and his bum heel.

The views from just about anywhere on the island were magnificent.  It was a bit hazy, but still glorious to look out across the water.

I snapped this pic of our ship, home away from home, because there was a stately tall ship docked adjacent to us.  That might be something fun to try in the future when it's just me and the husband, with no kids in tow.

As you can see in the two pics above, there were quite a few random dogs roaming around and taking naps in the old town.  The daughter wanted to pet them, but I reminded her they might not be up-do-date on shots... or like strangers.  

I always love these sorts of scenes, where you see the old characterful buildings with laundry drying on the balcony.

Below is the Venetian fortress, built in the 15th century at the site of a former Byzantine castle on land overlooking the Ionian Sea.  We didn't have a chance to tour it, but I thought it was pretty cool that it currently houses the public library of Corfu.

Anytime we pass a gelateria, our younger daughter will always want a scoop... and her father always complies because he secretly longs for it, too.

We sailed from Corfu in the middle of the afternoon, so the daughter took at least a dozen pics with my camera from the balcony of our stateroom off the back end of the ship as we made our way to Mykonos.  Here is just one of many.  I call it her Blue Churning Water series.

When we returned to our stateroom after supper that evening, the daughter was pleased to find her first towel critter - an anteater.  

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