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Corfu

GREECE | Friday, 19 December 2014 | Views [601]

Corfu from the Old Fort

Corfu from the Old Fort

CORFU IS ACTUALLY CLOSER TO ALBANIA THAN MAINLAND GREECE and we can see the snow-capped mountains across the water.  Corfu has been, in turn, Roman, Byzantine, Gothic and Norman, Venetian, French and British before becoming Greek.  Today the language is Greek and the architecture (in the Old Town, at least) very much Venetian. 

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   Hotel Konstantinoupolis                    Old Fortress

We are staying at Hotel Konstantinoupolis which dates from 1862 with a tiny caged elevator from about the same period.  It also has many modern touches, the most appreciated is the fastest wifi connection we have seen.  The location is ideal with the harbor on one side and a maze of winding alleyways and well worn stairs going off in all directions away from the water.  There are a few restaurants still open and a local supermarket just around the corner.

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        Venetian influence                         Well-worn stairway

The Old Town is everything a World Heritage site should be.  The buildings are just shabby enough, peeling paint and shutters askew, to give a sense of history.  Shops and cafes are generally unobtrusive and even the inevitable MacDonalds is subdued.  There is little traffic — there were virtually no cars on the island until the 60s — and there are few tourist, mainly Greeks.

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   Crooked shutters                                Letting it hang out

We’ll be here for four days and are in no hurry.  Photo opportunities abound.  I have become attracted to the weathered shutters, some closed and most in need of paint, many with laundry hanging in the window.  Laundry seems to be on everyone’s to-do list whenever the sun shines and multiple clotheslines span every square with garments flapping like so many prayer flags.  Atmosphere!

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    Laundry on the plaza

Getting here wasn't cheap.  The best offer on Orbitz cost over $1200 from Sardinia to Corfu with an overnight in Rome or Athens.  By piecing it together one flight at a time, we were able to cut the price to less than $300, which made the cost of the airport hotel in Athens a bit easier to swallow.  I wish we could take ferries everywhere.

 

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