Friday, July 16, 2010

Everybody was Cor-fu Fighting!

Docking directly in Corfu meant no waiting for a tender boat to come ashore! However, we did have to cram onto an un-air-conditioned bus to be taken into Old Town. We were dropped off in the heart of a little shopping district about 30 seconds before I was scheduled to have a claustrophobic breakdown.

The Old Town/Liston area was so cool, guys. Each little narrow alleyway was back-to-back shop and boutique. Every little souvenir known to man could be found, including some tee-shirts with crude American sayings which had us laughing.

There was a lot of ouzo (Greek liqueur) for sale along with kumquat liquor, which we sampled and tasted very ... er ... kumquaty. Here's a bottle of the clear version. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but this particular man-shaped bottle was rather anatomically correct, if perhaps slightly proportionally exaggerated.Above is a picture of us in front of the Saint Spyridon Church, which is a traditional Greek Orthodox Church. This is the tallest tower in Corfu and promised a glance of the Saint's mummified remains through a glass panel. We just stumbled across it on our walk, which was nice because my print out listed it as a "must see." This Saint is said to have saved the island of Corfu 4 times! Is it sacrilege for me to say we were bummed to find that we couldn't see any mummified remains??Then I led my family on a long march through Corfu Town in search of the Spianada, which was listed as "possibly the most beautiful esplanade in Greece!" in my printout. The walk did seem to last awhile, and it was quite hot outside. So at one point we lost Dad to a park bench under a nice shady tree.

Really, the esplanade was lovely. I guess I just wouldn't call it the best in Greece. (Though, to be fair, I don't think I've seen many esplanades in Greece.) It just looked like a big park that was a tad overgrown. There were some structures and art/statues in it, but some were graffiti-ed upon, which was sad. I'm still glad I dragged my family all the way out there, though, because we got some cool views of the Adriatic. And we got to see this awesome Old Venetian Fortress. We ate at a great restaurant (you'll find this is a theme in this vacation series). It was right next to the Cricket fields near the esplanade and was sort of a sidewalk cafe attached to other similar outdoor cafes.We ate traditional Greek food that was incredible. Such as:Gyros.

Mousaka (my meal - kind of like Greek lasagna with meat and eggplant and some kind of cheese. So stinkin' good!)

Baklava. Turns out, I'm not much of a fan.

It was just so nice. I was overcome with contentment to be eating outside with a nice breeze, surrounded by family and native Grecians.
Luckily a lot of people do know some English. Our waiter taught me the one Greek phrase I remembered: Efcharisto ("Thank you." I then said this to every one in every situation I came across. Strangely, I couldn't stop saying this with an odd little bow with it.) Still, almost all signage was in Greek. I now fully understand the saying, "It's all Greek to me."
We walked around a bit more, then headed back to the ship by walking along the coast. We immediately headed to the pool for some sun.Not to be a curmudgeon, but I'm so glad there was an adults-only pool. I love kids ... er, most of the time ... at least the ones I'm related to ... but I saw those kids over at the kids pool. I was glad to have a place to sit poolside where there wasn't constant screaming and splashing. (Oh geez, when did I become old? What's next, me screaming "Get a haircut!" to some 'punk kids'?)

Loved these little window seats around the ship. Here you can see us passing that Old Venetian Fort on the way out to sea.
That night, we celebrated Michael's 30th birthday. The servers were sweet and sang Happy Birthday for him. Here are Estella and PJ, our main servers. On Norwegian Cruise Line, you aren't sat at one specific table for the entire cruise, you're free to eat whenever and wherever you want. However, our family kind of like the experience of eating in the main dining room (formal, 3 course meal. Unless of course you are one of us and it turns into a 4 or 5 course meal) and we like having a friendship with the people we see every night. So we made reservations so we could sit in the same area every night save two - to be blogged about later.
We went to the nightly show after dinner. This night featured the Gem dancers and singers performing 70s music. Beforehand we ran into a cruise staff member who we'd seen dancing at the Country Music Ho-Down we'd been to the night before. We greeted him, calling him The Sheriff (what we'd referred to him as all night since he'd been wearing a star badge) and complimented his two step. He acted offended and a little stand-offish, asking if we were kidding. We later found out that he was the cruise director. (To all you non-cruisers, this is like the head guy on the cruise, a pretty big deal.) We're kind of embarrassed that we didn't show more respect to the cruise director and kept calling him The Sheriff.

We had a late night snack at the back of the boat and then turned in for the night.

Next up: Santorini!


  1. Love your vacation blog! It's bringing back so many memories!!! I can't wait for your account of Santorini. . .

  2. I love your vacation pictures, Julie!!! They are all so beautiful!

  3. I shot the Sheriff....but I did not shoot the deputy ;)

    Jules, your blogs capture the essence of the moments....thanks for helping us to re-live a quite fine vacation.

    P.S. - I am thinking of changing professions to become a cruise director??!!

    Love, AD (anonymous dad)