Completely won over the day before by the beach scene, the plan for this day was to do a little local sightseeing before heading to a beach. Our morning began with a walk through the Fiaker parking lot en route to the fortress, the horses munching hay and otherwise prepping for the work day.
The Old Fortress is Venetian, with a Byzantine foundation, and has served as barracks for the British (during occupation) as well as a prison for Corfu’s Jews prior to deportation during WWII. Oh, and was even featured in the Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only.
The pleasing and welcomingly cool entry leads first to the British barracks, oh so orderly that they are. The Corfu National Library is now housed in the buildings.
Incredible views and the sea air swirling all around, no matter where we wandered.
On the portico of the church of St. George, initially Venetian, but became British in 1815 and is now Orthodox (no photos permitted inside). So, so much history.
A Corfiot Kittie sunning at the fortress.
From the fortress we walked along the promenade to the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, which now houses the Museum of Asian Art. The collection is said to be worth a visit, but we were like eager children, anxious to head to the beach instead.
The guide books all reported that the beaches just north of Corfu Town were dense resort areas and likely to be crowded. Perhaps that is the case in the summer months, but certainly not in late May! We and about 20 or so other groups occupied a beachfront that could easily manage 150 lounges, if not more. The beach at Ipsos drew our attention because of its location on a promenade with stores and other diversions should I have become bored. We hired two lounges and an umbrella, and asked the beach manager for a lunch recommendation. She suggested a tiny dive of a place just a short walk away, serving shishk-kebab pita sandwiches unlike any we will ever appreciate again. (Except for those awful British “chips.”)
For the next six hours we sunned, we swam, we napped, all obligations on a 27° day. When I became bored I walked into the town for ice cream or beach-combed for pretty rocks and sea glass. Truly a magnificent day. (For reference, the mountains in the background are in Albania.)
It’s funny how lounging on a beach can make one feel starved by dinner time! We chose a new and popular restaurant for dinner this evening, and while our meal was superior, the restaurant just did not have the character of the other two, old-style tavernas we had enjoyed. Small problem.
Creamy hummus with turmeric and pine nuts to begin. Tempted, but we refrained from licking the plate when the warm homemade bread ran out.
As with our Cape Cod holidays, seafood featured prominently at mealtime on Corfu. I love, love, love fried squid, but only when it’s prepared properly, and the Corfiots know their squid. The tubes were lightly battered and tender; and the tentacles (my favorite part), perfectly crispy. Despite my request for “No chips, please,” the soggy sticks appeared regardless, but I just could not bring myself to eat them. Sorry, Britons.
Tony was recommended the Saffron Risotto with Squid. Indeed, it tasted as luscious as it looked.
The children checked in while we were dining, Anna Grace (from London), to share the exciting news that she had medalled in both the Triple Jump and High Jump at the Track & Field Championship Tournament AND had broken the AIS record in the Triple Jump! Jack also checked in from Vienna, to write that Clayton Theodore was depressed because the home, which had been busy with all of us and Jack’s visiting girlfriend, was now empty. We, in return, shared this photo of a sad puppy at our restaurant, no doubt waiting hopefully for a morsel of something delicious from his people, so that CTF would know that his misery had company.
Six hours on a beach and a delicious dinner (not to mention sharing an entire liter of wine!) later, it was an effort to walk the five minutes to our hotel. I’m pretty certain we were both fast asleep before our heads hit the pillows. Oh, Corfu.