August 22, 2013

Corfu -- Phew!

Corfu -- rhymes with "Phew" . . . the heat! (For those geography students out there: yes, we stopped in Corfu BEFORE Sicily, although the Taormina recap appeared here yesterday.)

This post will be brief because . . . so was my visit to this Greek island.

One reason I was looking forward to this Grand Tour was to escape the hot, humid swamp we call Washington, D.C. for five weeks in July and August. As it turns out, the heat wave we were having in early July broke right after we left home for Paris. Since then, Washington has since been experiencing an unusually mild, pleasant summer.

Not so in Europe. We’ve had many days in the 90s during our trip. And the Mediterranean countries are more like D.C. when it comes to humidity.

The day we docked in Corfu was very hot. We arrived at 11am and were scheduled to depart at 4:30pm, so our time was limited. I took the ship’s bus from the dock to the center of town and walked around. I decided to follow what my map suggested was a coastal road to the old palace, but the route was mostly uphill. By the time I had huffed and puffed my way to the top, I was glad to spot a cab that took me back to the marine terminal.

It's No Mykonos
Reboarding the ship, I stumbled and practically fell into a security guard. I then realized I’d forgotten to take my 11 o'clock Parkinson's pill. It was now after 2pm, and I’d been climbing what seemed like a mountain in 90+ degrees heat.

It would be ridiculous to offer an appraisal of Corfu. I saw a nice town on a nice island. But when it comes to Greek islands, it was no Mykonos or Santorini.

It occurs to me now -- years ago when I spent a few days staying at a hotel on Santorini, I quickly learned not to go near the town center around noon, because that was when the hordes of cruise ship passengers descended upon the place to shop and photograph as much as possible in their hour or two of free time. Now -- 25 years later -- I’m one of the invaders.

In the future -- whenever anyone mentions Corfu -- I can whip out one of these photos and say, “Oh yes, I’ve been there.”

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