Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Sunday, October 28th, 2007 Sunday in Corfu

Woke about 8 am and had breakfast at 8 am…yes, you read it correctly; we found a notice by the elevator that the Greek time change occurred at 4 am this morning! During breakfast we changed our watches and managed to get on the road by 9 am. Our first stop was at Mon Repos located a couple of miles from our hotel. This is an old estate that has a claim to fame in that Prince Phillip of England was born here in 1921. He only lived here for one year but we did get to see the room where he was born. The estate is now owned by the state and the main house has been restored and houses the Museum of Palaeopolis. Several of the rooms are furnished but most of them contain exhibits. The solarium was particularly beautiful with photos of plants as well as live plants native to the area.

We always ask for “senior rates” when going to a museum…sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Today was an exception; it is a national holiday commemorating October 28th, 1941; the day when the Greek army defeated the Italy army in their attempt to occupy Greece. Later, the Germans did finally occupy Greece during WWII. This particular museum was free today to honor the celebration.

Drove down into town and found parking almost exactly where we parked yesterday. Walked across the square and into the old town to SS. Jacob (James) & Christopher Catholic Church, mass was schedule for 10:30 so we had half an hour to pay our respects and people watch before mass started. Pretty little church and even thought it is very small it is actually their Cathedral. Not too many Roman Catholics live here as most Greeks are Greek Orthodox; the mass was in Greek but they did have the readings printed in English for us at the door. During the sermon the priest became very emotional and actually was crying so hard he had difficulty continuing. Most of the people in the church were also crying. From what we can figure out; a priest from Corfu was killed in or near Athens yesterday. A sidelight was the little girl sitting next to me could have been our grandson Corey’s sister: she looked exactly like him when he was her age. Her mother was speaking both English and Greek during the service.

After mass we headed back to the square to watch the parade that was being held in honor of the October 28th celebration; we found seats in the McDonalds, ordered a coke and had a great view of everything. There were two bands and they took turns leading the various marching groups. Each of the schools had a marching group in matching uniforms; they swung their arms in unison similar to the changing of the guard in Athens. It was a very festive occasion and I think everyone who lives in the area was out in their Sunday best to watch the parade. The weather is very overcast but so far no rain. It did sprinkle lightly during the night but for now we’re dry; it is much cooler than yesterday since we don’t have the direct sunlight.

Afterwards we headed across the old town to the New Fortress. Along the way we stopped in at the church of Agios Spyridon again. Last night we read in the guide book about the silver casket that holds his body that is kept in the church. They carry it in parades on Easter Sunday, August 11th and the first Sunday in November. Shucks, we’re going to miss that one! But we did stand in line and touch the casket; the Greeks were all kissing it on several special places but we elected to only touch it.

Continued to wind our way through the narrow street until we found the New Fortress; it took about an hour to walk all the way through and climb to the top of the fortress. Had a great view of the whole town, the old Venetian Fortress, the ports and the surrounding hills. We could see the airport and even our hotel off in the distance.

Back to the car and a return to the Archeological Center where they have an active dig in progress around the ruins of a Byzantine church and on the grounds of the Mon Repos that we’d visited this morning. I read my book in the car and Jim reentered the Mon Repos where he hiked to the Adoric Temple, 5th century BC, and Heraeum that was 4th to 7th century BC where he picked a rock to take home: he’s sure it’s marble!

We’re back at the hotel and plan to drive back into town and to the Internet Café to see if we can send this tonight. Don’t know when we will get our next Internet. Hope you’ve enjoyed our stay on Corfu. Tomorrow we head for the Ferry and back to the mainland where we’re head south and then east for three days before arriving in Athens again.

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