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Due to the bad weather and rough seas on April 19th and after idling the whole day in the safe harbour near the port of Nafplio (Navplion) and the cancellation of the visit to Santorini and Mykonos, on day 6 of the cruise, the captain turned the ship towards the island of Corfu.

The tour bus took us from the port of Corfu (Kerkira in Greek) to Kerkyra City where we stopped for 1 1/2Hrs outside the Old Fortress (Palaio Frourio in Greek) in spacious Spianada Square.

The bus then proceeded on the winding road across the hilly and scenic northwestern part of the island to the town of Paleokastritsa and the Orthodox monastery dedicated to Panagia (Virgin Mary) of Paleokastritsa. Built on top of a remote hill, it gives gorgeous view of the island and the sea beneath. This Byzantine Monastery dates from 1228, however the current complex, the cells of the monks and the yard date from the 18th century. The road to the monastery passes through a forest of olive trees and cypresses. The monastery has a small ecclesiastical museum with rare Byzantine icons, holy books and other relics. Inside the monastery, there works a traditional olive oil press. I bought a jar of Koum Quat jam which is produced here and is abundant on the island (the fruit is related to orange but smaller and native to South East Asia and introduced in Europe in 1846). This was my first visit to an Orthodox monastery.

Note: There are an estimated 3 million Olive trees on Corfu - no wonder the island is so green! The problem, according to our tour guide is that the middlemen gouge the Olive Producers so badly that many of them have stopped producing olive oil.

After departing Corfu in the evening, the cruise ship was on the way the city of Dubrovnik, the last port of call on our Mediterranean cruse before returning to Venice where we started from. The ship passed along the north-eastern coastline of Corfu and across from Ksamil Islands and Sarandë, in Southern Albania. Some of the photos of that passage are shown below. After the fall of Communism, approximately 1 million Albanians took refuge in Greece, and their presence is very visible in Corfu.

Corfu (Greek: Κέρκυρα, Kérkyra, [cercira]; Ancient Greek: Κέρκυρα or Κόρκυρα; Latin: Corcyra; Italian: Corfù) is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. It is the second largest of the Ionian Islands, and, including its small satellite islands, forms the edge of the northwestern frontier of Greece. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered as a single municipality. The municipality includes the island Corfu and the smaller islands Ereikoussa, Mathraki and Othonoi. The principal city of the island and seat of the municipality (pop. 33,886) is also named Corfu. Corfu is home to the Ionian University.

The island is bound with the history of Greece from the beginning of Greek mythology. Its Greek name, Kerkyra or Korkyra, is related to two powerful water symbols: Poseidon, god of the sea, and Asopos, an important Greek mainland river. According to myth, Poseidon fell in love with the beautiful nymph Korkyra, daughter of Asopus and river nymph Metope, and abducted her. Poseidon brought Korkyra to the hitherto unnamed island and, in marital bliss, offered her name to the place: Korkyra, which gradually evolved to Kerkyra (Doric). Together, they had a child they called Phaiax, after whom the inhabitants of the island were named: Phaiakes. This term was transliterated via Latin to Phaeacians.

The island's history is laden with battles and conquests. The legacy of these struggles is visible in the form of castles punctuating strategic locations across the island. Two of these castles enclose its capital, which is the only city in Greece to be surrounded in such a way. As a result, Corfu's capital has been officially declared a Kastropolis ("castle city") by the Greek government. Corfu was long controlled by Venice, which repulsed several Turkish sieges, before falling under British rule following the Napoleonic Wars. Corfu was eventually ceded by the British Empire along with the remaining islands of the United States of the Ionian Islands, and unification with modern Greece was concluded in 1864 under the Treaty of London.

In 2007, the city's old city was designated for the UNESCO World Heritage List, following a recommendation by ICOMOS.

Corfu is a very popular tourist destination. Up until the early 20th century, it was mainly visited by the European royals and elites, including Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany and Empress Elisabeth of Austria; today it is also widely visited by middle class families (primarily from the UK, Scandinavia and Germany), leading to mass tourism. It is still popular with the global elite however, and in the island's northeast the homeowners include members of the Rothschild family and Russian oligarchs. Source: Wikipedia.

For the camera GPS route, click here.

Note: All the cruise photos were imaged with my Nikon D7000 DSLR Camera with Nikon 18-105mm DX VR Lens and Columbus nGPS mounted on the hot shoe. Nikon ViewNX2™ software connected with Google Maps™ was used to pinpoint the location of each photo as shown by the pins.

To view larger image, click on the small image and then press browser BACK BUTTON to return to this page.
All the photos and text (except for external text quotes) are Copyright © by Jack Lupic and no reproduction is permitted.

Arriving at the port of Corfu.
For larger, 2502x666 pix image, click here (11:37AM).

   
Old Fortress ("Old Fort" or "Palaio Frourio" in Greek) 11:38AM   Our cruise ship berthed at the port of Corfu. Note the line of tour buses.
12:34PM
  Driving by the fish market
1:20PM
   
Downtown Kérkyra (1:23PM).    Old Fortress ("Old Fort" or "Palaio Frourio" in Greek) 1:26PM   Old Fortress ("Old Fort" or "Palaio Frourio" in Greek) in Spianada Square. It is a Byzantine castle dating back to the 8th Century (1:33PM).
   
Street behind Spianada Square with French and Venetian-style buildings (1:40PM).   St. Spyridon Church
1:57PM
  Spianada Square (2:43PM).
   
Spianada Square (3:00PM).   The Palace of Sts. Michael and George (Palaia Anaktora). Today the palace houses the Museum of Asian art of Corfu. (3:01PM).   Old Fortress ("Old Fort" or "Palaio Frourio" in Greek)  (3:03PM).
   
Take a look at the price of gas in Euros! (3:22PM).   On the way to the Paleokastritsa monastery (3:35PM).   On the way to the Paleokastritsa monastery (3:39PM).
   
Donkey on the monastery grounds (3:42PM).   Monastery of Virgin Mary of Paleokastritsa.
3:43PM
  Close-up of previous image with Virgin Mary and the child. (3:43PM).
   
Sea view from the monastery (3:48PM).   Monastery of Virgin Mary of Paleokastritsa.
3:49PM
  Water cistern.
3:51PM
   
Inside the church of Virgin Mary.
3:52PM
  Inside the church of Virgin Mary.
3:52PM
  Koum Quat tree on the monastery grounds.
3:56PM
   
Traditional Olive Oil Mill.
3:59PM
  Monastery Passage (3:59PM).   Driving down the hill and away from the monastery (4:15PM).
   
Paleokastritsa beach.
4:33PM
  Paleokastritsa beach. Video clip (4:33PM).   Arriving at the port.
5:01PM
Leaving the island of Corfu.
Albanian coast is in the background.
For larger, 2002x564 pix image, click here (5:59PM).
         
   
Straits of Corfu.
Narrow passage between Southern Albania to the left and Corfu, Greece to the right (7:41PM).
  Straits of Corfu.
Narrow passage between Southern Albania to the left and Corfu, Greece to the right (7:41PM).
  City of Sarandë, on Southern Albanian Coast (7:44PM).

Links:

  1. Corfu Travel Guide
  2. Corfu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  3. Corfu Travel Information and Travel Guide - Greece - Lonely Planet
  4. Corfu travel guide - Wikitravel
  5. Archaeological Museum of Corfu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  6. Corfu arms Flickr - Photo Sharing!
  7. Corfu Town a cultural guide - Telegraph
  8. My Blog Love Greece Top 10 reasons to get passionate about Corfu
  9. History of Corfu - Discover the fascinating Corfu Greece history
  10. Corfu Channel incident - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Corfu Google Map (Physical)
Click on the map or this link to enlarge it.
Nikon ViewNX2™ software in conjuction with Google Maps™ was used to pinpoint the location of each photo as shown by the pins.
Map Copyright Google and other contributors

Paleokastritsa Google Map (Satellite)
Click on the map or this link to enlarge it.
Nikon ViewNX2™ software in conjuction with Google Maps™ was used to pinpoint the location of each photo as shown by the pins.
Map Copyright Google and other contributors

Last update: March 03, 2016
Copyright © MMXII Jack Lupic // All rights reserved

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