Monday, May 17, 2010

Exploring Corfu, Greece

If you've seen the James Bond movie "For Your Eyes Only," then you've seen the island of Corfu, Greece. That's where it was filmed. It's a lush green, set among the crystal blue Mediterranean waters that are so clear you can see the bottom of the cove.

Our morning started, as my slideshow does, waking up before dawn and taking my camera on deck to take photos of the sunrise. Then I trotted down a level and walked to the stern of the ship as it got lighter. Enjoying my first cup of (definitely not American) coffee, I waited for the sun to glisten off the wake of the ship and finally captured the beautiful colors left by the path our ship, the Costa Victoria, as it cut through the sea. I could easily get mesmerized watching that.

Ben took a photo of John and me at the temple on the hill we climbed. I thought I'd put it here, as if there were no stairs at all, but we did have to do some climbing to get there. Still, it was an easier day than most for us. Ben climbed higher than any of the rest of us. In fact, he did it twice. At one point, while we were still all together, there was a tunnel. He reset his fancy camera, a digital SLR, for the lower light levels, and forgot to reset it to the regular light when he left the tunnel. Then he proceeded to climb up to the top of an additional hill that none of the rest of us had the energy to climb.

When he came down and realized what had happened, he asked whether or not he should go back up and retake his photos. I said that if he didn't, he'd probably regret it forever. I know I'm still sorry that I couldn't retake all the photos I took on our Alaskan cruise in 1991. It was in the pre-digital days, and I paid over $200 to process my film only to find out it was all very gray, low-contrast. I was so disappointed... Off he went with Ashley in the backpack, and it didn't take him all that long, it seemed to me. He's young and strong.

The stairs we climbed were enough for me that day. We really had an easy day, though, since we had taken a shuttle bus from the port to the city center, and then walked over to some archeological ruins and decided to pay the small fee to explore them. I was surprised how few people took advantage of that, especially once we got inside. Of course there was climbing involved inside, but not nearly as much as on other days, especially since we didn't go up all the way to the top like Ben did.

The area we saw was phenomenal, though, and we knew the next day would be arduous, since it was to be Athens on the new schedule. Originally we were slated to see Athens on Wednesday, but the cruise line had found out that there was a scheduled labor protest on that day, so they re-routed the ship and had us arriving a day early. I was determined to make it up to the Acropolis under my own steam, so having a slower day on Corfu was great.

And yet we saw and enjoyed so much! I hope the tree gives perspective to the massive size of these buildings. If you think we didn't do any climbing, realize that I'm taking the photo looking down on it, and we did start at the bottom. But by now you'd probably prefer to just see the slide show, and if you need more information, there's Wikipedia, or you can ask questions in the comment area and I'll come back and answer them. I don't want to write a book here. (Not yet, anyway!)


Sharon and Marvin said...

Beautiful pictures...what wonderful memories.

thisamericantourist said...

What gorgeous ruins! I'm always amazed when I see these massive, ancient buildings - what secrets of construction did they know that we've forgotten in the meantime? Thank you for sharing your experience; I've wanted to visit the Mediterranean for a long time, and seeing pictures like this just makes me ache (but in a good way)!

sherrie said...

Oh my goodness, Kathleen, I'm sure you were having the time of your life! ITALY! GREECE! FAMILY! HISTORY! ARCHITECTURE! Your photos are, as always, gorgeous. Thank you for so beautifully taking me places I will probably never go to on my own.

Kathleen said...

Don't be so sure, Sherrie. I would have bet anything that I'd never get to Europe myself. Life takes unexpected turns. We get blessings we never even think to ask for.

Linda L. Henk said...

Mediterranean blue must be best of all blues. What beautiful pictures! Sounds like you're getting a workout. I also remember pre-digital when I took pictures at Mount Rushmore with the lens cap on (not an SLR). I didn't find out until the film was developed.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Kathleen, I've passed on a blogger award to you -- the Picasso Award because I think you're doing such great work with your photos. Check it out at my blog (today's post -- Wednesday the 19th).