Corfu (also called Kerkyra) is a beautiful island, known for being one of the greenest Greek islands. Thousands and thosands of olive trees carpet the landscape of Corfu. Having spent time on Mykonos and Santorini and the mainland of Greece in the past, it was very different in landscape from these places. It’s located in the Ionian Sea, in the westernmost part of Greece, just off the coast of Albania.
Inhabited since the Paleolithic era, it has immense history. We started our time on Corfu by exploring the Old Fortress, which dates from around the 6th century AD, after the destruction of the city of Corcyra by the Goths. (Oh my goodness, the history. It makes my head spin. We read up on all of it and…poor Corfu. The Romans, some pirates, the Goths, the Lombards, Saracens, and Normans, the Sicilians, the Venetians. Corfu has been fought over for centuries and centuries.) Anyway, back to the Old Fortress. We spent a lot of our day walking around this area. We didn’t take a tour but instead opted to just explore the fortress ourselves. It’s huge! The walk up is not too hard, and the views from the top are worth it. If you are ever in Corfu, don’t miss this place.
After the Old Fortress, we walked around Corfu’s Old Town for a while. There are lots of shops and cafes, and many streets have musicians playing Greek music. Juliana and I got some Greek sandals made at Caterina’s, a cute little store in the Old Town. We had a fancy lunch on the Liston, which is the main square of Corfu, covered in beautiful marble. Brewster Chamberlin celebrated it in his 2005 poem Along the Liston, Corfu, describing it as a crowded, relaxed place to sit and snack and watch the promenaders. The Liston runs along one side of the Spianáda, part town square and part park with its own cricket pitch. It was so nice to just sit and people watch. And eat Saganaki! Oh my goodness, we love Saganaki. Corfu was a pleasant surprise, and we’d love to go back again someday.