Thursday, September 06, 2007

Corfu, Greece

For some reason, not all of the pictures are displayed in this entry. I've uploaded the whole post to my personal web pages at
note that the pictures are significantly bigger there, so it will take longer to download.

Given our switch from Comcast to Verizon, I don't expect that link to stay up very long, so I've tried replacing the pictures in this blog. If they vanish again, I'll put them on my new web page, wherever that may be.

I spent the last week of August on the island of Corfu (Kerkyra), Greece, attending ISMANAM 2007 (which highly amused the immigration lady in London). The meeting was quite good, I learned a fair amount and, as with all good meetings, made contacts with people I'd never met before.

But I don't want to talk about that. I want to show you some of Corfu:

  • My hotel, the Louis Corcyra Beach, is a “resort” hotel. The view is quite nice:

    but the rooms aren't what you'd think of as American quality: there's a window air conditioner, the beds are small, and the floor is tile. If you want a resort that has fancy American style hotel rooms, for about the same price (or cheaper), go to Cancun. They did have a reasonable American-style (eggs, ham, bacon, etc.) breakfast included in the price (110 €/night).
  • The Louis Corcyra is in Gouvia, which is sort of the Ocean City, Maryland, of the island. That is, lots of bars, lots of tourists running around. This time of year it was mostly Brits, and every bar had a giant TV showing Premier League Soccer. I wish I'd taken pictures of the night-life, but all I have are shots like Thursday Morning, 10 a.m.:

  • Some of the hotels (but not the Louis C) have internet access, at a rate of about 6 €/hour. (1 € ≈ $ 1.40, at least last week). A better deal, after 6 p.m., at least, is to go up to Dassia (about 3 km from Gouvia) and stop at Great Shakes, a British pub serving Indian food prepared by a Welsh chef. They have free Internet access. Well, not exactly free, you're expected to buy something, but for 5 € you can get:

    which you can nurse for an hour or more. Good curries, too.

    (Note the abomination on the glass, required by the EU's slavish adherence to the metric system. I love the metric system, but some things are sacred.)
  • More interesting was Corfu City itself. I got to spend most of last Friday there, waiting for my plane to take off. Here I stayed at the Cavalieri Hotel, a refurbished 17th century mansion. The room was nicer than the one at the Louis C, cheaper (75 $euro;, with a smaller breakfast buffet), and had a bed that was way too soft, and a really small, two-level, bathtub that almost killed me (and may still, my ribs still hurt from where I fell).

  • Corfu contains several museums. I spent a half-hour (that's all it takes, really) in the Archaeological Museum, which features exhibits from the last 2,600 years. I particularly liked the lion from the 7th century B.C. tomb of Menecrates (the poet, I think):

    and the Gorgon pediment from the temple to Artemis:
  • Corfu is dominated by two forts, the Old Fort and the New Fort (duh). The Cavalieri is near the Old Fort,

    which was originally built by the Venetians, who controlled the island in the 15-18th centuries, and modified by just about everyone who since. The fort is on an islet that was artificially separated from the mainland.

    It's a long way up. Take a look at the view coming into the fort,

    and then a view of the cross from the level of the clock tower (but off to one side),

    and then look at how tall the cross itself is:

    Finally, take a look back at the town, from the top of the fort. The Cavalieri is off to the left just behind the park:

  • For one last shot, let's see if Blogger really can upload movies now:

Galen Frysinger has much, much, much, more about Corfu, along with just about every other place in the world.

(Pictures taken with a Canon PowerShot A550, downloaded to this computer using gthumb, though digikam also works.)


Anonymous said...

Great Pics! Bet your wife would have loved Corfu.