Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Escape from The Corfu Excursion

5 May 2009. Corfu. The excursionists are being transported by coach from monastery and museum, where we have been brow beaten into enduring the museum and a dreary commentary, then rushed round the gardens which were the best bit. We are mutinous. We are desperate. In the eyes of guide-i-poos we are obviously in need of culture and knowledge...

The coach arrives at Corfu town and pulls to a halt near a marvellous old fortress, set on a cliff and surrounded by a moat.

Guide-i-poos sets us off at a brisk walk, her alsatians running round to keep the pack in some semblance of order. We walk away from the wonderful fortress without a word other than we will come back here for the coach.

We walk past a large park about which we hear a lot, stopping in a huddle as the alsations growl and snap at ankles, pushing us into a tight group around our commandant... er... guide...

We are promised another church visit and a look at the old Colonial House, remnant of Britain when she was Great.

There's a cricket pitch she wants us to see. I've seen one before and wasn't particularly thrilled then... Cricket has a lot in common with this tour - takes forever with brief bursts of interest set in a series of long boring interludes...

Wait! This could be her undoing! She's taking us through a couple of streets! We hang about until we reach the back of the group and... Yes! An opportunity! As the group carries on forwards, we suddenly make a run for it down a side street, fearfully looking over our shoulders, trying to mingle with locals and hoping they don't give us away!

We spend a bit of time exploring the streets and then head back towards the old fortress that I have been fancying trying to sketch.

The Old Fortress, for such is indeed its name, was built between the 6th and 19th centuries, presumably by workers whose supervisors were asleep most of the time... 1300 years to build... oh... I think they built a fortress and then it got added to every now and then!

In fact even the island that it stands on is man made according to some sources, although frankly, looking at those cliffs I suspect what they mean is that it used to be part of the mainland and the moat was dug out to make it an island. That sounds just a bit more practical - or if they did make the island, that explains why it took 1300 years...

I was quite happy doodling away until the sound of a whip cracking and the scraping of shuffling feet announced the return of guide-i-poos and her not-so-merry band of tourists. The coach took us back towards the ship. It took a while for all the passengers to get on board, stopping as they did to hug and weep over every officer and crew member near the gangway...

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