On the Acropolis in Athens

On the Acropolis in Athens.

Brandon and Kathy

"2004 Explorations"

At the library in Ephesus

At the library in Ephesus.


Corfu

Olympia

2004 Cruise Ports of Call

Corfu and Olympia

Corfu - Our first Greek Isle

Corfu waves

Corfu waves

On May 6th we arrived at Corfu, our first Greek island. The weather was changeable - first sunny and then rainy. We went on our first shore excursion arranged by Princess. It was a mixed bag. The scenery along the coast was spectacular (see the pictures here on either side). The monestary built in 1278 was very interesting, but extremely crowded. There must have been two dozen bus loads of tourists trying to get into a small chapel at once. We learned that the small Greek islands are not necessarrily able to handle large groups of people at one time.

The second stop on the tour was the Achilleion Palace, a villa built for Empress Elisabeth of Austria. It was mildly interesting, but didn't have much to do with Greece. And it too was crowded.

When the tour concluded, we strolled around Corfu Town. The old town is a mixture of medieval and modern. The old and new fortresses bear the insignia of the Venetian Republic.

So we had an interesting day, but decided to re-evaluate how many organized shore excursions we would take. Those of our group who had toured the island on their own had a better experience than we did.

Paleokastritsa Monestary Paleokastritsa Monestary Sign

Monestary Mozaic from 1278 Monestary Mozaic from 1278

Monestary Bell Tower Monestary Bell Tower

Corfu - Center of Town Corfu - Flowers in Center of Town

Corfu - Shopping Street Corfu - Shopping Street

Corfu - Apartments above Shops Corfu - Apartments above Shops

Olympia - Site of the first Olympics

Olympia Columns

Olympia Ruins

On May 7th we arrived at the port of Katakolon. From here you can arrange to go to Olympia, the site of the first Olympics. Those games were held every four years from 776 BC until 393 AD.

Rather than take the ship's excursion, some of us got a taxi and went to Olympia. We strolled the grounds, seeing the ruins of the Temple of Zeus, the original stadium, the Temple of Hera, and Hera's Altar. For the modern Olympic Games, the Olympic Flame is lit on this altar. This year, with the games being held in Athens, the flame was lit earlier than normal and was kept lit in front of the 1896 Olympic Stadium in Athens.

Sign at Hera's Altar Sign at Hera's Altar

Olympia Columns Olympia Columns

Olympia Arch Olympia Arch

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C. Brandon Jones
email: Brandon "at" cbjones.info
updated June 23, 2005