26 hours on a ferry from Corfu, Greece to Venice, Italy have provided us with ample time to log Mom’s second leg of the trip. Knowing us, this will probably have to cover the rest as I’m guessing we’ll be a little too sad to type from here on out. Lots & lots of great memories to look back on though. Behold…
High: Staring at the Coliseum in real life. Strolling round ruins dating 100+ years BC.
Low: Options for getting to the bed & breakfast were either climb 5 flights of stairs with our suitcases or take an open-cage elevator that also appeared to be from 100 BC.
High: Up early & on the first bus to St. Peter’s Basilica. No line. The Vatican. The Sistine Chapel. The Pantheon (rain falling through the open ceiling of a 2000 year old church. The view from the top of the belltower in Vatican City. Good cheap wine & bruchetta at an authentic family restaurant.
Low: The stairs up to the belltower. A little bit of rain. Small plastic to-go cups (we’d call them Dixie stateside) without lids are not ideal for hot coffee.
High: We figured out the stampede strategy at the airport & were almost the first ones on. Flying over the Ionic Sea. Bird’s eye view of Greece. Checking in to our first hotel. Our first real Greek meal at the marketplace (even Alei ate meat). Wandering around the Agorra & Zeus’ ruins while the Acropolis loomed over our heads.
Low: Taxi ride from heck speeding through Rome- it made Bob seem like an old woman driver. First bout with bed bugs. Navigating Athen’s sketchy neighborhoods.
High: Climbed the hill to the Parthenon (Acropolis) & saw…too much to remember. Timeless columns, & thousands of years of history- pictures probably say it better. Rescued a turtle. Found out that the city takes care of all the stray dogs. Another Greek feast for lunch. Took a bus to a bus to a ferry (& everything on time). Hot weather. Cheap wine. Feta cheese. Sunset. God is good. Getting a cabin on the ferry & a fullll night’s sleep…
Low: Another sketchy port town area. More rain. Getting on the ferry at midnight only to realize that the hotel booked us seats on the deck outside.
Started with a Low: …waking up to discover that all four of us had slept through our stop on the ferry & sailed right past Corfu en route to Italy. Alei yelling ‘Give them your ticket & run to the exit. Now.’. (Don’t worry, it all got better from there).
High: An unexpected two-hour ferry trip back to Corfu. A taxi ride over a mountain ending with beautiful water views. Dina’s Paradise Apartments- peach, clean, & complete with friendly stray kitties. Beelined to the beach. Yet another Greek feast on the beach accompanied by breeze, waves, & sunset. The sun stayed completely directly overhead until sunset.
High: Another full beach day. Maw Maw & Jane joined us. Yogurt, honey, & fruit treat for lunch. Sun, sleep, sun, sleep. Repeat. Skipped dinner in lieu of four appetizers & dessert.
Low: The uphill climb home through the mountains.
High: Kalimera: Greek coffee, orange pie, chocolate with banana topping, & devotionals on the beach = Greek for ‘good morning’. More beach. Kayaked to a mountain in the sea. Saw a fire red snake under a rock (Alei didn’t even cry). Discovering Corfu’s historic old market. You guessed it…another delicious Greek meal.
Low: Saying goodbye to Dina’s apartments & our stray cats.
High: We had a room on this ferry. Salvaged Alei’s pajamas that were left in the frenzy of our last accidental exit. Blue water. Blue skies. Crossing the Adriatic on a cruise ship.
Low: Almost out of days.
Next stop, a flight from Venice to Kyiv, one last night at the host family’s (I’m guessing they won’t serve saganaki) & then another drastically sadder trip to Boryspil airport. Boo. (How’s that for grateful, huh?)