Corfu was one place to visit on the top of my bucket list. My grandparents were world travelers and loved Corfu, so naturally I wasn’t going to leave Greece without going to that island.
Corfu is not an easy place to get to at all. It was a 6 1/2 hour bus right and then 1 1/2 hours on a ferry, however, when you reach the shoreline, something tells you it’s going to be worth it.
We arrived around 5:30 and made our way to our Air BnB. When I say “made our way,” I truly mean “made our way.” Our Air BnB happened to be located in the middle of what would be considered nowhere. Although the home had no wifi and had inhabitants that were quarter sized with eight legs, it was serene. It truly forced us to interact and and not be distracted by things like laptops and cell phones, which was refreshing (even though I’m the first to admit that I’m addicted to my laptop).
After we settled in, we went to Corfu Town/Old Town for dinner. Other than the people on the trip with me there are two people I’ll always remember meeting. The first one was a food runner at the restaurant we ate at. He was genuinely happy to be doing his job. You could tell he found a satisfaction in talking to us and his other tables. He smiled a true smile – one that could only result from a laugh. The second person was an old woman who ran a little liquor store. We went to buy some wine and she was a light in the room. There are certain people who you can tell were handpicked by God to give off a perfume of kindness, and this woman was definitely one.
A fun fact about my family: when my grandfather passed, he left behind a notion that when he came to check up on us in the future, he would be in the form of a butterfly. (Friendly reminder: Corfu was his favorite place).
The next morning we got to old town where the New Fortress is. After being there for all of five minutes I noticed a butterfly flying around me. It sat itself down next to me and it let my hand go very close to it, about touching it. Tears rolled down my face as I was convinced that this was my grandfather checking up on me. The best part is that I got a picture, the only picture with my grandfather since he passed away three weeks before I was born.
Later that day when I talked to my dad, he asked me, “What color was the butterfly?”
I responded with “It was orange.”
My dad took a quick pause and said, “No kidding, that was Grandpa’s favorite color.”
Right near the New Fortress there was a small memorial for the Holocaust. Two thousand Corfu natives lost their lives in concentration camps. There are even homes on the island that have left over marks of symbols that highlighted who was and was not Jewish. It’s interesting to think about this: a place with so much beauty still has a level of darkness, but that darkness has made that place even brighter.
The rest of the day was set into place after that. We roamed around town and drank in the unique architecture. Corfu is also the Island of Music, which was just perfect. Music rang out from various buildings which I later learned were music schools. The sounds surrounded me, creating a blanket of peace and gratefulness for this experience.
We then ended up going to the Old Fortress used all the way up to World War II. We saw St. George’s church, which is a Catholic church because Corfu was under Venetian rule for so long. The Old Fortress also contained relics and paintings of the old world.
There was an Acropolis at the top of the Old Fortress that was a steep walk up. The view was absolutely perfect when we finally battled our way to the top. Not only could you see the whole island but you could also see Italy and Albania. We were surrounded by life.
Before we knew it, we had to head back to the Air BnB to get ready
to take our overnight bus and ferry back to Athens.
I definitely left a piece of my heart in Corfu and I think it found the piece that my Grandfather left there, how could it not?