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Wake Up Sleepy Town…..

By Guest
Posts: 4

Posted on: November 11, 2008 at 8:56AM

I lay resting in my bed, my mind wandering, dancing with dreams, drifting in and out of sleep and then I heard the sound of the island coming to life and the waves gently lapping against the shore and it woke me. For Corfu was waking up and I was going to miss it. As I made my way down the dimly lit streets, winding in and out of hidden corridors, wiping the sleep out of my eyes and searching for coffee, I found another early riser to share a cappuccino with. Not speaking at all but speaking volumes, we both recognized the importance of watching the sun rise, sipping our steaming, frothy cappuccino, drinking in the view and truly waking up. Having a few of these precious moments in the morning to enjoy such diminutive pleasures is a unique experience. My newly found comrade poured a smidgen of kumquat liquor in his cracked, lopsided, porcelain mug and gave me a wink. It was an instant that captured the epitome of Corfu and the engaging character of its inhabitants. Entranced at the light creeping up the colossal structures and radiating a golden, silver, pink hue over the entire city, I was spellbound by such raw beauty. Corfu came to life and so did I; it was going to be a beautiful day here. But it was still early and slightly chilly and the morning air was brisk with excitement as I set off to explore and let the daylight bring me to life. With no map, no guidebook and no initial plan in mind, I meandered around the marble streets for hours stumbling upon unusual finds, ancient buildings and exploring obscured pathways seeing where they led me. Spianada Square is another locale that offers delightful carriage rides, bell towers, charming cafes, old wrought iron benches, vintage bookstores and is host to annual cricket matches. Not capable of sitting still, I set off for the esplanade. Leisurely walking along the promenade the sidewalks became smaller and the buildings all came to a point as if they were leaning towards the echo of the sea. This is where many prominent scholars, painters and poets, such as Dionysios Solomos, came to reflect, gather their thoughts, create and inspire. As I made my way through another undiscovered, cobble-stoned side street of the Village of Kassiopi, I overheard the heartbreaking hymn of a man singing deep within his soul as if he had lost something he deeply cherished. A mourning perhaps or maybe it was prayer. My curiosity was aroused. Following this cry through the passageways, listening to the wind and inquisitively peering around corners, I was getting closer. Just then, the words became noticeably louder and the song more poignant. I knew I had found him. I stepped into Saint Spiridon’s Church and discovered this soprano with his eyes closed, kneeling on the ground, hands spread out to his sides performing his daily ritual of prayer and homage to the Saint. The only illumination that shown through, was from the myriad of vibrantly decorated, stained-glass windows that adorned this church. This Saint is so special to the citizens of Corfu that a few times a year his remains are carried around Spianada Square in a somber demonstration to memorialize his life and marvel at his munificent miracles. This Ionian style Greek Orthodox Church is one of the greatest religious monuments in Corfu. Completely at peace after listening to the solemn melody, saying my hail mary’s and confessing my sins, I bowed my head in respect and made my way back out to the light of day. As I looked up towards the vast cerulean skyline, watching the clouds glide leisurely by, I saw the Old Fortress archeological site. This is truly a momentous structure as it is positioned high on the cliffs of Figareto that seems to stand guard, like a big brother, over Spianada Square. The fort is currently linked to the island by an iron suspension bridge, but use to be completely separated by a wooden drawbridge and maritime moat. Exploring the citadel and its distinct design and affluent history, takes you back in time when the Venetians ruled this region and fought for its freedoms. There are various typical tourist attractions in Corfu, but the complexity of this island and its people lies within the cold, stone walls of its primitive buildings, in the morose song of the prayer, marble walkways, inimitable iron works and in the depths of the Aegean. report a problem

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