Pompeii to Igoumenitsa, Greece
We had breakfast at 7:15 am at our hotel and then left for the ferry to Greece. It took about 3 hours to get to Bari, Italy where we were to board. It was a really nice, big boat with seats almost like a plane and also a big lounge, bar, and restaurant. It was kind of like a small cruise ship. I had a sandwich for lunch and fresh lemonade and hung out in the bar/lounge with everyone. After that, I went back to my seat and used my iPad for a few hours. I can’t remember if we had to pay for wifi or if it was free. I started to feel a bit seasick, but luckily I didn’t throw up. Dinner was pretty bland, just grilled chicken, garden salad and fries. I napped a lot for the rest of the night and we got to Igoumenitsa around midnight. We went to bed straight away because we had to leave the hotel at 6:45am for our next ferry. Fun fact: they don’t flush the toilet paper in Greece, so that is an adjustment…
Igoumenitsa to Corfu (Corfu day one)
We had an early ferry to Corfu and I slept most of the way (The ride was under 2 hours). As soon as we got off the ferry I could see how absolutely beautiful Corfu is. The water is so clear and blue, the greenery is stunning, and it was a nice, sunny day. We checked in to the Corfu Village Hotel, which is a Contiki site for part of the year and it was definitely one of the best places we’ve stayed on the tour, save for our nice Marriott in London maybe. However, this was a resort so it was different. It had a pool out front, and the beach right across the street. The main building had reception, lounges, dining, and a disco. There was also another dining room building. Our rooms were in bungalows with orange roofs and the walls were all white stone. Our room was really spacious and decorated in blue and orange and it had a large balcony that overlooked the resort and the sea. We got settled in to our room and got changed to head down to the pool.
The hotel used tokens instead of cash, so we had to convert our Euros to tokens at the front desk. I had a gyro and fries for lunch, and then later had some drinks while a bunch of us hung out at the pool and in the warm sun 🙂 We also went over to the beach and walked through the water and took some pictures. The view was spectacular. We hung out by the pool basically the whole day and met some people from another Contiki group that was staying there, including a few other Canadian guys.
In the evening, we went for our Ionian dinner at a restaurant called Gloupos. They had traditional Greek dancers that entertained us all evening and led us in the Zorba, and the potato dance. The potato dance was a game where we all had a partner and we had to dance around while holding a potato between our foreheads. Chloe and I didn’t make it very far… The dancers danced in a ring of fire around the stage, and one of the guys even spun around while holding a table in his mouth!
The food was awesome too! We had bread, wine, tzatziki, a caviar dip, feta cheese, cheese pastries, sausage, potatoes, lamb, chicken, rice, and Greek salad. They also served us ouzo as we walked in the door. It was all delicious! I love Greek food.
After dinner, we went back to the hotel and changed for the toga party. I had some trouble tying my toga, but Chloe helped me and then I liked it. I bought a necklace in London that I didn’t end up liking the look of it on, but it worked perfectly as a headpiece for the party. The party was in the disco and it was really fun.
Corfu, Day 2
Today was the day that we all had been looking forward to–George’s boat!!! George’s boat is probably one of the more talked about Contiki classic activities, and for good reason. It is honestly SO MUCH FUN. George is an older, somewhat crude and crass, but also very sweet Greek man who has been running boat tours around Corfu since the 70’s. His boat may be one of the reasons that Contiki used to have an unwarranted reputation of being tours that only consist of partying and sex. Back in the day people let very loose on George’s boat, and while we all had fun, it was very much a PG-13 event, not XXX like it may have been in the past.
We arrived at his boat around 9:15 am and it started off a little quiet because we were all still a bit tired (ahem… hungover). We cruised around the sea and listened to music. It was such a beautiful, sunny day and the water was so clear and blue. We stopped for the first swimming spot and some people jumped in, but it was still a bit early and I was a little chilly so I didn’t. I did jump off the boat and in to the sea at the second stop though, which was just before lunch. I was pretty scared, but I really wanted to do it, so I just went for it. The drop was probably about 20 feet, and it took a few seconds to reach the surface. I swallowed a bit of salt water and scratched my face, with probably my finger nail (almost a year later and I still have a faint scar!). That was a little unpleasant, but it was so fun and so worth it. I couldn’t believe that I had actually just jumped in to the Mediterranean! It was amazing and just like the pictures you see of the clear turquoise water. It was a perfect day.
We had lunch (I still crave it) which was ham and cheese on bread, George’s famous tzatziki, which he kept reminding us was “Good for your sex life,” and was SO YUMMY, Greek salad, fries with paprika, and olives. I don’t like olives, but I wanted to try them anyway, being in Greece and all, but nope, still don’t like them. I wish I did but at least I gave them a shot. After lunch we started having some drinks and I stuck with Smirnoff ice (don’t judge, there wasn’t much selection!). We danced and started having lots more fun. The sights of the buildings on the island were gorgeous, in different shades of coral, peach, and pink, and the beaches were so pretty. It was so much fun! George split us all up by countries and had us sing our national anthems, and then a famous song from our country. He had us Canadians sing ‘Summer of ’69.’ It was definitely one of the best days of my life. I felt so lucky and happy to be out there on the sea, in the sun, and with so many great people in Greece, a place I always wanted to go.
We were all so sad to leave George’s boat, but we went back to the hotel, chilled out for a bit, and then we had dinner there. We had tzatziki, pasta salad, stuffed grape leaves, eggplant dip, pork souvlaki, pita, and Greek salad. Then, Alex gave us our t-Shirts/hoodies. I got a pink hoodie. We had a lot of fun joking about Andy’s t-shirt because it was a bit too big for him. You had to be there, but I laughed so hard.
After dinner, I hung out by the pool with Jacinda, Chloe, Alex, Andy, Cole, Bianca, and Paul and we just talked and joked around. I was quite tired and went to bed relatively early.
CORFU WAS THE BEST IF YOU DIDN’T GATHER THAT.
Canadians sing O Canada
Love, Kate Bray