Today was great. We had another nice breakfast on our balcony. It was a beautiful day and we soaked up some sun while observing the Greek islands pass by our ship. We decided to head to the pool area since we had a few hours before arriving in Corfu. We sat in the `warm’ tub for a while and relaxed. Before we knew it, it was time to get ready to disembark. We met with our excursion group and headed for Paleokastriza by bus. Our tour guide pointed out the olive trees that were everywhere (as well as the kumquat and lemon trees that weren’t quite as pervasive) and explained a little about how they are harvested. (Nets are placed under the trees to catch the fruit.) The island was absolutely beautiful and we got some great views from the bus. We stopped at a small beach/dock where there were brief boat excursions we could take to see a few nearby caves. We took a short boat ride around. This was really nice because the weather was great and the water was incredibly inviting (clear, blue, warm- we wished we had time to swim!). The little caves were neat and the jutting islands were quite unique (similar looking to the Island of Capri in Italy). Next, we continued up to a small monastery where we had a great view of the coast. There we’re cats and kittens everywhere which the monks were feeding. The inside of their church was very ornate and the tour guide explained the differences to us between the Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. Our final stop was the town center where we were given free time to shop. We bought some candied kumquats, which were fantastic, and tried kumquat liquor, which was also really good.
We bought a ginger beer from a supermarket because our tour guide had told us that the local ginger beer is unique and very good. Unfortunately, it was beer with ginger, not the ginger soda we thought it was. We had dinner with our Polish friends, which was great as always. It was nice to sit with the same people and have the same servers each night; it created a very comfortable atmosphere.
We stayed up for the grand buffet which was at midnight. There were food and ice sculptures. It was really neat! But unfortunately we weren’t hungry. Also worth noting is that people at the buffet on a cruise ship are like vicious wild animals and the less time we had to spend interacting with them the better.