Friday, October 4, 2013

Med Cruise: Corfu, Part 1

So after Dubrovnik, we sailed on to our first Greek port:  Corfu.  Having looked it up online in advance, I knew I wanted to go to Achilleion Palace.

I learned the Greek alphabet when I was in college, but sadly I didn't brush up on it before the cruise.  Still, after a bit of puzzling, I was able to figure out what some of the signs said, especially if we were looking for place names.

Achilleion Palace was built by this woman:

That's Elisabeth a.k.a. Sissi, Empress of Austria and Hungary.  I first learned about her when I went to Neuschwanstein when I was 21; I bought a book about her at the castle (she was fond of her cousin Ludwig II).  Sissi had a pretty tragic life--after marrying young, her mother-in-law was domineering; she found the rigid etiquette of the Austrian court absolutely stultifying (can't say I blame her there); her only son died in a murder-suicide pact with his mistress; and at 60 she was murdered by an anarchist because he was unable to reach his initial target.   She had ridiculously long hair which took hours to wash and dry, and it sounds like she was also at least borderline anorexic and often wore tightly-laced corsets to show off her slender figure (even after several pregnancies, she weighed only about 110 pounds--she was 2 inches taller than me and I outweigh that by a fair amount, and I'm not exactly a whale).  After her son's death, she spent most of her life traveling to get away from court.  Corfu was a favorite destination, and she had the Achilleion Palace built there.  As you might expect from the name, the theme of the decor is based on the myths of Achilles, the angriest man in history.

The palace is built on a hill, so if you go upstairs inside, you come out to this pavilion lined with statues of the Nine Muses and you're still at ground level.

I wished I'd bought postcards first, because there was one with a statue and the colorful column capital in it, and my photo just isn't as good as that one was.  But I still took pictures of all of the Muses.


I'm thinking, I'm thinking...what to have for dinner?

Lee found a handy wall and set up the camera for this shot.

I think this pic pretty much showed why the Empress liked Corfu so much.

This is just one of the giant statues of Achilles in the gardens.  I got a butt view for Mom.

And there's another giant Achilles butt!

The sun was behind him so the picture of his front side isn't as good.  Next up:  more Corfu!

1 comment:

CCsMom said...

I personally liked the statue of the woman holding the orb and musing. But thank you for that butt shot. Ha! Beautiful place -- reminds me of Hearst Castle with the view of the ocean on a clear day. Yes, for a place with a view.