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Corfu and the Curse of the Pink Palace

On most spring breaks, I head back from school to my hometowm of Smithfield, Rhode Island and spend the week sleeping, watching Netflix, and catching up with a couple friends from home. Nothing too exciting.

This spring break, however, was one for the books.  I had the opportunity to travel to Greece with some of my best friends. After a 4 hour bus ride and a 19 hour boat ride we finally made it to our first destination – Corfu!

“Sexy ladies!” is the greeting we received  upon groggily stumbling off the boat. Socrates was our enthusiastic, sometimes comical, always crazy bus driver. He would be transporting us from the ferry to the Pink Palace, as well as any day trips we took from the Pink Palace while we were in Corfu. Bus rides with him were a little frightening – he always drove way above the speed limit – and they were never boring – it seemed like he was known by every inhabitant of Corfu.

As we neared our destination, I couldn’t help but stare in awe at the beautiful blue ocean in front of me. It was unlike anything I had ever seen.I knew then that Corfu would become one of my favorite places in the world.

The Pink Palace was unlike any hotel / hostel I have ever stayed at. All of the buildings were pink and if you walked down the 121 Pink Palace steps, you would arrive at the Pink Palace Palladium.

This is where we ate dinner and had our legendary Toga party – We were given ugly satin pink sheets that we each made into toga dresses – this wasn’t as easy as it sounds – and we participated in the traditional Greek plate smashing ceremony. Opa!

Further down past the palladium – and the endless lemon and orange trees- were more hotel rooms, a Jacuzzi, a beach bar, and of course- the beach. We spent a lot of time walking the beach, collecting sea glass, laying on the deck getting our tan – or for me, my burn- on.

After three days at the Pink Palace, we departed for Athens (see my next blog post, as I think my experience here deserves a separate  post on its own). Leaving the Pink Palace was bittersweet – I loved spending my days by the beach and our nights dancing away at the Palladium. As we boarded the Pink Palace bus for the last time, I had a feeling that I would someday return to the Pink Palace.

But I did not think that this day of return would be so soon. After spending a night in Athens, we departed early the next morning to leave for Santorini. We got to the port with all of our luggage only to find out that all the boats to Santorini had been cancelled due to extreme wind conditions.

We headed back to our hostel in Athens,  Hotel Fivos, sad that we would not be able to go to Santorini but hopeful that perhaps we would be able to leave the next day. Soon, however, it became apparent that going to Santorini wasn’t going to be an option at all. Instead, we would be returning to Corfu and spending the rest of the week at the Pink Palace.

I was pretty upset. After all, Santorini had been my most anticipated stop in Greece. I fell in love with the beach of Corfu, and enjoyed the culture and history of Athens, but I had dreamed of visiting the black sand beach and walking in the same steps as the girls from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. However, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason – and although I may not have the opportunity to venture to Santorini anytime soon, I believe that one day I will make it there.

I began to look on the bright side – I had loved Corfu and it seemed like the best possible alternative. So as we headed back to Corfu, I was determined to make the most out of the rest of our spring break.

Our second visit to the Pink Palace was also an interesting one. There were three other tour groups who arrived at the same time as we did, so the place was packed! The Palladium had to open the second floor in order to seat everyone for dinner, and afterwards we attended our second toga party.

While at the Pink Palace, we also decided to visit the Old Town of Corfu, escorted by the one and only Socrates. We stopped at a cafe and enjoyed some delicious Greek frappes, got fish pedicures, and did some shopping. Bryana and I each bought a necklace with Greek symbols. Mine represents infinity and unity and hers represents eternal life. Most people to go to Greece to purchase jewelry with the Matisma, or evil eye, which is supposed to ward off jealousy and bad luck.

We also stopped for lunch at a small, family-owned traditional Greek restaurant. While veal was the recommended dish, I played it safe and got chicken and potatoes- which were delicious.

After dinner, we had Loukoumades , which were basically small balls of fried dough. Mine were filled with chocolate in the middle and drizzled in white chocolate and pieces of oreo cookie.

Although my spring break trip to Greece took a couple of unexpected turns, it was an amazing week I will never forget. As we left the Pink Palace for the second time, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would actually be my last time leaving that place.








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