|View of Corfu in the AM from the ferry|
My roommate Caroline and I left for our 26-hr journey to Corfu at six on Thursday morning. As I will further explain-- Greece is very difficult to travel to and around. From Florence we took a 5-hr bus ride to Ancona, Italy and from Ancona we took an overnight cruise ship to the main land in Greece. From the main land we hopped on a 2-hr ferry to Corfu, then a 30 minute bus ride to the secluded Pink Palace! The Palace (aka- backpackers Hostel) is well-known in Europe as one of the largest party destinations! It's right on the ocean with its own private beach and beach bar! You can imagine by the time we finally arrived I was thrilled. And after the 21 hours of nothing but sleep on the cruise ship I was fully rested and ready to go!
As soon as we checked in, we changed and got ready to go ATV riding around Corfu, a tour the Pink Palace provides for a fee. There were probably around 60 of us in the group, each on our own individul ATV trying to somewhat stay in a single file line. The tour was about 6 hours- stopping on the way at a beach for lunch, and at a peak looking over the ocean in perfect time for sunset. We rode through beautiful olive gardens, and through the quieter areas of Corfu passing by several colorful and charming houses. I would imagine the sound of 60 or so ATVS riding through the town would be irritating to the locals, but instead they would all wave and smile as we passed by!
After the ride, we rested for a bit and then got ready for dinner which was included with our stay. That night the Palace was throwing a Halloween party, so we threw on our make-shift short notice costumes (a lot of masquerade masks, devil horns and cat ears) and had a wild night of drinking and dancing!
The next morning we set off for the "booze cruise", another activity the palace plans for its visitors each weekend. We walked through the water to the boat with our bags, towels etc. on our heads, climbed up the ladder and immediately, the party began. The water was bright turquoise and the views were amazing. They played fun music the whole ride as we made two stops- one to go cliff jumping (I passed after girls were getting back onto the boat with brusies the size of a football) and another stop at a private beach. By the end of the 6-hour ride we were boozed and cruised out and in need of a nap before the pink toga party that night!
|Booze Cruise boat!|
Like I mentioned before, the Pink Palace is well known for its party atmosphere, morning till night the whole weekend was just a big celebration! Their most infamous activity, though, is the toga party. The hostel provides everyone with a pink satin bed sheet and you have to get creative and create your own toga with it! We spent the night drinking and dancing again and at the end the staff performed a plate smashing ceremony. Yes, I got a plate smashed over my head followed by a shot of Ouzo (greek vodka that tastes like black licorice- yuck!) It hurt a little more than I expected. The men went around and performed an original Greek dance while also managing to do crazy stunts. One, for example, stacked two chairs on top of eachother, lit candles on both chairs, and then picked the bottom chair up with his teeth and walked around with it! Ouch!
|Caroline and I in our togas!|
The next morning, our last day in Greece, we spent a much needed R&R day lounging on the beach. The beach bar played house music all day, served delicious club sandwiches and gyros and of course a pink cocktail or two. We stayed to see the beautiful sunset on the beach and then got ready and packed up for our journey back to La Italia.
While I am so fortunate I was able to travel to Greece and experience a crazy, wild weekend at the Pink Palace, I would love to go back to Greece some day and also visit Athens, Santorini, Mykonos and other greek islands. Its often a misconception that the beautiful white houses with blue roofs that people see in pictures are all throughout Greece, while actually these views are only from Santorini and a few other islands. Corfu was a perfect getaway though-- with beautiful beaches and sunsets. The people were very friendly, though some a bit odd, and the food was way better than I expected! A perfect weekend for 20-something year olds to celebrate and enjoy being young-- and one that I will surely never forget!