The People You Meet: A Day With Hot Philip
This past October, I went on a Mediterranean cruise with a fun group of ladies. We had a blast exploring locations in Italy, Greece, & Turkey! We had an unexpected treat at our second port, the Greek island of Corfu.
We didn’t have an excursion planned for this stop, but we did have a short list of things we wanted to see that we knew weren’t going to be walking distance. Once we disembarked, we looked at the taxi tours offered from the port building. We found a good deal: 2-hours including our main spots for 20Euro each. The lady handling our transaction gave us a sly smile and told us she knew just the person to take us. She says, “He’s very handsome. Just watch his face when he sees all of you!” A guy walks up & escorts us outside, and I’m thinking he’s alright, nothing to fuss over. Then, I realize my mistake as our driver emerges from the taxi – umm, what’s the Greek word for “wowza!”? His shades kept us from seeing his reaction to us, but I’m sure we were conspicuously exchanging loaded glances.
Off we ride to our first destination: the Achilleion Palace. Philip’s English is fairly good; he’s able to tell us about the surroundings and mostly answer our questions. Sometimes, he pauses or stares for a minute as he processes what you’ve said, but the 4 talkative Americans keep the convo rolling. We arrive at the Achilleion, and he drops us off right at the front gate and says “I’ll be waiting right here.” Seriously, he just hangs out while we explore. The palace is beautiful! What else would you expect from our dear, Sisi. We learned a good deal about Empress Elisabeth on our EuroTrip, so we loved seeing a different aspect of her life here. We decided we absolutely did not blame her for not wanting to be in Vienna when places like these were her other options. The inside is lovely, but the courtyards & views are spectacular. The atmosphere of the breezy, hilltop palace is so relaxing & lush. I would certainly live there!
Next, Philip takes on a drive around the island, passing lots of gorgeous scenery & up onto the mountain where he points out the olive trees & explains the harvesting process. He takes us to a shop on the hillside run by a family he is obviously familiar with because he goes around the shop picking things & opening things up & having us sample all of them. He shows us Greek basil, olives, kumquats & feeds us homemade olive oil on bread, canned olives, & wine, and packages of Greek almonds, figs, & sesame seed snacks, and probably some other stuff I can’t recall. He then takes us to a spot with fantastic views & takes group pictures for us. What a guy!
Next is an Greek Orthodox church on yet another hill with even more great views – are you starting to see a trend with Corfu? Again, he waits as we explore & take pictures. After that, we drive down into town, so we can get gyros & shop. He takes us to get gyros, orders for us, & makes sure we get plenty of tzatziki sauce – yum-oh! Then, he drops us off close to town center to wander & shop, and again, waits for us. We finally wander back, & there he is, ready to take us to the boat. I’m fairly certain we saw most of the island as he drove us around for 5hours – that’s right 3 more than we paid for, he was like our own Greek god of tourism! He showed us the many different sites of the island while sharing facts & history, pointing out local trees & plants, & even teaching us some Greek (including a swear on accident when someone pulled out in front of him!); it was much more than we could have hoped for from our time at port. Plus, if our husbands ever frustrate us, we can threaten to go back to Corfu & find Philip!
PS: My husband, who is completely certain of my love & devotion to only him, has approved this post.