Corfu Day 5 – Turning Japanese

Today we found St Spiridon’s cathedral – hardly surprising since we had chosen to walk down St Spiridon Street on the assumption that the cathedral would be somewhere along it. We almost missed it, since it was part way along the street with other buildings adjoining it on each side. None of the wide open spaces I’m used to in England.

People were going in and out, so we went in, and then came out. A choir was singing at one end. A queue of people were lined up to do I don’t know what. It all seemed very active. I prefer my cathedrals quiet and museum-like.

So we went to the Museum of Asiatic Art where for €6 you can walk around for hours looking at art from many Asian countries. The biggest part is Chinese, mainly plates and bowls in bronze, pottery, stoneware, porcelain and enamels. The timeline, starting at 30,000BC, is well explained in both Greek and English. Then you go on to India, where most of the art is carved figures, representing gods, warriors and sex, often all at once, followed by Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand and several other countries, finishing up with Japan. In fact, when we came to the spiral staircase where Japan continued upstairs through six more rooms, we called it a day.

There was a temporary exhibition of Japanese drawings of courtesans and Kabuki actors, which included – as a sign sternly warned at the entrance – some explicit ones. There were just two, in fact. There was no such warning about the equally explicit Indian wood carvings in the permanent exhibition.

After yesterday’s sofrito, we tried souvlaki for dinner – essentially meat cubes cooked on skewers and served without the skewers but with sauté potatoes. We also had dessert, a big mistake. The desserts were huge, but tasted really good, so we had to eat them…

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