Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Napoleon's House

Bastia, Corsica
Back in Fance after staying in Italy for a week or so. (We came here just after Firenze and Livorno.) Not much time was spent in Bastia, as we wanted to get to Cap Corse and look at the nice fishing villages. 
This is where I walked around looking French because I had my own baguette. It seems that every bakery/fromagerie/ice creamerie proclaimed to be 'artisanal'. Probably because if they didn't, no one would buy from their shop because there's an artisanal bakery nearby and that's much better than a regular one. 
You can see a Genovese tower at the end there. Genova and Pisa had a long rivalry and kept trying to take Corsica from one another, so Genva built loads of these towers for defence. 

I cannot remember any of the names of these villages (I really am taking too long to post these blogs). This one looked nice so we took a picture but didn't explore. What you can't see is that we had to walk along a very narrow road with no footpath to get this photo. Many people could be seen simply snapping their photos from the car window.  

Corsica had a very rugged feel. Plenty of brown cliffs and little bays. The water was crystal clear. The one day we spent at the beach, the water was so warm it almost wasn't refreshing. There was also a lot of black seaweed like ribbons that stuck to your ankles as you waded out. 

These rocks were a large feature of the west coast. Unfortunately we didn't have appropriate footwear for the arduous walk, so we didn't get to see the best of the area. 

When buses came, they honked their horns before going around corners so cars could stop and no one got stuck. At least, that was the idea but we got jammed in a holdup anyway because of all those people taking pictures out of car windows. 

We weren't very prepared for laundry, but a kind neighbouring camper lent us one of their ropes to use, which we fastened to a wing mirror. The others are the tent's guy ropes closed into our car doors. Our car is called Clive. 

On the 14th of August, we realised that we would be visiting Ajaccio on 15th of August which just so happened to be Napoleon's birthday. As he was born there, they had live music going in a square and a parade. 

We visited Napoleon's childhood home - he lived there until he was nine. They had a lot of Corsican maps.

The parade started late and was a little odd. It seemed to consist of three different religious groups, and then onlookers joined in the procession at the end and walked with them. We joined in too, but felt out of place, so we slunk away. They had many Jesuses.

Further south, we went to site where prehistoric people carved menhirs and threw a lot of rocks together. This may have been a 'quarry' where they got the rocks from, or it may have been a place where they put rocks. I'm sure if I could read French, I would know. 

This one was called the dinosaur, but definitely looks more like a dragon. With a tiny head. 

At the very south was Bonifacio and its historic quarter. 
As an aside, Corsicans love roast chicken. There were signs for it everywhere. In a similar vein, I had the best raspberries of my life on a hot afternoon from a tiny roadside supermarket in the vicinity of Sagone. 

We arrived too early on the morning of departure for Sardinia, so we took a drive and found a path that lead to this view. It was a little reminiscent of the White Cliffs of Dover.
Farewell Corsica. Thanks for the Orangina.