Corsica, France Sept. 16-17, 2019.September 18, 2019
Ajaccio to Propriano to Bonifacio, Corsica 9-19-19September 20, 2019
Wednesday, September 18, 2019, traveling from Porto to Ajaccio, Corsica along the coast and into the mountains of this amazing island. My arrival in Porto Tuesday evening was marked by car sickness so I did not see much of the town but this morning I was greeted by a lovely sunny day and found Porto to be a rather surprising resort town with a lively beach and especially boating scene. I passed up a four-hour boat ride to view the cliffs but we did walk around and on the bridge over the harbor inlet which was quite busy with tourists even though we are approaching the low season.
The ride out of Porto is up a winding, narrow road, one way only in some portions, with spectacular views of the rugged coastline and the azure Mediterranean Sea below. Patrick my friend, driver and tour guide is able to navigate these roads amazingly well. I wouldn’t be able to do it! Along the way, we ran into a herd of goats leisurely munching the greenery by the roadside without any apparent fences or without any human being in attendance!
Our lunch was in a cute seaside restaurant the 20-118 overlooking the beach and sea in the town of Sagone, Corsica. A gentle breeze from the sea and a delightful “salade gourmande” for lunch with foie gras and Corsican ham followed by delicious sorbet and cafe’ made for a nice interlude from driving.
After lunch, we followed the winding D 81 road both along the coast and in the hills to reach the outskirts and then the seaside area of the city of Ajaccio, the birthplace and ancestral home of Napoleon Boneparte! The seaside of Ajaccio has a long walkway around the port and all the way to the fort guarding the entrance to the harbor. Ajaccio is much larger than is expected with a population of about 80,000. I am not sure how large Ajaccio was when Napoleon grew up here but it certainly wasn’t this big.
My hotel in Ajaccio, Les Muettes is the most luxurious that I have stayed in so far on this trip. My room #3 has a private terrace looking directly at the sea and there are both seawater and freshwater swimming pools. The A/C works great and the breakfast this morning was outstanding but I had to ask someone to help me operate the Nespresso Machine for my cafe’!
Today our plan is to visit the Maison Napoleon in the morning and then drive to Bonifacio where we will spend the next two nights.
Corsica has surpassed my wildest dreams with its combination of gorgeous natural scenery, friendly people, rich history and above all the realization that much of the rest of the world has discovered this wonderful place a long time before me!