I met up with Ingalill and Marita at the airport in Ajaccio around noon, they from a couple days in Paris and I from Geneva. Rick and Jim were due to meet us there too but first their flight was cancelled and then the new flight was delayed. They didn’t show up until 11:30pm. Ingalill and Marita picked them up. I was asleep.
We got a car at the airport and then took the ‘scenic’ route to our wonderful home for the next week, unloaded the car, and then did a little grocery shopping. That’s Ingalill and Marita enjoying a rest beside the salt water pool, and it’s really Really nice.
This is a monument to Napoleon in the central Place De Gaulle. It’s all Napoleon all the time here in Ajaccio, Napoleon’s birthplace. You can even see the couch upon which he was born.
…the PORT below.
We ended the day with a visit to the vegetable market, a delightful swim in the pool, and then bbq burgers and salad for dinner. Ahhhh. Lill and Marita are both still working and they both agreed, vacations are awesome, and retirement doesn’t look so bad either.
We took the Long and Winding Road to Calanques de Piana today, 2+ hours in the car for a 1 1/2 hour Zodiac ride to see the UNESCO World Heritage Site. That’s our Zodiac in the middle of the picture. The site was quite splendid and the boat ride was an E-Ticket itself. The driver entertained himself surfing on the wake of passing power boats and enjoyed a slalom course through the rocks. He spoke entirely in French but we got some hints of what was going on from kind fellow travelers.
The entire Gulf of Porto area is protected including other sites we didn’t visit such as the Gulf of Girolata and the Scandola Reserve.
Some pictures from the ride:
In and out of caves…
Views from the village of Porto where we began our trip:
On the road again:
A welcome break in Piana:
We had been inundated by wasps at our dining table outside and had come to just live with it until Marita got stung. Then we contacted the landlord for some recommendation on a remedy. Burn coffee grounds she said, and brought us a container, coffee, and a fire-starter. 100% when the coffee was putting out smoke the wasps stayed away. Wow. It doesn’t work for flies or mosquitoes but those wasps were g.o.n.e. gone.
SO before we got the coffee solution from the landlord we were here at this restaurant in Piana for lunch (YUM BTW) and I spotted all these dead wasps on the ground by the ham. How did this happen? I asked the man behind the bar and he demonstrated… you flick them. None of us ever got up the nerve to flick them and fortunately by the next day we could smoke them out.
What a quiet day. Everyone was pretty beat by the long journey to and at Calanques on Monday. I’m writing now on Thursday and I don’t remember what we did on Tuesday until the late afternoon when we went to the beach.
RICK’S PICTURES above, that’s me under the umbrella and Lill under the towel, Marita face down, and Jim in the distance, and since Rick’s always taking pictures of other people, here he is below. What a cutie:
First stop, Filitosa, where archeologists date the “earliest habitation to 3300 BC. Around 1500 BC, 2-3 metre menhirs were erected. They have been carved with representations of human faces, armor and weapons.”
Rick’s pictures from the walk everyone else took up to the Bonifacio Citadel. I took the tram. No more hikes in the beating sun for me.
This picture is from Wikipedia, a view not available to us but you can see how enchanting it is from afar.
This was a longer and twistier day than our outing to Calanques mostly due to the detour for Filitosa that I was hot to do. Sorry guys! On the last day I’ll do a map of all our very cool destinations.
Lill wasn’t feeling up for it but the rest of us went to a very near-by place where a good company ran snorkeling tours. We had a boat full of scuba divers too and because of all the diving gear the operators strongly warned anything on the boat would get soaked, so we didn’t bring cameras. This is our only picture of the day!
We geared up with fins, masks, and snorkel tubes and happily we all got shorty wet suits which I love. We were the only snorkelers so we got a private guide which made it especially fun. He’d dive for interesting specimens and point out good spots to hang around. Good job Tim.