Calanques de Piana

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:

Not My Picture, but an aerial to give you an idea of the overall landscape.

These were in the far distance taken from the speeding zodiac.

Maybe look up and you can get an idea of how tall the cliffs are.


In and out of caves…

…and through breaks in the cliffs.

Ah geology.

Views from the village of Porto where we began our trip:

Notice the tower on the high right, easy to miss. This is one of the Coastline Watch Towers. There are 67 of them built around the periphery of the whole island by the Genoese of the Republic of Genoa between 1530 and 1620. They were intended to spot pirates and afford refuge for the villagers in case of attack. We’ve spotted a few others, like a scavenger hunt.

On the road again:

So many gorgeous coves, beaches, and marinas.

You can see the curvy road snaking through the formations.

These guys are a threat to their own lives and to ours as they zoom through traffic on one lane roads and blind curves.

Not to mention the bike riders! At least you have to be amazed at their stamina climbing these hills in the stifling heat. This is an open turn in comparison to the hairpin turns the bikers have to navigate on one lane roads and the drivers have to do their best not to run them over.

A welcome break in Piana:

One of us spots laundry and everyone takes a shot.

Notice the building material. All the buildings, old and new seem to be made with the same stones. If you see a smooth wall you can find a chip in the plaster and lo, there it is, stones.


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.

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