Not every second is taken up in sailing, this week we have jumped on trains twice to get to some lovely and more remote places.
Calvi is a great port, natural beauty, lovely restaurants and great history. On our second day there, there was a 35 knot southerly and we decided we would jump in the two car train to L’Ile Rousse. We arrived to a market for veggies as well as another for small treasures.
The beaches are all white sand and the sky was azure blue, later in the day the sea was covered in white caps. Before the last train for the day came in, we decided to walk to the old light house on the point and we were caught in an isolated downpour. We ran back to a wonderful cafe with giant oversized armchairs and watched the single rain cloud sail right past us. On the way home on the train, we would look out and see dozens of wind surfers having a great time. They were like colourful bullets dashing over the surface of the waves. It might not have been our weather, but it was certainly theirs.
Losing a day, we decided to skip the trip to Piana and motor sail directly to Ajaccio. We sail through the rocky portal of Iles Sanguinaries, past the old Citadel.
At dusk we happen upon a regatta of old wooden boats, a beautiful sight in the evening light. As James said ” a plethora of varnished masts”.
Napoleon’s home, Ajaccio is a very modern city and the marina is one of the best we have been in. A clean and modern laundry just past the Captainerie’s office and hot showers on demand.
Yesterday, we left the boat in Ajaccio early and took a very modern train to Corte up in the centre of the island. Initially, you go through very suburban landscapes, then boat dry docks and a more industrial landscape. Quickly you turn and go up through a valley of steep inclines and deep ravines. Looking across the valley, you see a giant waterfall thundering down the mountain just below peaks still covered in snow. Rivers and creeks run rapids all through the centre and up to the feudal town of Corte. There are many small ferns covering the hillsides and then further up, you find magnificent pine forests. For a moment, you see a small and ancient village and then you are in the forest again. Many of the our fellow train travellers would have been hiking and camping, before jumping on the train to Corte.
We climbed the stairs to the citadel and visited the museum, Musee de la Corse, where we were able to listen to polyphonic music and view the robes of various religious brotherhoods.
Corte has reinvented itself by inviting foreign students to join its university. So many young people means great pizza and several wonderful patisserie. The stairs mean you don’t have to worry about dieting.
So now we are in Ajaccio, once again waiting for a break in the wind. We may leave tomorrow or the next day just as soon as the wind is right.
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