Back in French speaking (well not really) Corsica, the day started brilliant blue and progressed to high clouds with trash smoke hovering low, pretty quickly turning everything milky. These were the first post tourist days after a rain. In Calvi, our port, there was another citadel, but given Bonafacio, we imagined this one. As much as we enjoyed the scenery, this might have been a good day for hanging around the waterfront in a cafe. The port was upwind and burning was not allowed.
Basically we visited two mountain villages Pigna (abandoned for decades and being turned into an artists’ colony — the 102 colonists were not home) and Sant Antonino, population 93, all but 10 of which were somewhere else when we arrived. Both are part of the Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. Our guide, Aida(!), made up for the sleepiness of the excursion (people were zonked from lunch and some snored) by offering a longish (for others) history of Corsica. She was a teacher in Germany and got tired of German winters. She is a good teacher.
- Private mausoleums here are a big deal. Most are bigger and better constructed than the homes of their future occupants.
- There appear to be more people in the mausoleums than outside.
- Burning trash is a big deal.
- Sheep are a big deal.
- The French Foreign Legion (barracked here) is a big deal.
- Cats own the place.
- Knives for gutting someone who has insulted one’s honor are a big deal. Most are made here.
- When tourist season is over, shop keepers may not even say bon jour.
- These folks are very ambivalent about Napoleon. Seems he did less for Corsica than Elba, and as a tourist attraction he is a fading draw.
- The Corsican method of serving fresh squeezed lemons will simply remove your teeth before you finish the glass.
- Corsica is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful,
Please enjoy the photos. Photos without captions don’t really need them. Click on first one to scroll.