Travelling Tales | Corsica

Sorry for the radio silence- it was that awkward moment when you thought the content was prepped and ready and wasn’t. My bad.

Travelling Tales, Corsica!

Anyway- why was I silent? I was on my holibobs! Not just taking a short jolly either- I was meeting two big people in Belov’d’s life; R and J. In fact, R is, hopefully, going to play a part in our wedding as well. J was also introducing R to an island she fell in love with as well, Corsica! So a big adventure to pack into one week.

So Corsica- where dat?

To be clear, I will be the first to admit that I could do with brushing up my European Geography. When Belov’d bought it up originally I was clueless, and maaaay have thought it was somewhere near Malta. It’s actually right here…

A BBC map illustrating where Corsica is.

I’ve borrowed the above from the Beeb (aka The BBC), the link also has a more detailed information about the island as well. It has changed hands several times, from; Corsica’s own population, Italy, and France who currently ‘has’ it. The island has two official languages, French and Corsican. The island’s language is an interesting mix of French, Italian with a focus from Toscani.

There is some friction in regards to French ownership of the island, and we did see graffiti and other evidence during our trip. If you want to find out more, click on the Beeb link.

We did an explore

One of the big perks to not just going to another country- but one completely different is the exploring! I’m not a ‘sit by the pool’ kind of holiday maker. I like to find out about the place I’m in. Thankfully, R, J, and Belov’d are as well, and in many ways more than me!

The deep blue sea, light blue sky, white cliffs are the perfect backdrop to the red lighthouse in Bonifacio bay.

During one such excursion, we made our way to Bonifacio, on the Southern tip of the island. It’s a major historic city with a lot of Italian influences, from the natural harbour through to the military reinforcements from when it was under Papacy control.

An example of the effect of Papacy control would be the mausoleums and monuments that adorn some of the higher places of Bonifacio.

We did a learn

Other than brushing up on my French (last used many many many years ago, and studied even further back) as a group we learnt about the early inhabitants of the island.

Recently, in archaeological terms anyway, a site on Corsica discovered megalithic activity, meaning from as early as 3300 BC. The site, called Filitosa, was part of an olive grove- one day the owner mentioned to a friend the carvings and unusual stones he was found on the property. The friend, an archaeologist, was intrigued and investigated the site- excavating what we now see today.

A menhir, carved statue, from the Filitosa site in the fore ground, the thick olive grove spreads behind it to the mountains, and the cloud veined sky.

The site today is an interesting mix of the modern and the literal prehistoric. The new entrance way and the under construction museum lead onto a well-trodden path. The winding way shows you replicas of some of the carvings, the locations where the ancient inhabitants probably lived, and also menhirs.

This is an example of one of the menhirs, there are a few suggestions as to the reason they were created. From target practice, warnings (if we can destroy a stone one of you think about how the real you would fair!), or something decorative- unfortunately, it’s not like we can ask the artist.

We did a nom

One of the big perks about visiting France is the gastronomy, and did we reveal in it!

The favourite place for us was a short walk from the Air BnB we were using, a wonderful cafe bar called Le 20 140. The mint in the mojito is like two metres away from the bar, so fresh and zingy!

Menu & mojito at Le 20 140!

It’s also the first place where I tried steak tartare- which is delicious! As it disappeared quickly I was unable to photograph it, trust me it was divine!

We quickly found that our Air BnB hosts were happy to share in the crop from their own gardens. On the first day we discovered a punnet of fresh grapes, and later on two perfectly ripe Corsican melons.

As someone who doesn’t like melons, I could get enough of these! The ones in the UK taste so weak, and the texture is like grainy suspended water- why would you want to it?

That is also Corsican beer, there’s a relatively large brewing movement on the island- covering your general pale ale to flavoured ones.

Most of all we did a relax

From strolling around the marina in Ajaccio…

Yachts and boats teeming in the bay before the sprawl of Ajaccio, the mountains looming over them below the light blue cloud spotted sky.

… and taking in the breathtaking mountains whilst the moon raised…

The moon rising in a blue pink sky, against inky mountains, and over a mirrored calm bay of bobbing boats.

… I even got a tan (through my factor 50 sun screen!).

It's a selfie- I've surprisingly not burnt!

Other than meeting important people in my Belov’d’s life it was amazing to spend time with him in a new culture. We arrived home in time for me for another adventure- my first Irish job!

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