Friday, September 13, 2019

October 20, 2018 – Ajaccio, Corsica, France – Mostly Sunny – 80F but pleasant

Ajaccio is capital of Corsica, a French Mediterranean island with a population of a little over 339,000 people.  It is the fourth largest island in the Mediterranean and one half of the island is part of a nature park.  One claim to fame is that the island is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte (the airport is named for him).  Corsica has been under control by many countries over its history (including the nasty Genovese) and has tried to be independent.  It has been a French Territory since 1768 even though our guide indicated that Corsicans will do what they want.  The island has a very Italian vibe. A very unique place.

This is our first time in Corsica.  The port, Ajaccio (pronounced Azachio) is nice but we have purchased tours to see the countryside of Corsica.  Constellation is docked today.

We can see the inter-island ferries come and go from the ship - we can also get a nice view of Ajaccio from Constellation.

Our guide is a funny lady from the Netherlands.  The tour took us into the countryside and up the narrow mountain roads (we were in a full sized bus).  There didn't seem to be all that much room for the bus on this road.

Our first stop was the Gorges Du Prunellli (Prunelli Gorge) – very scenic photostop (30 minutes).  The gorge looks like it was formed by a river flowing at the bottom of the gorge.

Our next stop - not too far away - was Tolla Lake, a man-made lake with some residences or B and B’s along the hillside.  

Our final stop was at a restaurant for complementary soft drinks (orange juice and regular Coke) and facilities.  The restaurant was quaint - goats were also plentiful near the restaurant.

The ride back to Ajaccio - through the Corsican countryside - 

took about 45 minutes during which the guide got into some history and politics and personality of the island – I got the impression she was not a fan of Corsicans.

We got back just after lunch and had lunch in the Oceanview Café.  

We had enough time to walk through Ajaccio, which was hilly and dotted mostly with restaurants and touristic souvenir shops.  In addition to the interesting streets,

We also came upon a large art installation.

We returned to the ship for the sail away.

Still unable to get seats in the San Marco Dining Room.  There just seems to be more people on board this cruise.

Showtime tonight was “December 63”.  We didn’t go to the first show as I was speaking.

“Forensics and History: The Mystery of the Romanovs” - was scheduled at 8:30 PM in the Reflections Lounge.  My expectations were very low and I was very apprehensive.  At about 8:00 AM, two people walked in and I asked them if they were here for the lecture – yes.  Then a few more couples showed up for about 10 people.  At this time, Sam dropped by and we watched people come in until the Lounge was essentially full.  The AV was a bit wonky – there was a problem with positioning of the mic (the tech fixed in mid talk) and the projector wasn’t working properly and bleaching out the slides.  Mentioned it to Sam later to see if we could get it fixed (Sam is extremely helpful).  

The talk went well and someone in the audience actually read the Russian phrase on the slide.  The talk finished on time and people, including us, headed down to the 9:30 PM Show.  So glad that this talk was done.

An overall great day in Corsica.

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