Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Ajaccio and Area

From Bonifacio, at the southern tip of Corsica, we headed northwest towards Ajaccio. Also a port city, it's the capital of Corsica and a much bigger centre. While we weren't thrilled with the city itself, the drive there and the surrounding area didn't disappoint.

It's interesting that each area of Corsica is always beautiful but somewhat different than the last.
Along the coastline on a cloudy day and looking into the sun. Photo was pretty much black and white to begin with but I completed it that way through processing. 
One of the nicest overlooks we stopped at was Roccapina. We noticed the rock that looks like a lion right away, not realizing there was a story behind it. "According to legend, once upon a time there was a powerful lord who was suffering from unrequited love. 'Your heart is made of stone, you'll turn into a stone lion!' Science provides a different explanation, evoking tafoni, rocks hollowed out by the element, then transformed by humans who used them as places in which to hide, to live and eventually to die." There are a couple short hiking trails and a museum (that was closed when we stopped) that would have been really interesting and explain more of various legends of the area.
"I am the lion's daughter. I know all of his secrets, all of his mysteries. Shall I reveal them to you?"
Cemetery and one of many hillside towns along the way.
So many churches and bell towers. Often more than one in each town. 

Back alleys and small walkways are often the most interesting and provide
a little bit of insight into what it might be like to live there.
The Ajaccio daily market had many cheese stalls. I really miss buying cheese at the Saskatoon Farmer's Market. 
Olives, dried tomatoes and other interesting items. 
Corsica is known for its nougat. This was very fresh!
Ajaccio port

Our main excursion while in Ajaccio was to visit A Cupulatta (which means turtle/tortoise in Corsican). The purpose of the facility is "to breed, study and protect turtles and tortoises from all over  the world. The park is home to 170 special and more than 3,000 animals." We really like turtles (used to have one as a pet) so it was really interesting.
Giant Galapagos tortoises
Why just sample the buffet when you can just chow down in the middle of it?!? 
Love the colourful stripes.
A hillside fortress from the 1700s when the Independence movement didn't want to be affiliated with France.
(Some things never change!)
Arriving back at the coast; almost at Calvi.

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