Sunshine holiday, 1984

In early May 1984, after a tedious Winter, my travelling buddy Tim declared that it was time for our “Winter sunshine holiday”. He was always very keen on those.

This time we were going to “the Med.” specifically to Corsica.

It sounded good to me.

Although, the first thing I had to do once we arrived, was purchase a thick sweatshirt. It was cold and wet.

See the rain drop in that man’s nose?

I wanted to go up and wipe it off for him.

Instead I took his photograph for posterity.

Getting to Corsica from New York was no joke. We flew, overnight from New York to London where we had to traipse to another terminal for a connection to Nice. Then in Nice we found our way to Air France for our flight to Ajaccio. By which time we were dead on our feet. As well as cold and wet.

Sunshine holiday?

Next day, we took a train to Bastia.

The outdoor cafes were heated, so we kept ourselves warm while watching the World go by.

Corsica was the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, so we saw many statues and references to him.

In the afternoon, the rain stopped and down by the ferry port, boules players began a match, or whatever it’s called.

In those days I was able to walk a lot, in my trusty Rockport shoes, but I could never keep up with Tim.

Eventually he took pity on me and we returned to our little bed and breakfast in Ajaccio.

It was not a problem finding really good, cheap food and next morning Tim was suffering slightly from an overage of good, cheap Corsican wine. No doubt my fault for not drinking my share.

We didn’t walk so much that day.

Feeling more energetic, the following day, Tim rented a car and we set off for Bonifaccio in the South.

Enroute,we stopped at Filitosa to see these ancient menhirs, dated from between 9BC and 3 BC.

I couldn’t help feeling I should be more impressed by something so very ancient.

Maybe it was just that there are so many spectacular ancient ruins in that part of the World.

Driving down the west side of Corsica to Bonifaccio was very enjoyable as it is a beautiful, rugged island. At that time of year gorse was in flower, covering the rocky land with its bright yellow blooms and the sun had come out to turn the sea sparkling blue. It was a pretty picture.

We went right to the bottom of the island and looked at the ferries sailing back and forth to Sardinia. We would have loved to jump on, but we were already running out of time, given that our return journey to New York was going to involve all those legs once again.

So, instead we turned and made tracks back to Ajaccio, stopping for refreshments at Sartene where it appeared to be market day.

What was especially nice about our timing was that we had somehow avoided crowds of tourists, so you could sit and enjoy the ordinary sounds of people shopping and chatting in the Corsican variety of French. ( They also speak Corsu which is more like Italian.)

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Olmetto, on the route between Ajaccio and Bonifaccio.

What a pretty place Corsica is.

The photographs are ancient, please forgive!

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