Detour across the med.

Trip Start Aug 28, 2006
Trip End Aug 31, 2007

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Flag of France  ,
Thursday, April 19, 2007

e voila, here I am in Corsica, where the people are proud and the cheese is strong.  I took the ferry from Nice, a very nice giant cruise ship kind of boat where I watched two american movies which is always a good way to relax when you have been immersed in foreign languages for awhile (well, the movies were dubbed, but at least they had english subtitles). 
It has been more than a month that I have had to force either spanish or french out of my mouth, the transition is always the hardest part.  But now I am back into the french thing, as much as I can be anyway.  My french really is not good, but I can do everything I need to do, have basic conversations...some guy the other day said  I had a spanish accent when I spoke french, now that's funny.
I spent the first few nights in a woman's home in Bastia.  She was great, full of energy, she had a very cosy house, and a backyard full of tortoises!  I walked around town, just poking around, went into a kind of hardware store and started talking to the guy running it.  He asked me how I liked corsica (it was my first day!) so I said I had tried some of the food and liked it.  He asked if I had tried REAL corsican saucisson (salami_, and I said I thought I did, and he said I probably didn't and proceeded to take a salami out the drawer and a big knife and cut me off a slice.  When I approved of that he went to another drawer and got out a HUGE hunk of cheese (it's mostly sheep here) and sliced off a piece.  All we were missing was some wine.  That was a fun experience, and set me off in a good mood to discover more of this place.
I took the train up to the mountains to do some hikes around Corte.  The weather has been gorgeous, so I was out all the time wearing my legs out.  It was a tiny little train, only one car.  The public transport is not in full swing, they seem to gear it all to the high season in summer. So I probably should have rented a car, but for some reason I didn't.  Took the train to the coast, to Ajaccio, then a bus to Piana.  That is a very pretty little village on the west coast, near Porto.  I did some great walks, and stayed in a cool old hotel.  I treated myself to a kir and a cheese plate on the terrace.  Went to Porto and took a great boat trip to see the amazing rock formations. Then, I thought, well, I will just hop on a bus to go north to the next big town....unless I wanted to wait until JUNE to catch the bus! So, it was either pay over two hundred dollars for a cab, or "faits du stop" (hitchhike).  So I went up to the little intersection and found four other people doing the same thing!  What to do?  I don't really know hitchhiking etiquette.  So I waited my turn....first couple got a ride after and hour.  Next, the dorky guys from hour, another hour, I am hungry, went to have lunch, the dorks are still there.  So I decided to drag my bag up the road further (literally, the road is going  up a mountain) and get away from their bad karma.  well, five minutes later it started to rain, and five minutes later...I got a ride!  Sandrine, a very nice french girl from Lyon, studying herb essences, with car full of leaves and old cassettes, empty cigarette packs and random clothing.  She took me all the way to Ile Rousse, a beautiful beach town.  Merci bien Sandrine!
This place is a geologists dream.  Honestly, this place is beautiful.  It is alot like California in some ways, but that aquamarine water reminds you you are not at Big Corona.  The snow capped mountains and that water together just make your jaw drop.  And then there are little villages perched on hilltops, like a dribble castle.  It is a big place, too  big for one week.  So I will have to come back and see the south!
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catsynergy on

tres bonne! (SP?) Loved the story of the hitchhiking episode! Love you, too! XO, Cat

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