Corsica - The Maritime Beauty
From Santa Teresa at the north of Sardinia we took the cruise with the car ferry to Bonafacio at the south end of Corsica. At the begin the tour is a bit monotonous. The ferry steers from Sardinia towards a cliffline made from lime sand brick. Ounce the ferry is very close to the coast, it makes a sharp turn around and suddenly the coast opens to a narrow gateway between two tall rocky walls. On top of the rocks thrones a castle and upfront the gateway opens to a picturesque marina for yachts. The passage through the gateways is truly impressive. Short after the ferry docks at the pier, you leave with the car and you are in the middle of the marina.
This marina - i can't stop to be amazed. You can feel and touch the mix of yachts between original, luxury and glamorous directly at the pier. Nice restaurants, either sophisticated or brasserie-type are placed at the harbourside promenade in 2 lines, as the promenade is too short but wide enough. During this Friday a lot of yachts arrived in the harbour to start the weekend. They were not small and the skippers needed skills to manouver in the narrow boxes. There is a service in place which supports the skippers. The marina operates a fleet of about 15 - 20 small manoeuverable mini-tugs (5 m long), helmed by young man. The tugs are around like emmets and help the skippers for docking. They move lines, support at the mooring and move the yachts by pushing directly at the side of the hull, if it is windy. They whizz around like active bees and some docking-manoeuver would end in a heavy embarrassing ramming without this service. But we could see one big black yacht, which moved without any support reverse from the entry to the most rear position in the marina. Watching the very calm female skipper handling boat and crew, it must habe been a professional team. There was not any loud command to listen or hectic movement to see. You can find the image below.
Next morining after breakfast we climbed the rock to the castle and went after that to an olive-farm with oil-production. The rocky road went steep downhill and we met some wild pigs. Going back uphill was a challenge for our small Panda, as the car in front of us suddenly stopped. Restart for us got to be impssible, as our car and the wheels were too small and too lightweight. So we seriously requested the driver in front of us to give us a push, that we could reach the main road again.
The further tour was mainly linked to the west coast. This entire coast-line is a real scenic drive and you want ot stop everywhere to fill the smart card in the camera.
Porto in the community Ota is a small harbour village, where we found a hotel which was a bit touristic. We could take the walk down to the harbour. The village itself was also very touristic for my opinion, but the location with the marina and a small castle on a rocket is really magic. In one of the restaurants at the beach we were lucky to get a table for the dinner and the sunset. It ment, that i had the table for me and Sabine was taken here images. But all in all a nice location under protection of World Natural Heritage. Close by a mountain with a paradisiac river, good for swiming.
Les Roches Rouges is a hotel which is operated with an incomparable charm. The glamourous times are gone for a while. It is in the air, that it does work with limited capacity and the renovation is going very slow. The lobby lets you feel the atmosphere of earlier times without being dusty or smelly. We got a corner-room in the 4th floor without elevator. The view breathtaking and the room ok. Sitting on the patio with a coctail before dinner - i could not find words for that. The entire team is extremely engaged and lead by an elderly Grande Dame. She could give managers a lession how to lead people. The dinner was excellent and served in the grande salon with view to the sunset in the sea. We recommend to spend a stay in this place.
The tour next day brought us in the mountains where we met our old best friends. The natur - stunning. Then back to Bonifacio and with the ferry back to Sardinia. For the last night before the return flight we had a room in a resort close to Olbia (brrr).
We have visited 2 islands on this tour. This was probably a very tight timing and we could not spend enough time on each of them. One thing came up for me when we left Corsica. When you want to go to Bonifacio, do not arrive only by car from the landside. You will miss the impressive passage thorugh the rocky gateway.
The will be split this time. Half of it goes for Bonifacio and the other half goes for Les Roches Rouges. Both places are fascinating with an incomparable but totally different atmosphere. We are glad we could get both.