Corsica started out amazingly. Then badly. Then amazingly again.
Bonifacio is an amazing city. It has a skinny, natural harbour, with the old City towering above on steep cliffs. Amazing.
We rolled in to town and staggered around looking for the rental car office. Where we'd booked (and paid for) our car the day before. Which we found without too much trouble. And was closed. Not so amazing.
There was a really nice man working at the parking lot next door. He offered to drive us to the airport 50km away to pick up a different car. We thanked him, found a really nice harbourside hotel where we got a sweet harbourview room with a balcony, and settled in for a day of Bonifacio.
I was skeptical, but Andrea proposed going on one of the many boat tours offered up in the harbour. We just came in on a boat? Why go on another one? Anyhow. We did.
Go on a boat tour in Bonifacio. The captain's are psychotically skilled. The tour talked about visiting a "Grotto". I had visions of poking our heads in, struggling to get a look from a hundred feet out. No. He takes it right in. And then a boat size hole emerges. And he goes through that hole to an even smaller cave that you can't see. And it's just kind of crazy.
The rest of the tour is nice. You can see the old town from just below the cliffs. Etc. But that first cave is really incredible. Touristy, yes. But incredible.
And then you emerge into this cavern, maybe 20 feet deep with crystal clear water.
Number 1 - The large indoor pool and sauna (no photos)
Number 2 - The overwhelming cat cuddling. We couldn't get them out of our room
Number 4 - The giant thunderstorm that we ended up experiencing through the night. It was so close that the lightning was causing our lights to go on and off. The cats just sort of snuggled in and ignored it all (no photos too scared)
It really wasn't a very nice day the next day, so we just started driving. Down to the coast. Back up to the Mountains. Down to the coast again.
Onwards we drove. Through towns. Up hills. Down hills. Past goats.
Ajaccio is the largest city in Corsica. It has massive traffic problems. It's quite nice, but it seemed kind of crazy that we had driven by a whole pile of beaches, just to wind up in a crowded City. We kept driving and consulted Lonely Planet. It suggested a hotel just out of downtown that had a nice little private beach. And it was amazing. These were taken on the beach right out front. Bottom one is Andrea snorkeling. Shortly after this photo was taken, a dude came wandering out in a camo wetsuit and a giant spear gun. 20 minutes later we saw him bashing a giant octopus against a rock. No photo.
The next morning was kind of terrible, so we drove to the turtle sanctuary. Oh. Wait. I forgot about Napoleon's birthplace. Did you not know that Napoleon was born and (somewhat) raised in Ajaccio? And that his home is now a museum? And that is his bed shown below? And that, oddly, he had a portrait of himself as a grown man above his bed?