Calvi, Calvi, Calvi....oh, so beautiful. We woke up to sun, shine and the sea. One could really get used to this and I think one would want to!
We opted to forego the uber-expensive breakfast at our hotel (even though it is a great place to stay http://hostellerie-abbaye.com/) and take a two minute walk to the one of the cafes for pain au chocolat, fresh-squeezed orange juice and coffee. Just love sitting outside, watching the world meander by. It was a great way to start the day.
In our compromise, Robert agreed to go with me on the Corsican artisnal route in the mountains, as long as we could just lounge tomorrow. So, we hopped into our bonne voiture and took off for the mountains.
Stunning....there were layers of progressively higher mountains. They did not look real but rather as if the mountains were painted into the clouds.
On my quest for A.O.C. Corsican honey and pottery, I followed the signs for "miel" and "potterie". OK, maybe not such a great idea as that we were suddenly in the middle of one of these medieval villages in our car. Each street, and I use that term loosely, was more narrow than the last. We opened the windows and folded in the side mirrors to make the car smaller. We found ourselves cursing our friend Patrick for upgrading our car. Of course, we ran into another car going the opposite direction...there was nothing for them to do but back up and let us through. I mean, seriously, had we wanted to get out of the car, it would have been impossible to open the doors -- that is how close the walls were on either side. I was starting to panic...what the hell was I going to do? Not to mention, I just knew Robert was cursing my shopping desires silently.
Finally, a shoulder of about 3 feet appeared. Not much, but I went for it. Robert hopped out and directed me as I tried to turn the car around. Of course, a car wanted to pass right in the middle of this process. But he had to wait! There was nothing else to do. The man started telling Robert in French something to the effect, it would be easier to turn around further up the road. Robert had no clue what he was saying and I didn't have the patience to translate...it didn't matter, I was half-way through my 25 point turn and had no choice but to just finish. I got turned around, we squeezed back the way we came and I sighed a huge sigh of relief. Also, I agreed not to blindly follow signs for miel and to just park on the outside of medieval cities and walk in...yeah, lesson learned.
We then drove to Corbara, a lovely perched village with a really charming church. Can I just say, I love my new tripod! We have never had pictures together before, but now, I can take them all the time—and I am. We got some nice pics here. Plus, we met a really nice Flemish couple.
Pigna was the next stop. The road to this village was nothing but one hairpin turn after another. The Corsicans just zip right through these turns and passed me without even thinking twice. I wonder how many accidents happen on this road and I am really thankful that it is the off-season. What these roads must be like during the high season.
I am also shocked that people live in these little villages. I want to know how they get their groceries, how do they move couches into their homes. The walkways are so small and treacherous; it would take a really special mover to handle this task.
On the way back to Calvi we wanted to stop at the Super U (a local grocery chain) to get some honey and snacks. The Flemish couple had told us they found really good A.O.C. honey at the grocery store, so we figured why not. But, it was closed. We are talking about a large grocery store on a Monday afternoon. The best we could figure is that it was siesta time, even though it was the wrong country for siesta.
Instead, we saw a beach in the distance and decided on a detour. We parked the car, and started walking towards the beach. We had to cross train tracks and dunes, where it was clear that the wild boars or some other animal roamed. Once we got to the beach, hardly anyone else was there. I think there were four others on the 2 mile beach. The aqua-marine colored water was so incredibly clear and warm. Love Corsica!
Dinner was at the place Patrick suggested, which meant we had to drive back up in the mountains at night. It was a little scary and at one point, the two-foot barrier wall had a whole in it about the width of a Peugot. Clearly, a car had gone right over the edge into the abyss. I drove very slowly. The food was v. traditional Corsican. Robert went for the wild boar again. We liked it. The cuisine here can be best described as rugged and homey. When they brought Robert's cheese plate he was like here, try this. I was totally full from my beef steak topped with foie gras and I didn't want to eat one more thing. But Robert was insistent. So, I tried and I was disgusted. It tasted just like Merd (if you don't know the translation look it up). I think Nutmeg would have like some of that cheese, since she has a bad habit of cleaning up after herself. It was horrid!!! I had never tasted anything that bad before. I asked our waitress what the name was and she said it had no name, it was cheese they had made there....eeeeegads! They should stick to wild boar. The meal was good besides that the cheese disgust.
We are finding the Corsicans very interesting. They speak French but aren't very French. You can definitely feel the Italian influence here, but the people are not Italian either. Truly, they are uniquely Corsican.