our Journey

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012


The approach to Bonifacio from the sea.

The view to the sea from above the cliffs
 This is a real ‘hole in the wall’ calanque.  Discovered over 800 years ago, this finger of sea that extends 2 kilometres inland and must have been a safe haven for many old sailing boats and pirates.  Today it is a striking tourist venue. The old High Village is surrounded by a towering wall.  Inside it is a captivating blend of ancient housing and shops. It is perched on a limestone cliff, part of which has eroded away under some of the houses.

The entrance to the city and marina
Boats lined up at the entrance

 The port was busy and from the size of some of the yachts, a popular place for those special people to drop in.  On the afternoon of our arrival,  two huge yachts, one a ketch and the other a motor ship reversed all of the way into the marina leaving about 6 metres on either side for the many tourist sight-seeing boats to whizz by.

The view from above the marina

The quay side was one long string of restaurants with other shops immediately behind them.  That night and the next night at 10 pm, the local DJ cranked up his dance music to full volume and didn’t stop until 2 am. It didn’t leave us with a positive memory of the place.

Looking down from the city perched high above

A restaurant in the old city

Ancient doorways and entrances in the hilltop city

The ancient wooden ceiling of a lane in the city

As we motored out, we could see relics of  old ports and fish processing plants carved into the limestone. One mooring cleat was an ancient anchor half buried vertically into the quay.
Our journey through the Straits of Bonifacio was full of tension. All of the pilot guides warned of the funnelling effect of the gap between Corsica and the nearby Sardinia.  There are islands, rocks and wreck buoys aplenty.

Fortunately there was no wind and we motored all of the way to Porto Vecchio.

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