Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to France. It is located to the west of Italy and to the southeast of France. Tourism is the most important aspect of the economy. Napoleon Bonaparte was born here in 1769. The population of the island is about 250,000 inhabitants while the town of Ajaccio has about 50,000 people.
Our tour this morning was titled Cargese Greek Village. The village of Cargese is located about an hour’s drive away passing through the San Bastiano Pass with incredible views of the Gulf of Ajaccio. We traveled through many small resort towns and gorgeous scenery before arriving at the village of Cargese. 730 Greek settlers arrived here from southern Peloponnese in the year 1676 and it still maintains a Greek identity today. We had a snack of bread, cheese, prosciutto, olives, a pickle and red wine upon our arrival at a local hotel overlooking the town and the coast. We then set off on foot to explore the small village including its two churches, one Catholic and the other Orthodox. The Orthodox Church was completed first, but not to be outdone, the Catholics quickly began construction across a small canyon on their church. The churches are very old but have been restored and have some beautiful paintings, murals and artifacts in them. The village is small but has a nice main street filled with restaurants and shops mostly open during the summer tourist season.
After returning to the port we had a little time to explore the old city center of Ajaccio. This charming seaside town has many cafes, restaurants, chic shops and tourist souvenir shops all within walking distance. Along the way you find many statues celebrating the city’s famous resident, Napoleon Bonaparte, who was born here. His home is now a museum but time was short so we had to give it a miss for this trip. All aboard time was 2:30pm today.
The afternoon included a lecture by Martyn Green on things to see and do in our upcoming port of Cadiz, Spain. In the evening a magician by the name of Marc Oberon performed for us. He had some very new and interesting tricks, as well as some more familiar to us.