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Posts from the ‘Corsica’ Category

on macinaggio & no need for a hike

When you walk them, the ruelles in Rogliano, the small village perché above the Mediterranean Sea, they wind and twist and dip and make you climb. As I mentioned earlier, they are narrow, and the buildings, lining them, close in and restrict you from knowing where you are.

Below Rogliano is a small coastal village with a port and marina, Macinaggio. Many small villages have layers. That is, one sees first the commercial street with restaurants and shops. If you walk into the village, away from the main street, other parallel and perpendicular lanes—maybe ruelles—emerge, and you begin to see residents and more local restaurants and cafés. Not in Macinaggio. When you walk from one end of Macinaggio to the other, you have seen the village.

The small road from Rogliano down to Macinaggio mimics the ruelles in Rogliano. They twist and turn and narrow into curves, and you cannot see if someone is approaching in your lane. The distance is only 4 km and takes about 10 minutes to drive it.

Most visitors will arrive from Bastia in the south, a little less than 40 km away. It takes about an hour to drive.

Most visitors to Macinaggio will do one of three activities: they will eat (lobster), drink (local Clos Nicrosi wines), and be merry on one of restaurant terraces along the port; or they will feel energetic and walk to the plage de Tamarone about 2 km away, and maybe eat lunch there at U Paradisu; or, thirdly, they will take a boat ride to the tip of Cap Corse and to Baracaggio and its beaches.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!

on having a view, & other notions

“I have a view, I have a view.”
“A view? Oh, a view! How delightful a view is!”
“This is my son,” said the old man; “his name’s George. He has a view too.”—E. M. Forster, A Room with a View.

She opened her curtains, and looked out towards the bit of road that lay in view, with fields beyond outside the entrance-gates. On the road there was a man with a bundle on his back and a woman carrying her baby; in the field she could see figures moving – perhaps the shepherd with his dog. Far off in the bending sky was the pearly light; and she felt the largeness of the world and the manifold wakings of men to labor and endurance. She was a part of that involuntary, palpitating life, and could neither look out on it from her luxurious shelter as a mere spectator, nor hide her eyes in selfish complaining.–George Eliot, Middlemarch.

I had a room with a view.

Finding a hotel room, whether it had a view or not, was difficult. The hotels along the east coast of Haute-Corse were either booked or the prices seemed too expensive. I did eventually find one at the Hotel U Sant Agnellu in a small perched village called Rogliano in the commune with the same name.

A view in the morning when the sun rises is spectacular. It looks wonderful in nature; it looks wonderful in paintings; and does a sunrise ever not look wonderful in a photograph.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

My room had a view of the Mediterranean Sea, of the small seaside village of Macinaggio, where Napoléon landed after his exhile on Elba, and of the small Italian island Capraia on the horizon.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!

up up to the col de teghime between bastia & st-florent

My father says that there is only one perfect view — the view of the sky straight over our heads, and that all these views on earth are but bungled copies of it.― E.M. Forster, A Room with a View.

If one looks at a map of Corsica, it looks like a clenched fist with one or two fingers pointing up, sort of. Between those fingers and the fist is a junction, and on Corsica that is the road between Bastia and Saint-Florent and where one finds the col de Teghime.

The distance between Bastia and Saint-Florent on Corsica is 24 km or about 15 miles. It takes maybe 40 minutes to drive the distance. Half way between the two is a pass, or col, called col de Teghime, about 540 above sea level.

From Saint-Florent I drove to the col de Teghime, and because the two lane road has many curves, I was driving about 40 km an hour, or 25 miles an hour.

From this vantage point it is possible to face north and look to the left, thus to the west, and below see Patrimonio and it surrounding countryside, including the vineyards that are everywhere in this area. The gulf of Saint-Florent and the desert of Agriate are a backdrop below. A hill blocks a clear view of Saint-Florent.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!

on acknowledging a monolith moment in bastia, corsica

It was the third and final monolith moment.

My French tutor in Antibes told me during a session that she is Corsican, and I knew then I was destined to visit Corsica. It was this third and last monolith moment which sealed my fate.

In the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, a monolith appears unexpectedly and mysteriously three or four times at crucial times. When I experience moments that point me to something in a relatively short span of time, I know I should act and will. I have always benefited from those moments when I sit up and pay attention.

Within a six month period, I had met (No 1) a young woman who was about to walk the Chemin de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle; I chanced on an article on the Chemin (No 2) in a major newspaper; and finally, I learned about a presentation (No 3) on the Chemin that two college professors were going to present in my home town and I went. Later, within a year, I walked the Chemin de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle.

Walking the John Muir Trail, visiting Malta, reading in French Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, all three are further examples with stories relating to my encounters with the monolith moments.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!