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on looking for color & light in the streets of bastia

Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ―Oscar Wilde

Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint. ―Pablo Picasso 

When I wander the streets of the cities and the villages in France, I look for the light and color. During my visit to Haute-Corse, I was fortunate. Except for two days, when the dark clouds opened and drenched everything, every day had been sunny. September is a good month in Corsica. The light was good.

The colors in Corsica are often multiple shades of yellow, orange, and rose pink, maybe a burnt red, and sometimes shutters are painted blue. The blue sky and the blue Mediterranean Sea, which are ever-present when you are staying in the coastal cities and villages, is a canvas for those colors.  (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 the route through the calanches de piana to piana & a reward there

The route through Les calanches de Piana above Porto, Corsica.

No one is prepared for the surprise. The road climbs and winds narrowly from Porto toward Piana, a small village set against a mountain side above Porto, and toward the calanches de Piana. The road seems like other serpentine roads on the west coast of Corsica.

Then it happens. Around a corner, unexpectedly the world has changed. It drops off. The walls of stone loom and jut up on the left, and the foot high rock barriers on the right that would never help immobilize a car and help keep it from dropping over the edge give little comfort. Instinctively one slows immediately to a crawl.

One takes a deep breath and drives a bit further, wondering what might happen around the next corner.

One has arrived at the upper reaches of the calanches de Piana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site above the Gulf of Porto on the west coast of Corsica.

A short distance into some twists and turns, one sees Les Roches Bleues, a small café restaurant built on the edge of the road. It is a wonderful place for a pause and some relief from the tension of driving.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!