Search for  Bonifacio  found 3 posts
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Oct 9, 2017, Monday
White cliffs of Bonifacio    France Corsica Bonifacio
Oct 9, 2017, Monday
Oct 10, 2017, Tuesday
Oct 10, 2017, Tuesday
Oct 11, 2017, Wednesday
Bonifacio vieille ville    France Corsica Bonifacio
Oct 11, 2017, Wednesday

White cliffs of Bonifacio

October 9, 2017   Monday
France   Corsica   Bonifacio

We're in Bonifacio, at Corsica's southern-most tip. We arrived after a short drive down the east coast. Bonifacio is built on chalk-white limestone which has been eaten away by the ocean, leaving parts of the town precariously cantilevered over the sea. The old town, what you see in the first picture, is very charming, a warren of old buildings and narrow streets, outdoor cafes and shops.

Capo Pertusato      
Tomorrow's hike will be along this ridge. It passes a military radar station and ends at the lighthouse of Pertusato. In the distance is the Italian island of Sardinia.

Hiking to the Bonifacio lighthouse

October 10, 2017   Tuesday
France   Corsica   Bonifacio

Today we took a look at some of the defense and navigation aides located in this most-southerly point of metropolitan France.

In 1825 the French built 5 lighthouses around Corsica to help ships navigate, a program led by Augustin Fresnel. In addition to the one shown below, the Pertusato lighthouse, others were built in the Sanguinaires islands (near Ajaccio), Chiappa, Revellata, and Giraglia. The Pertusato lighthouse is a 21m high square tower, made of stones, centered on a rectangular building. It has been automated since 1985. Near the lighthouse is the Pertusato semaphore. It is still in use, guiding ships through the Corsica/Sardaigna strait.

Today we hiked out of town to the lighthouse which is on the island's southern-most tip and which is just a few km north of Sardinia. The beautiful hike tracks the edge of a limestone cliff. It passes the semaphore, some ruins of old buildings, and then ends at the lighthouse of Pertusato. As a bonus we were buzzed by a few French fighter jets as we walked along the cliffs. The greenery is plentiful but low and scrubby. An easy hike though there isn't any shade.

City on a hill      
Bonifacio's harbour      
On the way to the lighthouse      
The building on the right is a semaphore      
The still-operating lighthouse

Bonifacio vieille ville

October 11, 2017   Wednesday
France   Corsica   Bonifacio

Today we explored the old town of Bonifacio. The town is precariously perched about 70m above the sea on a long peninsula. On one side of the peninsula are ocean-eroded white cliffs, on the other side is a long thin harbour. The harbour, as one might expect, is full of yachts and catamarans and tour boats, with the occasional Moby ferry which sails between here and Sardinia. And of course the harbour is bordered by a well-maintained boardwalk fronting hotels, restaurants, and cafes. Life is good in Bonifacio.

Bonifacio reminds me of one of the delicious desserts (hey, I'm in France!) I ate today: a thin rectangle of limestone layers with a layer of buildings perched precariously on top.

Like every other town we've visited in Corsica Bonifacio is well-maintained, spotlessly clean, and good looking. Since it is fall some shops and hotels are starting to close for the season. Still, there are a lot of tourists though it's not crowded with them unlike Toledo or Venice.

Paul on Bonifacio harbour      
Typical narrow street      
Typical narrow street      
Marine Cemetary      
The Marine Cemetery (Cimetiere Marin) is on the end of the promontory on which the Old Town is built. It features ornate mausoleums and tombs as well as views of the surrounding coastline.
Marine cemetary      
Walking down to Bonifacio's beach from the old town      
Harbour entrance      
That's Sardinia in the distance      
Water's edge at foot of the old town      
Bonifacio at night      
Harbour at night      
A view of the harbour looking towards the citadel. The citadel is lit up in purple and has a rotating sequence of patterns shined on it. Purple is a popular colour in Corsica.