2 posts match "Porto" - select title or scroll down to see posts
 
  1.  The drive to Algajola.   2 October 2017, Monday.   Algajola Corsica Porto, US Politics France
         Oct 2, 2017
  France, Corsica, Algajola, US Politics, Porto  
  2.  Two hikes and a road race.   5 October 2017, Thursday.   Cars Corsica Hikes Porto, Serriera France
         Oct 5, 2017
  Hikes, Serriera, Porto, France, Corsica, Cars  
 
 
 
1. The drive to Algajola
2 October 2017.   Algajola, Corsica, Porto  US Politics, France.
S   M   L
1. The drive to Algajola
2 October 2017.  Algajola, Corsica, Porto, US Politics, France.
 
 
 
 
So far, all signs are that it was just a guy, just one more American killer who got his hands on some collection of weapons designed for the sole purpose of killing people, and who then killed people. We know that if it was a Muslim with a foreign name, we would be in full panic mode and all we would be hearing about is the ever-greater dangers of terrorism. Indeed, the killings in France, on Sunday, which were surely terrorism, have already begun to attract that kind of attention from the right wing here. But when it happens here, what we're told by the entire power structure of American life - both houses of Congress, the White House, and now the Supreme Court, locked and loaded to sustain the absurd and radical pro-gun ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller - is that there is nothing at all to be done, save to pray. Adam Gopnik in The New Yorker

Algajola

This morning we picked up a car, a small white Citroen, at the Ajaccio airport. We then headed north, to spend a few days in a beach-front hotel in the small seaside town of Algajola.

We picked the scenic route, via Piana and Porto. It is a twisty, two-lane road the whole way, except where it narrows to one lane. It took us through pink-granite canyons along narrow roads carved into rocky mountainsides, with scenery ranging from merely beautiful to spectacular. The only problem with photographing it was finding a place to park, the road being barely two cars wide in places, with a wall of rock on one side and a steep drop on the other side.

 
 
 
 
Piana to Porto
     
The first time we drove this road. Very little traffic, just a few tourists like us. We didn't know that we'd drive it three more times, and always with heavier traffic. But it's so beautiful it's worth it.
 
 
 
Piana to Porto
     
The first time we drove this road. Very little traffic, just a few tourists like us. We didn't know that we'd drive it three more times, and always with heavier traffic. But it's so beautiful it's worth it.
 
 
 
Piana to Porto
     
The first time we drove this road. Very little traffic, just a few tourists like us. We didn't know that we'd drive it three more times, and always with heavier traffic. But it's so beautiful it's worth it.
 
 
Piana to Porto panorama
     
A panorama from the previous photo plus a few more. Creating a panorama such as this has to wait until I'm back home. Well, unless I use the iPhone which has a perfectly nice panorama function.
 
 
 
Piana to Porto panorama
     
A panorama from the previous photo plus a few more. Creating a panorama such as this has to wait until I'm back home. Well, unless I use the iPhone which has a perfectly nice panorama function.
 
 
 
Piana to Porto panorama
     
A panorama from the previous photo plus a few more. Creating a panorama such as this has to wait until I'm back home. Well, unless I use the iPhone which has a perfectly nice panorama function.
 
 
Piana to Porto
     
 
 
 
Piana to Porto
     
 
 
 
Piana to Porto
     
 
 
Piana to Porto panorama
     
Another panorama composed from the previous photo plus a few more.
 
 
 
Piana to Porto panorama
     
Another panorama composed from the previous photo plus a few more.
 
 
 
Piana to Porto panorama
     
Another panorama composed from the previous photo plus a few more.
 
 
Piana to Porto
     
 
 
 
Piana to Porto
     
 
 
 
Piana to Porto
     
 
 
Porto
     
 
 
 
Porto
     
 
 
 
Porto
     
 
 
Northwest Corsica
     
 
 
 
Northwest Corsica
     
 
 
 
Northwest Corsica
     
 
 
Northwest Corsica
     
 
 
 
Northwest Corsica
     
 
 
 
Northwest Corsica
     
 
 
Algajola beach
     
As the sun began to set we arrived in Algajola, in northwest Corsica.
 
 
 
Algajola beach
     
As the sun began to set we arrived in Algajola, in northwest Corsica.
 
 
 
Algajola beach
     
As the sun began to set we arrived in Algajola, in northwest Corsica.
 
 
2. Two hikes and a road race
5 October 2017.   Cars, Corsica, Hikes, Porto  Serriera, France.
S   M   L
2. Two hikes and a road race
5 October 2017.  Cars, Corsica, Hikes, Porto, Serriera, France.
 
 
 
 

We decided to leave Algajola a day early, to get in some hiking in the Porto - Piana area. So we got back in the Citreon and retraced our path from a couple days earlier. Our goal was Serriera, a village about 10 minutes outside of Porto. After a while we arrived. On checking into our simple but roomy hotel we learned from the friendly proprietor that the road to Porto was closing in half an hour! Turns out the road was being used by the Tour de Corse. It would reopen at 19:00, she said. Since she spoke no English and we know little French the conversation took place courtesy of google translate which we used by taking turns typing into a computer. This worked quite well actually.

Of course we'd no idea what the Tour is, a bicycle race? A foot race? A car race? Turns out, well, more on that later.

We jumped back into the car and headed south to get past Porto and then onto the trailhead. The road either side of Porto, a road we'd driven days earlier, is both painfully beautiful and white-knuckle scary: it's carved into the side of a wall of granite and in places it is barely one car wide.

Within five minutes we were stuck in a traffic jam. Cars, trucks, buses, and motorbikes took turns squeezing past each other on this ridiculously narrow road, with granite hanging over us and a sheer drop to the sea below. On the bright side it was great for picture taking: while Paul sat in the Citroen's driver's seat I walked around and shot photos.

Eventually we made it to Porto where we discovered the Historical Tour de Corse is a car race. So that mystery was cleared. It also explained the cars we'd seen earlier, all decked out in numbers and stickers.

The hike was great: it overlooks the Calanche de Piana with its pink granite forest broken by views of the turquoise Mediterranean. Much of the hike follows an old stone path, what was likely an old road connecting villages.

Corsica looks to be a hikers dream as the mountainous island is covered with trails. We see many people decked out in full hiking gear. The Corsican trails are well marked plus every one I've looked for I've found in OpenStreetMaps using the CityMaps2Go app.

After the hike we headed to Piana for lunch then followed that up with another hike. We had to kill time till the road re-opened. We hiked about half of the Capu Rossu trail, which heads west out to a promontory with, again, great views of pink granite mountains, scrubby green forests, and that crystal clear Mediterranean sea.

Soon we were back in Porto where we hung out with the Tour racers and waited for the road to reopen, which it did promptly at 19:00. The drive back involved another traffic jam as cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, and Tour support vehicles squeezed by each other to get to their destinations. At this point we thought we were through with the boy racers. We weren't, though.

It was a long day with a lot of beautiful scenery topped with a taste of an old Steve McQueen movie. We were glad to get back to our charming hotel, drink a beer, and call it a night.

 
 
 
 
Hope no one needs ambulance
     
This narrow road is carved into a cliff. Beyond the short guard rail on the right is a cliff side that drops toward the sea.
 
 
 
Hope no one needs ambulance
     
This narrow road is carved into a cliff. Beyond the short guard rail on the right is a cliff side that drops toward the sea.
 
 
 
Hope no one needs ambulance
     
This narrow road is carved into a cliff. Beyond the short guard rail on the right is a cliff side that drops toward the sea.
 
 
Golfe de Porto
     
 
 
 
Golfe de Porto
     
 
 
 
Golfe de Porto
     
 
 
Golfe de Porto
     
 
 
 
Golfe de Porto
     
 
 
 
Golfe de Porto
     
 
 
A bit of beach
     
 
 
 
A bit of beach
     
 
 
 
A bit of beach
     
 
 
Road as seen from hike
     
 
 
 
Road as seen from hike
     
 
 
 
Road as seen from hike
     
 
 
Paul on Calanche hike
     
 
 
 
Paul on Calanche hike
     
 
 
 
Paul on Calanche hike
     
 
 
A forest of pink granite
     
 
 
 
A forest of pink granite
     
 
 
 
A forest of pink granite
     
 
 
Hike to Capu Rossu
     
 
 
 
Hike to Capu Rossu
     
 
 
 
Hike to Capu Rossu
     
 
 
View from Capu Rossu hike
     
After the hike we headed back to Porto.
 
 
 
View from Capu Rossu hike
     
After the hike we headed back to Porto.
 
 
 
View from Capu Rossu hike
     
After the hike we headed back to Porto.
 
 
Finish line for this segment
     
 
 
 
Finish line for this segment
     
 
 
 
Finish line for this segment
     
 
 
A cool blue car
     
 
 
 
A cool blue car
     
 
 
 
A cool blue car
     
 
 
Drivers waiting race results
     
 
 
 
Drivers waiting race results
     
 
 
 
Drivers waiting race results
     
 
 
Porto sunset
     
 
 
 
Porto sunset
     
 
 
 
Porto sunset
     
 
 
Beach near our hotel
     
 
 
 
Beach near our hotel
     
 
 
 
Beach near our hotel
     
 
 
Traffic jam as we headed home
     
 
 
 
Traffic jam as we headed home
     
 
 
 
Traffic jam as we headed home
     
 
 
A busy day comes to a close
     
 
 
 
A busy day comes to a close
     
 
 
 
A busy day comes to a close