40 posts match "France" - select title or scroll down to see posts
 
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  1.  Aiguille du MidiMonday, 19 July 2004 ~ Aiguille du Midi Chamonix France, Tour Mt Blanc 
Jul 19, 2004
  Tour Mt Blanc, France, Chamonix, Aiguille du Midi  
  2.  The start of the TMBTuesday, 20 July 2004 ~ France, Hikes The Alps Tour Mt Blanc 
Jul 20, 2004
  France, Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc  
  3.  TMB: Miage to La BalmeWednesday, 21 July 2004 ~ France, Hikes The Alps Tour Mt Blanc 
Jul 21, 2004
  France, Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc  
  4.  TMBThursday, 22 July 2004 ~ France, Hikes The Alps Tour Mt Blanc 
Jul 22, 2004
  France, Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc  
  5.  ParisThursday, 29 July 2004 ~ France, Paris 
Jul 29, 2004
  France, Paris  
  6.  ParisThursday, 29 July 2004 ~ France, Paris 
Jul 29, 2004
  France, Paris  
  7.  ParisFriday, 30 July 2004 ~ France, Paris 
Jul 30, 2004
  Paris, France  
  8.  ParisSunday, 1 August 2004 ~ France, Paris 
Aug 1, 2004
  France, Paris  
  9.  Aiguille du MidiFriday, 31 July 2009 ~ Aiguille du Midi Chamonix France,
Jul 31, 2009
  Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France  
10.  Aiguille du MidiSaturday, 1 August 2009 ~ Aiguille du Midi Chamonix France,
Aug 1, 2009
  Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France  
11.  Au revoirSunday, 24 September 2017 ~ France,
Sep 24, 2017
  France  
12.  Nice nightMonday, 25 September 2017 ~ France, Nice 
Sep 25, 2017
  Nice, France  
13.  Nice to CorsicaTuesday, 26 September 2017 ~ Bastia Corsica France, Nice 
Sep 26, 2017
  Nice, France, Corsica, Bastia  
14.  BastiaWednesday, 27 September 2017 ~ Bastia Corsica France,
Sep 27, 2017
  Corsica, Bastia, France  
15.  The train to AjaccioThursday, 28 September 2017 ~ Ajaccio Corsica France,
Sep 28, 2017
  Corsica, Ajaccio, France  
16.  AjaccioFriday, 29 September 2017 ~ Ajaccio Corsica France,
Sep 29, 2017
  France, Corsica, Ajaccio  
17.  Torra di a ParataSaturday, 30 September 2017 ~ Ajaccio Corsica France,
Sep 30, 2017
  France, Corsica, Ajaccio  
18.  Chemin des Cretes Sunday, 1 October 2017 ~ Ajaccio Corsica France,
Oct 1, 2017
  France, Corsica, Ajaccio  
19.  The drive to AlgajolaMonday, 2 October 2017 ~ Algajola Corsica France, Porto US Politics 
Oct 2, 2017
  France, Corsica, Algajola, US Politics, Porto  
20.  L'Ile-RousseTuesday, 3 October 2017 ~ Algajola Corsica France, L'Ile Rousse 
Oct 3, 2017
  L'Ile Rousse, France, Corsica, Algajola  
21.  Corsican hill townsWednesday, 4 October 2017 ~ Corsica France,
Oct 4, 2017
  France, Corsica  
22.  Two hikes and a road raceThursday, 5 October 2017 ~ Cars Corsica France, Hikes Porto Serriera 
Oct 5, 2017
  Hikes, Serriera, Porto, France, Corsica, Cars  
23.  Sharing the road to ZonzaFriday, 6 October 2017 ~ Cars Corsica France, Zonza 
Oct 6, 2017
  France, Corsica, Cars, Zonza  
24.  Col de BavellaSaturday, 7 October 2017 ~ Cars Corsica France, Hikes Zonza 
Oct 7, 2017
  Hikes, Zonza, France, Corsica, Cars  
25.  Zonza and the GR20Sunday, 8 October 2017 ~ Corsica France, Zonza 
Oct 8, 2017
  Zonza, France, Corsica  
26.  White cliffs of BonifacioMonday, 9 October 2017 ~ Bonifacio Corsica France,
Oct 9, 2017
  France, Corsica, Bonifacio  
27.  Hiking to the Bonifacio lighthouseTuesday, 10 October 2017 ~ Bonifacio Corsica France,
Oct 10, 2017
  France, Corsica, Bonifacio  
28.  Bonifacio vieille ville Wednesday, 11 October 2017 ~ Bonifacio Corsica France,
Oct 11, 2017
  France, Corsica, Bonifacio  
29.  Bonifacio to Ajaccio to Toulon to ...Thursday, 12 October 2017 ~ Ajaccio France, Toulon 
Oct 12, 2017
  France, Ajaccio, Toulon  
30.  Toulon petit dejeunerFriday, 13 October 2017 ~ France, Lyon Toulon 
Oct 13, 2017
  Toulon, Lyon, France  
31.  Streets and traboules of LyonSaturday, 14 October 2017 ~ France, Lyon 
Oct 14, 2017
  Lyon, France  
32.  Contemporary art at the MACSunday, 15 October 2017 ~ Art France, Lyon 
Oct 15, 2017
  France, Art, Lyon  
33.  Musee des Beaux Arts Monday, 16 October 2017 ~ Art France, Lyon 
Oct 16, 2017
  France, Art, Lyon  
34.  Lyon at NightMonday, 16 October 2017 ~ France, Lyon 
Oct 16, 2017
  France, Lyon  
35.  Lyon's Notre-DameTuesday, 17 October 2017 ~ France, Lyon 
Oct 17, 2017
  Lyon, France  
36.  Another thing to seeWednesday, 3 October 2018 ~ France,
Oct 3, 2018
  France  
37.  A grey day in GrenobleFriday, 3 July 2020 ~ Film France, Grenoble 
Jul 3, 2020
  Grenoble, France, Film  
38.  Eze Wednesday, 8 July 2020 ~ Film France, Nice 
Jul 8, 2020
  France, Nice, Film  
39.  Pont Saint-BenezetThursday, 9 July 2020 ~ Avignon Film France,
Jul 9, 2020
  Avignon, Film, France  
40.  AvignonFriday, 10 July 2020 ~ Avignon Film France,
Jul 10, 2020
  Avignon, Film, France  
 
 
 
1. Aiguille du Midi
Mon, 19 Jul 2004 ~ Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France  Tour Mt Blanc
S   M   L
1. Aiguille du Midi
, Monday, 19 July 2004 ~ Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France, Tour Mt Blanc
 
 
 

While in Chamonix Linda and I take the cable cars up to the Aiguille du Midi.

 
 
 
Cables up to the Aiguille du Midi      
Let your eyes follow the cables up to the top where that tiny pointy thing is the destination.
 
 
Cables up to the Aiguille du Midi      
Let your eyes follow the cables up to the top where that tiny pointy thing is the destination.
 
 
Cables up to the Aiguille du Midi      
Let your eyes follow the cables up to the top where that tiny pointy thing is the destination.
 
Aiguille du Midi      
 
 
Aiguille du Midi      
 
 
Aiguille du Midi      
 
Chamonix valley      
 
 
Chamonix valley      
 
 
Chamonix valley      
 
Chamonix valley      
 
 
Chamonix valley      
 
 
Chamonix valley      
 
Aiguille du Midi      
 
 
Aiguille du Midi      
 
 
Aiguille du Midi      
 
Linda at top      
 
 
Linda at top      
 
 
Linda at top      
 
Aiguille du Midi      
The lower section of the Aiguille du Midi is in the foreground and far below is Chamonix, at the bottom of the valley.
 
 
Aiguille du Midi      
The lower section of the Aiguille du Midi is in the foreground and far below is Chamonix, at the bottom of the valley.
 
 
Aiguille du Midi      
The lower section of the Aiguille du Midi is in the foreground and far below is Chamonix, at the bottom of the valley.
 
 
2. The start of the TMB
Tue, 20 Jul 2004 ~ France  Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc
S   M   L
2. The start of the TMB
, Tuesday, 20 July 2004 ~ France, Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc
 
 
 

Our first day on the trail is spent hiking to Miage.

 
 
 
Linda and Emily near Miage      
 
 
Linda and Emily near Miage      
 
 
Linda and Emily near Miage      
 
Miage view      
 
 
Miage view      
 
 
Miage view      
 
Refugio Miage, France      
 
 
Refugio Miage, France      
 
 
Refugio Miage, France      
 
View from Miage      
 
 
View from Miage      
 
 
View from Miage      
 
Refugio Miage, France      
The places we stayed along the Tour du Mont Blanc hike varied, from very nice to crummy. Refugio Miage was the latter.
 
 
Refugio Miage, France      
The places we stayed along the Tour du Mont Blanc hike varied, from very nice to crummy. Refugio Miage was the latter.
 
 
Refugio Miage, France      
The places we stayed along the Tour du Mont Blanc hike varied, from very nice to crummy. Refugio Miage was the latter.
 
TMD day one: destination Miage      
Emily, Linda, and Regina, our three hiking companions.
 
 
TMD day one: destination Miage      
Emily, Linda, and Regina, our three hiking companions.
 
 
TMD day one: destination Miage      
Emily, Linda, and Regina, our three hiking companions.
 
 
3. TMB: Miage to La Balme
Wed, 21 Jul 2004 ~ France  Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc
S   M   L
3. TMB: Miage to La Balme
, Wednesday, 21 July 2004 ~ France, Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc
 
 
 

Today we left Miage to hike to the nicer La Balme.

 
 
 
Refugio Miage, France      
 
 
Refugio Miage, France      
 
 
Refugio Miage, France      
 
Emily & Tor, Ref. Miage      
 
 
Emily & Tor, Ref. Miage      
 
 
Emily & Tor, Ref. Miage      
 
Refuge Miage      
 
 
Refuge Miage      
 
 
Refuge Miage      
 
Tour du Mont Blanc      
 
 
Tour du Mont Blanc      
 
 
Tour du Mont Blanc      
 
From Miage to La Balme      
 
 
From Miage to La Balme      
 
 
From Miage to La Balme      
 
Linda & Emily heading to La Balme      
 
 
Linda & Emily heading to La Balme      
 
 
Linda & Emily heading to La Balme      
 
View from La Balme      
 
 
View from La Balme      
 
 
View from La Balme      
 
Tour du Mont Blanc      
 
 
Tour du Mont Blanc      
 
 
Tour du Mont Blanc      
 
 
4. TMB
Thu, 22 Jul 2004 ~ France  Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc
S   M   L
4. TMB
, Thursday, 22 July 2004 ~ France, Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc
 
 
 

 
 
 
La Balme      
 
 
La Balme      
 
 
La Balme      
 
Regina, Paul, Emily, and Linda @ La Balme      
 
 
Regina, Paul, Emily, and Linda @ La Balme      
 
 
Regina, Paul, Emily, and Linda @ La Balme      
 
La Balme      
 
 
La Balme      
 
 
La Balme      
 
The hiking group taking a rest      
 
 
The hiking group taking a rest      
 
 
The hiking group taking a rest      
 
Regina @ La Balme      
With Emily and Linda on the stairs.
 
 
Regina @ La Balme      
With Emily and Linda on the stairs.
 
 
Regina @ La Balme      
With Emily and Linda on the stairs.
 
La Balme      
 
 
La Balme      
 
 
La Balme      
 
Goodbye to La Balme      
Ref La Balme, in the foreground, offered a room of bunk beds plus a good dinner. Nice views from the patio, too.
 
 
Goodbye to La Balme      
Ref La Balme, in the foreground, offered a room of bunk beds plus a good dinner. Nice views from the patio, too.
 
 
Goodbye to La Balme      
Ref La Balme, in the foreground, offered a room of bunk beds plus a good dinner. Nice views from the patio, too.
 
 
5. Paris
Thu, 29 Jul 2004 ~ France  Paris
S   M   L
5. Paris
, Thursday, 29 July 2004 ~ France, Paris
 
 
 
The Louvre      
 
 
The Louvre      
 
 
The Louvre      
 
Regina, Linda, & Emily @ Sephora Paris      
 
 
Regina, Linda, & Emily @ Sephora Paris      
 
 
Regina, Linda, & Emily @ Sephora Paris      
 
 

 
 
 
6. Paris
Thu, 29 Jul 2004 ~ France  Paris
S   M   L
6. Paris
, Thursday, 29 July 2004 ~ France, Paris
 
 
 

After hiking most of the TMB we ended up in Paris where we did a little sight seeing and shopping.

 
 
 
The Louvre      
 
 
The Louvre      
 
 
The Louvre      
 
Regina, Linda, & Emily @ Sephora Paris      
 
 
Regina, Linda, & Emily @ Sephora Paris      
 
 
Regina, Linda, & Emily @ Sephora Paris      
 
 
7. Paris
Fri, 30 Jul 2004 ~ France  Paris
S   M   L
7. Paris
, Friday, 30 July 2004 ~ France, Paris
 
 
 
Centre Georges Pompidou      
 
 
Centre Georges Pompidou      
 
 
Centre Georges Pompidou      
 
The Seine      
 
 
The Seine      
 
 
The Seine      
 
Paris      
 
 
Paris      
 
 
Paris      
 
 

 
 
 
8. Paris
Sun, 1 Aug 2004 ~ France  Paris
S   M   L
8. Paris
, Sunday, 1 August 2004 ~ France, Paris
 
 
 
Paris      
 
 
Paris      
 
 
Paris      
 
Museum D'Orsay      
 
 
Museum D'Orsay      
 
 
Museum D'Orsay      
 
 

 
 
 
9. Aiguille du Midi
Fri, 31 Jul 2009 ~ Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France 
S   M   L
9. Aiguille du Midi
, Friday, 31 July 2009 ~ Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France
 
 
 
Aiguille du Midi plan      
It's 2009 and we've returned to Chamonix to hike the Haute Route to Zermatt. Gives me a second opportunity to take the cable car to the top and, if weather permits, the tiny cable car all the way to Helbronner in Italy.
 
 
Aiguille du Midi plan      
It's 2009 and we've returned to Chamonix to hike the Haute Route to Zermatt. Gives me a second opportunity to take the cable car to the top and, if weather permits, the tiny cable car all the way to Helbronner in Italy.
 
 
Aiguille du Midi plan      
It's 2009 and we've returned to Chamonix to hike the Haute Route to Zermatt. Gives me a second opportunity to take the cable car to the top and, if weather permits, the tiny cable car all the way to Helbronner in Italy.
 
View from hotel room      
 
 
View from hotel room      
 
 
View from hotel room      
 
View from the hotel room      
 
 
View from the hotel room      
 
 
View from the hotel room      
 
Chamonix      
A river flows through the charming town.
 
 
Chamonix      
A river flows through the charming town.
 
 
Chamonix      
A river flows through the charming town.
 
 

 
 
 
10. Aiguille du Midi
Sat, 1 Aug 2009 ~ Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France 
S   M   L
10. Aiguille du Midi
, Saturday, 1 August 2009 ~ Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix, France
 
 
 
Chamonix valley from cable car      
Even looking through the cable car's scratched and reflective glass it's a great view.
 
 
Chamonix valley from cable car      
Even looking through the cable car's scratched and reflective glass it's a great view.
 
 
Chamonix valley from cable car      
Even looking through the cable car's scratched and reflective glass it's a great view.
 
Gingie and me      
Since the weather was perfect (the cable car doesn't run in bad weather) we rode the tiny 4-person car across the glacier from Aiguille du midi to Helbronner. It's f-ing spectacular.
 
 
Gingie and me      
Since the weather was perfect (the cable car doesn't run in bad weather) we rode the tiny 4-person car across the glacier from Aiguille du midi to Helbronner. It's f-ing spectacular.
 
 
Gingie and me      
Since the weather was perfect (the cable car doesn't run in bad weather) we rode the tiny 4-person car across the glacier from Aiguille du midi to Helbronner. It's f-ing spectacular.
 
Our cabin mates      
 
 
Our cabin mates      
 
 
Our cabin mates      
 
 

 
 
 
11. Au revoir
Sun, 24 Sep 2017 ~ France 
11. Au revoir
, Sunday, 24 September 2017 ~ France
 
 
 

We are on our way to France.

 
 
 
YVR      
 
 
YVR      
 
 
YVR      
 
 
12. Nice night
Mon, 25 Sep 2017 ~ France  Nice
S   M   L
12. Nice night
, Monday, 25 September 2017 ~ France, Nice
 
 
 
France

We're in Nice. It is a lovely town with a spacious seaside promenade, charming narrow streets, and tempting sidewalk cafes. Staying a while would be fun but we've a ferry to catch tomorrow.

 
 
 
Nice at night      
 
 
Nice at night      
 
 
Nice at night      
 
Paul on Promenade des Anglais      
 
 
Paul on Promenade des Anglais      
 
 
Paul on Promenade des Anglais      
 
Notre Dame de Nice      
 
 
Notre Dame de Nice      
 
 
Notre Dame de Nice      
 
Notre Dame de Nice      
 
 
Notre Dame de Nice      
 
 
Notre Dame de Nice      
 
Fountain in Nice      
 
 
Fountain in Nice      
 
 
Fountain in Nice      
 
 
13. Nice to Corsica
Tue, 26 Sep 2017 ~ Bastia, Corsica, France  Nice
S   M   L
13. Nice to Corsica
, Tuesday, 26 September 2017 ~ Bastia, Corsica, France, Nice
 
 
 

Today we took the awkwardly-named but otherwise fine Mega Express 4 ferry from Nice to the island of Corsica where we disembarked at the town of Bastia. This ferry is one of many that connect the island to continental France. It's one of the faster crossings at six hours whereas our return crossing, from Ajaccio to Toulon, will be an 11 hour overnight sailing.

 
 
 
Nice to Bastia ferry route      
 
 
Nice to Bastia ferry route      
 
 
Nice to Bastia ferry route      
 
Nice harbour from ferry      
 
 
Nice harbour from ferry      
 
 
Nice harbour from ferry      
 
Paul saying goodbye to Nice      

And hello to Corsica ...
 
 
Paul saying goodbye to Nice      

And hello to Corsica ...
 
 
Paul saying goodbye to Nice      

And hello to Corsica ...
 
Corsica & Ile de la Giraglia      
This tiny island is situated off the northern tip of Corsica. It doesn't appear to have much more on it than a light house.
 
 
Corsica & Ile de la Giraglia      
This tiny island is situated off the northern tip of Corsica. It doesn't appear to have much more on it than a light house.
 
 
Corsica & Ile de la Giraglia      
This tiny island is situated off the northern tip of Corsica. It doesn't appear to have much more on it than a light house.
 
Pilot boat for Bastia harbour      
As we approached Bastia this small boat raced up to our huge Mega Express 4 ferry. The pilot boat looked like it was going to hit us. Instead the small boat pulled along side and a pilot jumped from it onto our fast-moving ferry.
 
 
Pilot boat for Bastia harbour      
As we approached Bastia this small boat raced up to our huge Mega Express 4 ferry. The pilot boat looked like it was going to hit us. Instead the small boat pulled along side and a pilot jumped from it onto our fast-moving ferry.
 
 
Pilot boat for Bastia harbour      
As we approached Bastia this small boat raced up to our huge Mega Express 4 ferry. The pilot boat looked like it was going to hit us. Instead the small boat pulled along side and a pilot jumped from it onto our fast-moving ferry.
 
Arrival in Bastia      
 
 
Arrival in Bastia      
 
 
Arrival in Bastia      
 
Harbour      

To get a sense of the size of the ferry this shot shows a similar ferry (same ferry company, Corsica Sardinia Elba Ferries) parked in Bastia's harbour.

Tomorrow we begin exploring Corsica. Fortunately the weather gods are smiling on us.

 
 
Harbour      

To get a sense of the size of the ferry this shot shows a similar ferry (same ferry company, Corsica Sardinia Elba Ferries) parked in Bastia's harbour.

Tomorrow we begin exploring Corsica. Fortunately the weather gods are smiling on us.

 
 
Harbour      

To get a sense of the size of the ferry this shot shows a similar ferry (same ferry company, Corsica Sardinia Elba Ferries) parked in Bastia's harbour.

Tomorrow we begin exploring Corsica. Fortunately the weather gods are smiling on us.

 
Ferry docked in Bastia      
 
 
Ferry docked in Bastia      
 
 
Ferry docked in Bastia      
 
 
14. Bastia
Wed, 27 Sep 2017 ~ Bastia, Corsica, France 
S   M   L
14. Bastia
, Wednesday, 27 September 2017 ~ Bastia, Corsica, France
 
 
 

Bastia is a hilly Corsican town, squeezed between the Mediterranean and the Serra di Pignu, a 960 m (3,150 ft) mountain. Bastia has a charming and walk-able old town (assuming you don't mind stairs), with many blocks of fashionable stores and cafes. Though Ajaccio gets more attention in the guidebooks I preferred Bastia. It is just as charming plus it feels less touristy.

Two highlights were the Vieux Port and the Terra Nova neighborhood. The Vieux Port or old harbor is chock-a-block with boats. It is ringed by cafes. The Eglise St-Jean Baptiste towers overhead.

The Terra Nova neighborhood features a citadel, the Cathedrale Ste-Marie, and great views of the city and the blue sea. The citadel was built to satisfy the city's Genoese masters many centuries ago.

 
 
 
Staircase to the citadel      
 
 
Staircase to the citadel      
 
 
Staircase to the citadel      
 
Vieux Port      
 
 
Vieux Port      
 
 
Vieux Port      
 
Bastia Citadel      
 
 
Bastia Citadel      
 
 
Bastia Citadel      
 
Stopping for a snack      
 
 
Stopping for a snack      
 
 
Stopping for a snack      
 
Bastia street      
 
 
Bastia street      
 
 
Bastia street      
 
Bastia      
 
 
Bastia      
 
 
Bastia      
 
Old port of Bastia      
 
 
Old port of Bastia      
 
 
Old port of Bastia      
 
Lighthouses at entrance of Vieux Port      
 
 
Lighthouses at entrance of Vieux Port      
 
 
Lighthouses at entrance of Vieux Port      
 
Jellyfish in the Vieux Port      
 
 
Jellyfish in the Vieux Port      
 
 
Jellyfish in the Vieux Port      
 
 
15. The train to Ajaccio
Thu, 28 Sep 2017 ~ Ajaccio, Corsica, France 
S   M   L
15. The train to Ajaccio
, Thursday, 28 September 2017 ~ Ajaccio, Corsica, France
 
 
 
Train

Today we caught the train to Ajaccio. The narrow-gauge train, officially called the Chemins de Fer de la Corse, connects Bastia to Ajaccio and Calvi (along with many points in between, of course). It's quite a scenic train trip as it winds through the mountainous center of Corsica.

The photos from the train suffer a bit because the train was moving and the windows were dirty and scratched. There is only so much that a high shutter speed and polarizer can fix.

 
 
 
Narrow-gauge train, Gara di Bastia      
 
 
Narrow-gauge train, Gara di Bastia      
 
 
Narrow-gauge train, Gara di Bastia      
 
Narrow-gauge train, Gara di Bastia      
 
 
Narrow-gauge train, Gara di Bastia      
 
 
Narrow-gauge train, Gara di Bastia      
 
Corsica as seen from train      
 
 
Corsica as seen from train      
 
 
Corsica as seen from train      
 
View from train      
 
 
View from train      
 
 
View from train      
 
View from train      
 
 
View from train      
 
 
View from train      
 
View from train      
 
 
View from train      
 
 
View from train      
 
View from train      
 
 
View from train      
 
 
View from train      
 
Typical train station      
 
 
Typical train station      
 
 
Typical train station      
 
Church in Ajaccio, next to our apt      
Our train ride ended in Ajaccio. We then walked about a km from the train station to our apartment, a roomy one bedroom, conveniently and scenically located in the middle of the old Genovese quarter. Its only downside was being on what appears to be Ajaccio's busiest sidewalk-cafe street. It's chock-a-block with restaurants and bars and it's busy until the wee hours. The noise was ok, it's part of being in town, but the cigarette smoke was annoying.
 
 
Church in Ajaccio, next to our apt      
Our train ride ended in Ajaccio. We then walked about a km from the train station to our apartment, a roomy one bedroom, conveniently and scenically located in the middle of the old Genovese quarter. Its only downside was being on what appears to be Ajaccio's busiest sidewalk-cafe street. It's chock-a-block with restaurants and bars and it's busy until the wee hours. The noise was ok, it's part of being in town, but the cigarette smoke was annoying.
 
 
Church in Ajaccio, next to our apt      
Our train ride ended in Ajaccio. We then walked about a km from the train station to our apartment, a roomy one bedroom, conveniently and scenically located in the middle of the old Genovese quarter. Its only downside was being on what appears to be Ajaccio's busiest sidewalk-cafe street. It's chock-a-block with restaurants and bars and it's busy until the wee hours. The noise was ok, it's part of being in town, but the cigarette smoke was annoying.
 
 
16. Ajaccio
Fri, 29 Sep 2017 ~ Ajaccio, Corsica, France 
S   M   L
16. Ajaccio
, Friday, 29 September 2017 ~ Ajaccio, Corsica, France
 
 
 

Today was a day to explore Ajaccio. After espresso and pastries from the patisserie across the street - I quickly became partial to ambrucciata - we walked along the waterfront, hit the farmers market, ate some charcuterie, and took in some 16th and 17th century art at the museum. Ajaccio is easy getting around, everything is within a few blocks from our apartment, and the sidewalks are overflowing with cafes.

 
 
 
View from apartment      
Just across the street is a patisserie for espresso and pastries, and two doors to the left is the Eglise St-Jean Baptiste.
 
 
View from apartment      
Just across the street is a patisserie for espresso and pastries, and two doors to the left is the Eglise St-Jean Baptiste.
 
 
View from apartment      
Just across the street is a patisserie for espresso and pastries, and two doors to the left is the Eglise St-Jean Baptiste.
 
Ambrucciata, mmmm!      
 
 
Ambrucciata, mmmm!      
 
 
Ambrucciata, mmmm!      
 
Ajaccio beach      
 
 
Ajaccio beach      
 
 
Ajaccio beach      
 
Charcuterie, a Corsican speciality      
 
 
Charcuterie, a Corsican speciality      
 
 
Charcuterie, a Corsican speciality      
 
Olives, olives, olives      
 
 
Olives, olives, olives      
 
 
Olives, olives, olives      
 
Palais Fesch Musee de Beaux Arts      
 
 
Palais Fesch Musee de Beaux Arts      
 
 
Palais Fesch Musee de Beaux Arts      
 
Allegory of the church of Rome      
 
 
Allegory of the church of Rome      
 
 
Allegory of the church of Rome      
 
Two ladies looking out the window      
 
 
Two ladies looking out the window      
 
 
Two ladies looking out the window      
 
Paul taking a break      
 
 
Paul taking a break      
 
 
Paul taking a break      
 
 
17. Torra di a Parata
Sat, 30 Sep 2017 ~ Ajaccio, Corsica, France 
S   M   L
17. Torra di a Parata
, Saturday, 30 September 2017 ~ Ajaccio, Corsica, France
 
 
 

About a half-hour north of Ajaccio is the Tower of Parata, or Torra di a Parata in Corsican. It is an old stone structure sitting on top of a rocky hill. The tower, one of a series, was built around 1550 by the Republic of Genoa to defend against attacks by Barbary pirates.

 
 
 
The tower and the Sanguinares      
The hill-top tower overlooks the archipelago of the Sanguinares which is composed of four volcanic islands. The largest island has an old lighthouse on its top. None of the islands are inhabited.
 
 
The tower and the Sanguinares      
The hill-top tower overlooks the archipelago of the Sanguinares which is composed of four volcanic islands. The largest island has an old lighthouse on its top. None of the islands are inhabited.
 
 
The tower and the Sanguinares      
The hill-top tower overlooks the archipelago of the Sanguinares which is composed of four volcanic islands. The largest island has an old lighthouse on its top. None of the islands are inhabited.
 
Torra di a Parata      

In the far right you can just make out the outskirts of Ajaccio.

If I'd been clever I'd have positioned something in the photo for size relevance, like a person or an umbrella, but in light of that omission I'll say the tower is 12 m (39 ft) in height, so about 3 stories, and it has a diameter of 7.3 m (24 ft) at the roof.

 
 
Torra di a Parata      

In the far right you can just make out the outskirts of Ajaccio.

If I'd been clever I'd have positioned something in the photo for size relevance, like a person or an umbrella, but in light of that omission I'll say the tower is 12 m (39 ft) in height, so about 3 stories, and it has a diameter of 7.3 m (24 ft) at the roof.

 
 
Torra di a Parata      

In the far right you can just make out the outskirts of Ajaccio.

If I'd been clever I'd have positioned something in the photo for size relevance, like a person or an umbrella, but in light of that omission I'll say the tower is 12 m (39 ft) in height, so about 3 stories, and it has a diameter of 7.3 m (24 ft) at the roof.

 
Looking northeast from the tower      
 
 
Looking northeast from the tower      
 
 
Looking northeast from the tower      
 
Panorama of 5 shots from the tower      
 
 
Panorama of 5 shots from the tower      
 
 
Panorama of 5 shots from the tower      
 
 
18. Chemin des Cretes
Sun, 1 Oct 2017 ~ Ajaccio, Corsica, France 
S   M   L
18. Chemin des Cretes
, Sunday, 1 October 2017 ~ Ajaccio, Corsica, France
 
 
 

While it isn't exactly the GR20 (the 180km trail stretching the length of Corsica from Calenzana to Conca), the Chemin des Cretes, or Path of the Ridges, provided a scenic hike in the green foothills above Ajaccio with glimpses of the city, its beaches, and the gulf of Ajaccio.

Stretching from Calenzana in the north of Corsica to Conca in the south is the famous GR20, a challenging 180 km trail. It takes at least two weeks and involves, among other challenges, ladders and ropes and rocky scrambles. I'm sure it's a wonderful trek but sadly we didn't do it. Instead, today we did the much much shorter Chemin des Cretes (Path of the Ridges) that starts about a half-hours walk from our central-Ajaccio apartment.

The best-known way to explore its interior is the challenging 180km GR20 one of the most famous walking trails in Europe. It stretches from Calenzana in the north to Conca in the south and is considered one of the most difficult long-distance treks on the continent (there are exposed scrambles, and at some points ladders and steel ropes to assist walkers). The whole thing takes at least two weeks, and involves staying in refuges or camping along the way.

Ajaccio itself is flanked by green foothills covered in an aromatic carpet of vegetation and herbs. Beyond them, a rocky ridgeline dramatically pierces the sky and below are beaches of golden sand.

As I headed up through suburban streets to the trailhead of my chosen route, the Chemin des Crtes (Path of the Ridges), I passed statue after statue of Ajaccio's most famous son Napoleon Bonaparte. Given the hero worship of this leader, the fighting spirit of its eco-activists begins to make sense. The route begins opposite the Bois des Anglais, a patch of woodland left over from the island's short stint as a British colony over 200 years ago. At less than 10km it's a much easier prospect than the more famous trail, but as it cuts along the peaks above the coast it offers stunning views for very little effort, and you can finish up with a very civilised drink in a bar in the seaside village of Vignola.

Who could blame them? With the full extent of the gulf of Ajaccio revealed, and the Iles Sanguinaires creeping out onto the horizon, my gaze, too, was fixed out on this tiny rocky archipelago, that breaks off from the mainland at Pointe de la Parata. They're called the Isles of Blood because of the reddish colour they reflect into the sea.

You can get a good look at the islands' wind- and spray-scoured shapes on another, shorter, walk here. Take the number 5 bus from Ajaccio to the start of the waymarked path (in the car park) and it's a 40-minute round trip to the end of the Pointe de la Parata peninsula. Come in the early evening to avoid the tour buses and watch the light play as the sun sets.

 
 
 
Ajaccio as seen from Chemin des Cretes      
 
 
Ajaccio as seen from Chemin des Cretes      
 
 
Ajaccio as seen from Chemin des Cretes      
 
Golfe d'Ajaccio from Chemin des Cretes      
 
 
Golfe d'Ajaccio from Chemin des Cretes      
 
 
Golfe d'Ajaccio from Chemin des Cretes      
 
Ajaccio cathedral      
Just behind our apartment is the Ajaccio cathedral. Officially the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption of Ajaccio, it was built between 1577 and 1593 and is credited to Italian architect Giacomo della Porta.
 
 
Ajaccio cathedral      
Just behind our apartment is the Ajaccio cathedral. Officially the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption of Ajaccio, it was built between 1577 and 1593 and is credited to Italian architect Giacomo della Porta.
 
 
Ajaccio cathedral      
Just behind our apartment is the Ajaccio cathedral. Officially the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption of Ajaccio, it was built between 1577 and 1593 and is credited to Italian architect Giacomo della Porta.
 
Place Marechal Foch      
 
 
Place Marechal Foch      
 
 
Place Marechal Foch      
 
 
19. The drive to Algajola
Mon, 2 Oct 2017 ~ Algajola, Corsica, France  Porto, US Politics
S   M   L
19. The drive to Algajola
, Monday, 2 October 2017 ~ Algajola, Corsica, France, Porto, US Politics
 
 
 
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