53 posts match "France - France" - select title or scroll down to see posts
 
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  1.  The start of the TMB    20 July 2004    Hikes The Alps Tour Mt Blanc France,
         20 Jul 2004
  France, Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc  
  2.  TMB: Miage to La Balme    21 July 2004    Hikes The Alps Tour Mt Blanc France,
         21 Jul 2004
  France, Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc  
  3.  TMB    22 July 2004    Hikes The Alps Tour Mt Blanc France,
         22 Jul 2004
  France, Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc  
  4.  Paris    29 July 2004    Paris France,
         29 Jul 2004
  France, Paris  
  5.  Paris    29 July 2004    Paris France,
         29 Jul 2004
  France, Paris  
  6.  Paris    30 July 2004    Paris France,
         30 Jul 2004
  Paris, France  
  7.  Paris    1 August 2004    Paris France,
         1 Aug 2004
  France, Paris  
  8.  Au revoir    24 September 2017    France,
         24 Sep 2017
  France  
  9.  Nice night    25 September 2017    Nice France,
         25 Sep 2017
  Nice, France  
10.  Nice to Corsica    26 September 2017    Bastia Corsica Nice France,
         26 Sep 2017
  Nice, France, Corsica, Bastia  
11.  Bastia    27 September 2017    Bastia Corsica France,
         27 Sep 2017
  Corsica, Bastia, France  
12.  The train to Ajaccio    28 September 2017    Ajaccio Corsica France,
         28 Sep 2017
  Corsica, Ajaccio, France  
13.  Ajaccio    29 September 2017    Ajaccio Corsica France,
         29 Sep 2017
  France, Corsica, Ajaccio  
14.  Torra di a Parata    30 September 2017    Ajaccio Corsica France,
         30 Sep 2017
  France, Corsica, Ajaccio  
15.  Chemin des Cretes     1 October 2017    Ajaccio Corsica France,
         1 Oct 2017
  France, Corsica, Ajaccio  
16.  The drive to Algajola    2 October 2017    Algajola Corsica Politics (US) Porto France,
         2 Oct 2017
  France, Corsica, Algajola, Politics (US), Porto  
17.  L'Ile-Rousse    3 October 2017    Algajola Corsica L'Ile Rousse France,
         3 Oct 2017
  L'Ile Rousse, France, Corsica, Algajola  
18.  Corsican hill towns    4 October 2017    Corsica France,
         4 Oct 2017
  France, Corsica  
19.  Two hikes and a road race    5 October 2017    Cars Corsica Hikes Porto Serriera France,
         5 Oct 2017
  Hikes, Serriera, Porto, France, Corsica, Cars  
20.  Sharing the road to Zonza    6 October 2017    Cars Corsica Zonza France,
         6 Oct 2017
  France, Corsica, Cars, Zonza  
21.  Col de Bavella    7 October 2017    Cars Corsica Hikes Zonza France,
         7 Oct 2017
  Hikes, Zonza, France, Corsica, Cars  
22.  Zonza and the GR20    8 October 2017    Corsica Zonza France,
         8 Oct 2017
  Zonza, France, Corsica  
23.  White cliffs of Bonifacio    9 October 2017    Bonifacio Corsica France,
         9 Oct 2017
  France, Corsica, Bonifacio  
24.  Hiking to the Bonifacio lighthouse    10 October 2017    Bonifacio Corsica France,
         10 Oct 2017
  France, Corsica, Bonifacio  
25.  Bonifacio vieille ville     11 October 2017    Bonifacio Corsica France,
         11 Oct 2017
  France, Corsica, Bonifacio  
26.  Bonifacio to Ajaccio to Toulon to ...    12 October 2017    Ajaccio Toulon France,
         12 Oct 2017
  France, Ajaccio, Toulon  
27.  Toulon petit dejeuner    13 October 2017    Lyon Toulon France,
         13 Oct 2017
  Toulon, Lyon, France  
28.  Streets and traboules of Lyon    14 October 2017    Lyon France,
         14 Oct 2017
  Lyon, France  
29.  Contemporary art at the MAC    15 October 2017    Art Lyon France,
         15 Oct 2017
  France, Art, Lyon  
30.  Musee des Beaux Arts     16 October 2017    Art Lyon France,
         16 Oct 2017
  France, Art, Lyon  
31.  Lyon at Night    16 October 2017    Lyon France,
         16 Oct 2017
  France, Lyon  
32.  Lyon's Notre-Dame    17 October 2017    Lyon France,
         17 Oct 2017
  Lyon, France  
33.  Another thing to see    3 October 2018    France,
         3 Oct 2018
  France  
34.  A grey day in Grenoble    3 July 2020    Film Grenoble France,
         3 Jul 2020
  Grenoble, France, Film  
35.  Eze     8 July 2020    Film Nice France,
         8 Jul 2020
  France, Nice, Film  
36.  Pont Saint-Benezet    9 July 2020    Avignon Film France,
         9 Jul 2020
  Avignon, Film, France  
37.  Avignon    10 July 2020    Avignon Film France,
         10 Jul 2020
  Avignon, Film, France  
38.  Chamonix    18 December 2020    Chamonix France,
         18 Dec 2020
  France, Chamonix  
39.  To the point    19 December 2020    Aiguille du Midi France,
         19 Dec 2020
  France, Aiguille du Midi  
40.  Triplet of cable cars    20 December 2020    Aiguille du Midi France,
         20 Dec 2020
  France, Aiguille du Midi  
41.  We're next    21 December 2020    Aiguille du Midi France,
         21 Dec 2020
  Aiguille du Midi, France  
42.  We're off    22 December 2020    Aiguille du Midi France,
         22 Dec 2020
  Aiguille du Midi, France  
43.  Over the glacier    24 December 2020    Aiguille du Midi France,
         24 Dec 2020
  France, Aiguille du Midi  
44.  Pointe Helbronner    25 December 2020    Aiguille du Midi France, Italy
         25 Dec 2020
  Aiguille du Midi, France, Italy  
45.  Cable car mates    26 December 2020    Aiguille du Midi France,
         26 Dec 2020
  Aiguille du Midi, France  
46.  Over the glacier (again)    27 December 2020    Aiguille du Midi France,
         27 Dec 2020
  France, Aiguille du Midi  
47.  Take the stairs    28 December 2020    Aiguille du Midi France,
         28 Dec 2020
  France, Aiguille du Midi  
48.  Built into the rock    29 December 2020    Aiguille du Midi France,
         29 Dec 2020
  Aiguille du Midi, France  
49.  At the top looking down    30 December 2020    Aiguille du Midi France,
         30 Dec 2020
  France, Aiguille du Midi  
50.  Rock climbers    1 January 2021    Aiguille du Midi France,
         1 Jan 2021
  France, Aiguille du Midi  
51.  Climbing in the snow    2 January 2021    Aiguille du Midi France,
         2 Jan 2021
  Aiguille du Midi, France  
52.  One more look    3 January 2021    Aiguille du Midi France,
         3 Jan 2021
  France, Aiguille du Midi  
53.  Photo map    4 January 2021    Chamonix Lightroom France,
         4 Jan 2021
  France, Chamonix, Lightroom  
 
 
 
1. The start of the TMB
20 Jul 2004    Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc, France 
S   M   L
1. The start of the TMB   
20 Jul 2004    Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc, France   
 
 
 
 

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.
 
 
2. TMB: Miage to La Balme
21 Jul 2004    Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc, France 
S   M   L
2. TMB: Miage to La Balme   
21 Jul 2004    Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc, France   
 
 
 
 

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
     
 
 
3. TMB
22 Jul 2004    Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc, France 
S   M   L
3. TMB   
22 Jul 2004    Hikes, The Alps, Tour Mt Blanc, France   
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
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.
 
 
4. Paris
29 Jul 2004    Paris, France 
S   M   L
4. Paris   
29 Jul 2004    Paris, France   
 
 
 
 
The Louvre
     
 
 
 
The Louvre
     
 
 
 
The Louvre
     
 
 
Regina, Linda, & Emily @ Sephora Paris
     
 
 
 
Regina, Linda, & Emily @ Sephora Paris
     
 
 
 
Regina, Linda, & Emily @ Sephora Paris
     
 
 

 
 
 
5. Paris
29 Jul 2004    Paris, France 
S   M   L
5. Paris   
29 Jul 2004    Paris, France   
 
 
 
 

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
     
 
 
6. Paris
30 Jul 2004    Paris, France 
S   M   L
6. Paris   
30 Jul 2004    Paris, France   
 
 
 
 
Centre Georges Pompidou
     
 
 
 
Centre Georges Pompidou
     
 
 
 
Centre Georges Pompidou
     
 
 
The Seine
     
 
 
 
The Seine
     
 
 
 
The Seine
     
 
 
Paris
     
 
 
 
Paris
     
 
 
 
Paris
     
 
 

 
 
 
7. Paris
1 Aug 2004    Paris, France 
S   M   L
7. Paris   
1 Aug 2004    Paris, France   
 
 
 
 
Paris
     
 
 
 
Paris
     
 
 
 
Paris
     
 
 
Museum D'Orsay
     
 
 
 
Museum D'Orsay
     
 
 
 
Museum D'Orsay
     
 
 

 
 
 
8. Au revoir
24 Sep 2017    France 
S   M   L
8. Au revoir   
24 Sep 2017    France   
 
 
 
 

We are on our way to France.

 
 
 
 
YVR
     
 
 
 
YVR
     
 
 
 
YVR
     
 
 
9. Nice night
25 Sep 2017    Nice, France 
S   M   L
9. Nice night   
25 Sep 2017    Nice, France   
 
 
 
 
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
     
 
 
10. Nice to Corsica
26 Sep 2017    Bastia, Corsica, Nice, France 
S   M   L
10. Nice to Corsica   
26 Sep 2017    Bastia, Corsica, Nice, France   
 
 
 
 

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
     
 
 
Bastia harbour
     
Here's a similar ferry to the one we're on, from same ferry company, Corsica Sardinia Elba Ferries, docked in Bastia. Tomorrow we begin exploring Corsica. Fortunately the weather gods are smiling on us.
 
 
 
Bastia harbour
     
Here's a similar ferry to the one we're on, from same ferry company, Corsica Sardinia Elba Ferries, docked in Bastia. Tomorrow we begin exploring Corsica. Fortunately the weather gods are smiling on us.
 
 
 
Bastia harbour
     
Here's a similar ferry to the one we're on, from same ferry company, Corsica Sardinia Elba Ferries, docked in Bastia. 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
     
 
 
11. Bastia
27 Sep 2017    Bastia, Corsica, France 
S   M   L
11. Bastia   
27 Sep 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, our next stop, gets more attention in the guidebooks, I preferred Bastia. It is just as charming and is 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
     
 
 
12. The train to Ajaccio
28 Sep 2017    Ajaccio, Corsica, France 
S   M   L
12. The train to Ajaccio   
28 Sep 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.
 
 
13. Ajaccio
29 Sep 2017    Ajaccio, Corsica, France 
S   M   L
13. Ajaccio   
29 Sep 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 to get around, everything is within a few blocks from our apartment, and the sidewalks are overflowing with cafes.

 
 
 
 
View from our apartment
     
Just across the street is a patisserie, for espresso and pastries, and two doors to the left of that is the Eglise St-Jean Baptiste.
 
 
 
View from our apartment
     
Just across the street is a patisserie, for espresso and pastries, and two doors to the left of that is the Eglise St-Jean Baptiste.
 
 
 
View from our apartment
     
Just across the street is a patisserie, for espresso and pastries, and two doors to the left of that 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
     
 
 
14. Torra di a Parata
30 Sep 2017    Ajaccio, Corsica, France 
S   M   L
14. Torra di a Parata   
30 Sep 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
     
 
 
15. Chemin des Cretes
1 Oct 2017    Ajaccio, Corsica, France 
S   M   L
15. Chemin des Cretes    
1 Oct 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
     
 
 
16. The drive to Algajola
2 Oct 2017    Algajola, Corsica, Politics (US), Porto, France 
16. The drive to Algajola   
2 Oct 2017    Algajola, Corsica, Politics (US), Porto, 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.
 
 
17. L'Ile-Rousse
3 Oct 2017    Algajola, Corsica, L'Ile Rousse, France 
S   M   L
17. L'Ile-Rousse   
3 Oct 2017    Algajola, Corsica, L'Ile Rousse, France   
 
 
 
 

In addition to walking along the beach and watching the wind surfers here in Algajola we explored the nearby town of L'Ile-Rousse, a slightly larger (but still small) town. Just off shore, but connected by a narrow causeway, is a lighthouse-topped island called Ile de la Pietra.

 
 
 
 
Algajola
     
 
 
 
Algajola
     
 
 
 
Algajola
     
 
 
Lighthouse on Ile de la Pietra
     
 
 
 
Lighthouse on Ile de la Pietra
     
 
 
 
Lighthouse on Ile de la Pietra
     
 
 
Corsica coast as seen from Ile de la Pietra
     
 
 
 
Corsica coast as seen from Ile de la Pietra
     
 
 
 
Corsica coast as seen from Ile de la Pietra
     
 
 
18. Corsican hill towns
4 Oct 2017    Corsica,