Monday, November 14, 2016

Calvi, Corsica

After Ajaccio we headed to our last stop in Corsica - Calvi - on the north-west coast. It was a lot smaller than Ajaccio, and our Hotel L'Abbaye, in a restored Franciscan monastery, was a lot nicer. One of Calvi's claims to fame is that it was the birthplace of Christopher Columbus. There's not much evidence of that but supposedly he may have hidden where he was born because Corsica had a subversive reputation. Calvi is also the base for the 2nd Foreign Parachute Regiment of the French Foreign Legion. And, of course, there is a citadel.

Hotel L'Abbaye

For a change we took the inland route from Ajaccio to Calvi so we got to see more of the (cloudy) mountains.

cloudy mountains

This fort was apparently used by some of the holdouts when France took over Corsica.

old fort

Fall was further along higher up in the mountains.

autumn leaves

A more abstract interpretation of the fall colors:

autum colors

A typical mountain village. Every village, even tiny ones, had a church, and often more than one. (rivals?)

Corsican town

Closer to Calvi we got back to the coast. The ocean was beautiful shades of blue.

shallow water


More flowers near the coast as well.


I loved all the vines growing on the old buildings and rocks.

vines on rock

I don't usually find churches too exciting, but they can be amazing buildings and have interesting artwork, like this stained glass window:

stained glass window

We had lunch at a lovely small town terrace restaurant with a view of the coast.

table with view

We saw a lot of what I think are Red Kites flying around. Despite seeing them a lot, I didn't get very good photos. This is the best I managed. Birds here seemed very skittish - too many centuries of being hunted perhaps?

Red kite

From Calvi we took a taxi to the nearby village of Calenzana where we started our 10 day Mare E Monti hike. (Some day I'll get to those photos!) By the time we returned after our hike the tourists had gone and Calvi had pretty much shut down for the winter.

See all 33 photos as a slideshow or overview

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