Tales from the Western Med Day 4

May 12, 2017
Our ship docked in Ajaccio on the island of Corsica.
Corsica is 184x 84 km., but has more than 1000 km of coastline. It is the 4th largest island in the Med and quite mountainous; the highest point is 2,700 m and we could see several mountains with snow. Our guide told us that destination signs in km are rare, and more often road distances are communicated in time, (Just like L.A.!). You will often see two languages on signs, both French and Corsican. The Island is subtropical and evergreen year round. There are 30,000 goats, 100,000 sheep, but only 300,000 people. There are many varieties of cheeses and meats from their livestock which are highly valued since the sheep and goat are free range.
Our Excursion was called "Discover the Calanques." We were driven along the Corsican coast to the town of Piana which is near the Calanques, a UNESCO a World Heritage site. The Calanques are steep-sloped reddish limestone rock formations with distinctive shapes that fire the imagination. Enroute we heard interesting tidbits about Corsican life and its history. We also stopped at Cargèse, a small town with an interesting Greek Roman Catholic church. The church was formerly a Greek Orthodox, but was forced to become a Roman Catholic in the 18th century. It had interesting frescos and Orthodox style of iconography. On the way back we stopped at a small town where we could sample the local sweet chestnut beer or local wine. There was a royal clipper ship docked beside us on our return.