I have long wanted to see Bonifacio, that town perched perilously on the cliffs at the very south point of Corsica. By fortuitous planning, we were catching the ferry to Sardinia from Bonifacio, a mere 50 mins crossing, and decided to spend our time visiting the town instead of taking the long winding mountain lanes inland from Porticcio. Taking them would add several hours to our journey and we would have had time for nothing else.
We took the scenic coast road instead, and arrived in Bonifacio in time for lunch.We found a sandwich bar, ordered a couple of sarnies and then went to sit on the other side of the road on the bar's terrace. My DB went off to use the loo so he wasn't there when the bar owner came over to give me a bollocking. We had committed the cardinal sin of ordering our sarnies at the bar instead of sitting on the terrace and waiting for the waitress to serve us. Was there a sign in hell-fire warning us NOT to order at the bar if we wanted to sit down? Nope, we were just supposed to know. Did I give a shit? Not really, I just wanted her to leave the sarnies, shut up and go away. Which she did, and we sat on the terrace and ate, in the sun. For the beginning of the season, she was a tad tetchy, I found...
Motorbikes park for free in Bonifacio, which meant we could enjoy the sites without getting ripped off at the end of it. We took a boat trip out to see the town from the sea for the spectacular views of it perched on the cliffs (which we would also see from the ferry but not so well...).
|Bonifacio from the sea|
|The house at the end on the right belongs to actress Marie-José Nat|
We had lovely weather for it, and the boat was packed. Lots of people had been stopped by the attractive girls plying boat trips along the marina. We were sat at the back of the front section which meant I could stand and take photos without bothering anyone. Cool.
|Bonifacio from the marina|
There's a little train that takes you to the top and drops you off for €10 (and brings you back down) but you can make exactly the same trip by car. The train shows you no more than you can see for nothing. Cars have to pay to park though. We had a party of extremely exuberant (post-lunch) retired fonctionnaires on our train who were loud and brash and thought themselves terribly funny the whole way up.
|Coming into the port from the sea, ferry on right|
Later, we were on that ferry which wasn't packed but there are 15 crossings per day!
|No cars in the old town. Wonder why...|
Napoleon lived in Bonifacio for a while. His name is on a plaque on a house in the middle somewhere. Peeking inside, the stairs up were terribly steep, the sort you haul yourself up.
|Looking east towards the cliffs from the edge of the town|
The views were nothing if not dramatic, and seeing them in the lovely weather just made them all the more spectacular. You can see more amazing pictures on this website: www.bonifacio.fr
|The coast looking north-west|
I was happy to spend the afternoon there. Even on a motorbike holiday, it's nice to stop and visit sometimes, and Bonifacio is certainly worth the detour. I think it must be hell on earth in the summer though with all the visitors.
We got on a late afternoon ferry and arrived in St Teresa di Gallura, our port of arrival in Sardinia in a bit of a drizzle. It was also pretty chilly. Our hotel
was marvellously placed in the centre, two minutes from the port, so we could pop into town to buy a map of Sardinia (much needed!), notice that no one was about because of the cold, and that the place looked dead.
How different it looked on our return a week or so later when the weather was good, the sun was out and the temperature balmy. The piazza was alive with chatting folk, the bars had happy drinkers, and the shops had customers.
Sounds like you had a great time and what a stunning place. Fantastic photos. Take care DianeReplyDelete
Thanks Diane, yes we did have a great time. I was really pleased to have visited Bonifacio.ReplyDelete
Bonifacio is stunning...those are super photographs.ReplyDelete
Thanks Fly. :) My DB took some of them with his superior camera. The vivid blue one of Bonifacio on the hill is his.Delete
This looks a gorgeous town - so pleased you got some great photos of it - and the fabulous rock strata.ReplyDelete
I'm sure we have made mistakes with ordering food in cafes- all these silly rules in different places with regard to how to order and pay. Silly.
I know, you think wtf, put a sodding sign up if it's that important!!!Delete
The rock strata is just fab, isn't it? In one creek we visited on the boat we saw a beach where on one side there was pink granite and on the other side, about 30m away, limestone. It was the geological point at which the granite and limestone met. I took a photo but we were too far away to get a good pic.
I am smitten by that Bonifaco place, it almost looks like a surreal Dali-esque concoction. A warmer version of the cliffs of Dover? Can't wait to see hear more about Sardinia. We went there with baby Harley and me pregnant, chosen for this particular hotel which had a kid's club, but of course he howled the whole time he was there...can't remember the name of the hotel now, it had a kind of small zoo (!)ReplyDelete
I think it's difficult visiting places with young children, small zoo or no small zoo... I remember hellish trips up to London when my youngest was still in a pushchair, and screaming for Smarties in the tube. *shudder*Delete
Yes, Bonifacio is fantastic, and I was reminded of Dover too funnily enough. More about Sardinia is on the cards. :)
Beautiful pics- I want to go to Corsica when I grow up. Which isn't planned any time soon. Ah, French bar and restaurant owners. You've got to love them. Offer them money and they complain. Looking forward to th next chapter of your visit!ReplyDelete
I saw a documentary about the foodie side of Corsica and it made me want to go there immediately. I can't remember who was doing what now of course.Delete
I'd like to go back to discover a bit more of the island. We basically went down the west coast because we couldn't actually get a ferry directly to Sardinia and thought it might be nice to see a bit of Corsica by arriving in Isle Rousse instead of Ajaccio. :)
Looks gorgeous - fab photos! And I love the story about the sarnies and the bar owner. Clearly your psychic powers had let you down that day!ReplyDelete
Yes they had! I did suggest that it was impossible to know because there was no sign. She was mollified a bit later as her sarnies weren't sufficiently filling so we ordered a portion of chips and a coffee in the correct manner from the waitress.Delete
Had it not been very pleasant sitting in the sun on the terrace and the fact that we had time to kill before the boat trip, we would have left though. Hissy fit cow.
The bar owner reminds me of Seinfeld's Soup Nazi. What a freak. I'm glad she didn't ruin your day :) xReplyDelete
I know it must be a nightmare dealing with tourists, but I think she's in the wrong job... She should be a fonctionnaire where she could take out her bad temper to her heart's content and it would have no impact on her income! :)Delete
I went to Corsica a very long time ago. Your post reminded me that I totally need to go back!ReplyDelete
I'd like to go back too, to see more of the interior. :)Delete
Amazing pictures, Sarah. Such a beautiful place, so calm and peaceful. The cliffs kind of remind me of those @Dover, England.ReplyDelete
Yes, they reminded me of Dover too. I don't think it's as calm and peaceful in the summer...Delete