Thursday, March 4, 2010

Winter Holiday, Week 2: Corsica

Whoever said that “getting there is half the fun,” obviously never took a flight to Corsica onboard Easy Jet airlines.

In my New Year’s resolution, I mentioned that there were a few specific places that I wanted to add pins to, on my “been there” world map (Portugal, Prague, Barcelona, Southern Italy, Greece, you get the point), but the rest of my travels, I would leave up to impulsivity. And thanks to that impulsivity (along with other plans that fell through), Trevor and I landed ourselves on the beautiful island of Corsica.

The original plan for the second week of my winter holiday was Venice, Italy. Then, when airline prices seemed to supersede the worth, we agreed on a train to Cinque Terre, Italy, with a pit-stop in Nice, France. (Are you starting to see the general theme? Preferred destination=South of Lyon=warmer temperatures=no snow!) When the woman at the train station regretfully told us that there was only one seat left on the train (which I highly doubt), we decided to brainstorm where we could vacation.

I only had two key standards for picking a destination:
1. It would allow me to leave my gloves behind.
2. Price of travel had to be modest.

We spent the better part of the evening on, looked at where they fly to from Lyon, and tried to take both of our preferences into consideration, which cancelled out a few places. Thank goodness the small island in the Mediterranean wasn’t one of them. So, we booked our tickets, found a great deal on an apartment for the week, researched the sites and culture, then packed our bags.

Saturday morning, we set off to the airport and boarded our flight. With the heavy winds on the island, it turned into one of those experiences where you start making negotiations that if you just make it safely, you’ll promise to start going to Sunday mass (though, I’ve yet to follow through). An hour and an anxiety attack later, we bounced (yes, that’s right) onto the runway. Fortunately, the scenery replaced the EasyJet PTSD; the place was beautiful. I think it was warm, too, but I was so clammy from the flight that I couldn't distinguish which was which.

A 5 mile taxi ride that ended up being twenty-five minutes because of Sheep Gridlock in the road, dropped us near the local train station. From there, a 4 hour train ride to Adjaccaio, a city in the south east.

It was well worth it because we woke up in an apartment with this view:

After being up and out early to check out the town, we realized that it was too warm for jackets:
As we walked along this:

And walked by lots of little side streets that looked like secret passageways into the past:

Eventually coming to the Sunday Farmers' Market with more fresh produce than one could imagine; cases of cheese, dried out sausages (I think that's what they were) cut up to sample (Ask Trevor how they were, as I skipped them.), nuts, dried fruit, fresh fruit, raw lapin, but cooked chicken; pastries, pizza, and pretzels; jelly, spices, and tapenades; Wines and liqueurs to inebriate you, and handmade soaps to wash those sins away. You name it, and it was there, but if you still weren't satisfied, there was a huge self-serve candy vendor that also sold hula hoops. In one place, you could satiate your appetite, sample Corsican products, get tipsy, and test our your moves, all while on a sugar high.

We admired sites during the day...

Then sampled the nightlife and tested our luck at the casino (one time only).

And who could forget Napoleon?! It was, after all, his birthplace!

There were old libraries, the kind that you only see in movies...
And the cemeteries that surrounded our apartment that you wish were just in movies...
My favorite, by far, was finding an old church that had been converted into a ballet school (Does this count as going to church?)
Even the pets are more laidback in this place.

Then, at the tail end of our trip when it started to look like we were on the advent of a downpour, we took a vacation from our vacation...
A 3 hour busride South, to the cliffs of Bonifacio.

Which was even more breathtaking than Adjaccio. I would definitely love to revisit these beaches in the summer.

The week sped by and before we knew it, we were on a plane back to Lyon

After exploring all around Corsica and appreciating all it offered, I realized that it's a bit like Lyon, in no way at all. Even their French has an Italian spin on it. Ciao.


  • The flight back was far less eventful
  • I got back to Lyon and the sun was out.
  • My brother got a new job.. I'm really happy for him!
  • I finally got to connect back with the real world, after a week without communication. I spent the better part of an hour on the phone with my parents, hearing about all the new renovations my dad is doing to his house and then laughing at how my mom ended up in the hospital, once again.


  1. Oh, I LOVE the pictures! And I want to go to all the places on your list: Portugal, Prague, Barcelona, Southern Italy, Greece. Actually, I've been to Portugal, but I'd go back! How can we make this happen?? Let's see if I have a change in vacation time off ;) (Still waiting on this)
    Anyway, I'd love to TALK this weekend! Can we? Miss you!

  2. oh my god. i don't even know where to begin, i have SO MUCH to say about this post! simply beautiful (the scenery AND you!) did you really take all those pics? they look so professional! i would kill for a farmer's market set up like that...drool! wow lauren, i think this side trip makes you entire france experience WORTH IT :)

  3. Wow, your pictures are lovely! I am especially jealous of you getting to go out jacket-free - if only the UK was that warm! I hope impulsivity or Wholefoods homesickness brings you to London at some point, I'll try and convince the weather here to behave itself for you :P

  4. wow beautiful pictures... i wish WISH WISH i could travel liek that!!!!!! it's not the same to just look at pictures, while they are stunning, i want to experience it!!!!!!!!

  5. Lovely pics!
    I bet you´ve had an amazing time...
    And, by the way: welcome back! Haha!
    Have a great weekend!
    Brazilian XOXO´s