travel, past tense

All right, well, Corsica was a gazillion years ago, and I’ve forgotten pretty much everything. I know I bought the guidebook well in advance, but didn’t get around to reading it until we were actually there, which is usually a mistake. And I should have found some other books to read. I didn’t even reread this one, which we own, and which should have been a no-brainer. I had to make do with Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Which was still okay.

We went to Pisa first, and visited the Leaning Tower. You have to be 8 to go in, so the Sniglet and I waited outside while Ignatz and DrBob went up. Then we took the ferry over to Bastia.

We stayed in an east coast tourist ghetto near the beach, a bit north of Aléria. We trudged around the Roman ruins, which was fascinating for Ignatz (with a year of Latin under his belt, he’s been really interested in Roman history lately), less so for the Sniglet. We hung out on the beach, and played in the waves, though the Sniglet was a tad limited there, because his swimming skills are a bit weak. We went go-karting (I’m using the term “we” very loosely there, since the Sniglet’s legs were too short to reach the pedals, and I sat out with him, but Ignatz and DrBob had a blast).

And then there was the parc aventure, the big new thing in Corsica – apparently there are 22 of them scattered around the island. Unfortunately the Sniglet was a bit too young for it, but Ignatz had a really great time there.

Are you starting to detect a theme? Yeah, this was a great place to take a 12-year-old and a 9-year-old (we traveled with another family), but the 6-year-old spent a lot of his time waiting for other people to finish having fun. Poor guy. He did have some fun, running around with the bigger guys, but here too – Josef, the other boy, is right between my two in age, and up to now, he’s had more in common with the Sniglet than with Ignatz, but this year that seems to have changed.

On the other hand, after the parc aventure adventure was over, Ignatz went back with the other family to wait at the cars while DrBob & the Sniglet & I went uphill in search of a waterfall the guidebook mentioned, and the Sniglet turns out to be quite the intrepid little hiker. And, we saw some free-range pigs (they roam the woods and eat chestnuts, it’s a sort of Corsican trademark) wandering around, and on our way back one of them came up to us and sniffed the Sniglet’s leg – there’s an adventure nobody else got to have. And there was lots of ice cream and french fries, so it wasn’t all bad, but it was quite obvious to all of us that this was the perfect holiday for one of our sons, but not the other. Oh dear.

We also went to Bonifacio and Corte (no pictures of Corte, sorry. Not sure why, except I may have been irritated at yet another long drive), which were nice and historical and scenic and stuff. The cemetery in Bonifacio was just fascinating. Corsica really is beautiful, and has a fascinating history, but for all of that, and for being right there in the Mediterranean (and just as expensive as anywhere else in France), it had a sort of undiscovered feel to it. They’ve been wise enough to learn from Spain’s mistakes (hint: figure out what the tourists come here for and then cover it with concrete = bad idea), and they have at least one good beer, Pietra. The others might be good, I dunno. We started with the Pietra and didn’t look any further. Ooo! And? We had to slow down for goats! Total travel cliché, I know, but it was the first time it’s happened to me, and I was really excited about it.

Oh yes, and the famous Corsican cheese? Fantastic. I’d go back just for that. But probably via Nice, next time. I’m going to assume, if the trains are on time, then the ferries are at least a little bit less infuriating.

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2 responses to “travel, past tense

  • amy

    Poor Sniglet. That IS difficult. So far we’ve been more or less okay with that…our boys are only 2 1/2 years apart…but this sort of thing definitely crosses my mind every time I consider that third child I’m still campaigning for.

    Despite all that, it sounds like a good time. And anyplace with good beer (and goats!) is worth the trip, no?

  • alala

    Yeah, I’d say good beer and goats is pretty much all you need for a successful holiday.

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