Another non-Italian destination today. France this time in the form of the island Corsica. The distance between Italian Sardinia and French Corsica is apparently only 12km and so it is no surprise that Corsica at one time was part of the Italian empire. This was lost when the Corsicans had enough of Italian rule and revolted. This led to them having one of the very earliest democracies which lasted for a whole 14 years before the French took over.
I know all of this because today we went on an organised tour. If I am honest we prefer not to go on the tours offered by the tour operator, Tui in this case, as we prefer to be independent going where and when we want. This does mean that we might lose out on the history lesson but get to see what we want and not what has been decided by the tour operator.
Today, however, we were in a place called Propriano which has a permanent residency that numbers less than were on our boat. So you can tell that from that it is tiny and there isn’t a great deal going on here so our options were limited. In this case the tour seemed like the best option.
This was a bus journey to what was billed as the most Corsican of Corsican towns – Sartene. This was a pretty little place but again didn’t have a lot to keep one amused and so we ended up in a coffee shop where I was able to try out my pigeon French.
Languages are not one of my strengths but I feel really uncomfortable with the British habit of turning up somewhere and just expecting the locals to bend to our will and speak English. My French is worse than bad but it did at least allow me to order drinks and secure a pain au chocolat which was all that was needed today and did make me feel better about myself if not the rest of my countrymen and women.
As we were being led back to our coach it started to spit with rain. We were heading for the coach so this didn’t matter too much until it became a complete deluge about half way to the coach. We all got soaked and sat on the way back to the boat wringing out tee shits and sun hats!
Back in Propriano I got one further chance to exercise my French when I went in search for medicine for my insect bites. This proved to challenging for my limited vocabulary and so I had to resort to showing the large, angry, bites to the pharmacist- the poor girl!
Tomorrow, a long bus ride to Siena.