This past week Bond and I went to Corsica for a holiday with his parents, hence the radio silence on here! We booked the trip back in March and so it was rather exciting to finally be going. I had never been to Corsica before but it’s Bond’s favourite place so I was really intrigued and couldn’t wait to check it out for myself. Also everyone I told I was going kept saying how amazing it was, by the time I got on the flight I was basically five years old in excitement levels!
We flew Air France for the first time, unfortunately that means we didn’t get to go to the gorgeous Emirates Terminal (if any of you visit Dubai do try to fly Emirates, it’s worth it!). Instead we ate the world’s worst burger before finding our gate. Just as well we did eat though as for the duration of the flight we only got two sandwiches and a croissant! I was ravenous when we landed. The redeeming feature of the flight was that I had a spare seat next to me and much to Bond’s delight I was able to use him as a pillow and spread out. Honestly he was THRILLED! On arriving at Charles De Gaulle we had to take a bus to Orly Airport for our transfer to Corsica. They have the nerve to charge for said bus!! Anyway once we arrived in Corsica it was so beautiful we decided it was worth the hassle.
Corsica is truly stunning, the terrain is rugged and mountainous and just breathtaking at every turn of the windy roads that cover it. I am glad I didn’t have to drive that is for sure! For us coming from Dubai it was wonderful to be surrounded by amazing nature and fresh air. Our villa which Bond’s parents chose and very kindly treated us to was lovely – it’s a newly refurbished one with really lovely interior design, all the little details are turquoise which is my favourite colour so I was very pleased. The view was right over the mountains and you couldn’t see another soul for miles. We were surrounded by vineyards and it all felt perfectly rustic and French.
On our first day Bond insisted we headed into Bastia before going to the villa, this resulted in a comedy change in the car so we didn’t melt in our airplane clothes! Sadly we couldn’t find long-term parking and so we just stayed briefly. There was a boules tournament going on which was quite funny to watch – they all took it very seriously though! The rest of the day was spent poolside, we had a delicious lunch of cheese and cold meats (real ham and salami- thrilling!!) In the evening we had salad and then got down to the serious business of games night – this set a theme for the holiday. It transpires we are all very competitive and there were a fair few victory dances from us all! Uno was my favourite and I want to get a pack here to play – though it does get surprisingly heated!
Most days we decided to spend the morning exploring and then the afternoon by the pool enjoying the sunshine – amazingly I have even managed to acquire a tan!! This is nothing short of miraculous and I am doing everything in my power to keep it and hopefully top it up. Bond says I am the most tanned he has ever seen me, my bestie said that in fact it’s the most tanned I have ever been in all the time she has known me which is 18 years!!!
As we did a lot of relaxing all the days have slightly merged into one and I can’t quite remember exactly when we did what…so this may be a slightly hazy account! Sorry!
One of the days we headed into St Florent which is really a chic little town with lots of lovely boutiques. To the surprise of absolutely no one I ended up buying three dresses…and a gift for my mother too! Bond bought me a lovely ring shaped like a feather, it’s really original and the jeweller who made it was lovely and gave me a card with all the details of how it was made. We had a quick bite where I ate the most delicious salami sandwich and the others all had ham and cheese galettes which were also yummy! Once satisfied we had ‘taken in St Florent’ we went back to the Villa to do more relaxing.
One of my favourite outings was to Nonza (party because I like the name of the place, it’s so endearing sounding), the drive there was spectacular and on arriving the village is so picturesque. It’s what I think small French villages should be like. Some of the houses are built right onto the cliff face – it looks totally improbable that they don’t fall off! There is also some great history. Bond told me all about the Tower there which was defended by one sole Corsican officer against the French. He was able to convince the French that he had a whole army with him in there! Eventually he admitted defeat but said that he wished to be able to leave with his army…they agreed to this and I can only imagine their faces when one sole man walked out!
On another day we did a terrific walk up a mountain (alright…steep hill) to an iron mine. Amazingly Health and Safety have obviously not paid a visit because you could easily walk into the mine and nose around. I left the others to it, after two minutes in there I felt claustrophobic and left! The walk was stunning though, every mile had fabulous views and there were also some terrific Lizards sunning themselves. I named my favourite one Lionel and he followed us about for a bit which was quite entertaining. A real highlight was when we walked through a butterfly grove and some of the butterflies landed on me. They were so beautiful and as my grandmother loved them I felt quite close to her in that moment which was wonderful.
The most important part of a visit to France for me is to eat yummy ice cream, yet the French didn’t seem to realise how vital this was and were clearly hiding the stuff! I couldn’t find any any where! Every cafe we went to the waitresses just looked at me blankly…I was getting pretty distressed by it all until Bond’s dad came to the rescue and remembered a lovely beach side place that he was sure served ice cream! It was an epic drive down a very windy road but when we turned up it was totally worth it. It was the most delicious hazelnut ice cream I have had and I suspect waiting for it made it taste all the better…
Later on during the stay we went back to Bastia to the Citadel and explored around the harbour. The architecture is really quite something. Bond went rather mad showing us EVERY church in the place. My favourite one was the fabulous Roccoco one that reminded me of a Laduree shop, I quite expected a friendly priest to offer me a Macaroon! Once Bond accepted that we had had enough of churches his father and I insisted we went for ice cream – seems I had found something he really loved! We found a swishy place serving ‘artisinal’ ice cream and frankly we felt it would be rude not to go in and indulge! I had the most amazing grapefruit and peach sorbet – to die for. I was also able to buy a couple of gifts for my parents which I hope they will like!
One evening we all went out for dinner in the town, which was our treat to say thank you for the lovely invitation. The food was delicious, we had yummy bbq meat and I ate a delicious chocolate mousse (my fave!) the others had Castanier cake which I believe is made with chestnuts and was really delicious. It seems to be rather a delicacy there as they even had castanier ice cream. We had a fun evening with yummy wine – only in France is a 9 Euro bottle of wine excellent!
The other evenings we ate at the villa, naturally this meant we had to get some decent wine in. We headed to the wine merchant that was recommended to us. Cave Montemagni has a gorgeous shop overlooking a stunning valley and their vineyard was within walking distance of our villa. They couldn’t have been any lovelier and had us try heaps of wine so we could be sure of our choice. They even gave me a free ice bag to keep my wine chilled when we are out and about! Really sweet of them. If you ever stay in Patrimonio then definitely do go here – the Muscat is genuinely divine! As we had a lovely feline who visited us most evenings he was named Count Monti and he seemed quite pleased with the sudden title he had earned…even Bond’s mother was charmed and she is not such a cat fan as Bond and I!
On the last day we made the most of the villa and soaked up the last of the sun and did the dreaded packing. Bond and I walked down to visit the donkey we had kept driving past. Naturally we named him Domingo the Donkey and he was very friendly and very happy to be fed lots of bread by us! It was fun to roam around the local part of the town and get a feel for the place we were staying. There are a lot of dogs and cats roaming around and a few dogs in kennels which I presume are used for hunting. They were all rather excited to see people and get some affection in any case.
The next morning we had to leave seriously early to take our flight back to Dubai and this time Air France came through, they served champagne and the air steward was charming! I was also able to watch two fantastic films and all in all had a great flight, the only downside was they split up Bond and I so we were in separate rows which was a shame!
All in all I most definitely recommend a trip to Corsica, it’s really beautiful and full of history and things to see as well as terrific walks. The people for the most part were really lovely and the food is fantastic!