Trip Start Jan 03, 2009
33Trip End Jun 18, 2009
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Where I stayed
It was good we got to the airport early because they didn't have my reservation on file! After a lot of worrying, it turns out that I made the reservation with my first name instead of my last name, whoops! Luckily, we got on the plane and it was really quick, only 40 minutes.
After we landed, we picked up our rental car because there isn't much public transportation on the island, especially to the tiny town that Ross found our B&B in. Ross thought it would be fun and less expensive if we got a manual. He's never even tried to drive one before. We made it to the edge of the parking lot before he stalled the first time. Luckily there were cars all around us plus some joggers when he stalled five more times. When we got out of the parking lot, we pulled over right away to a gravel road where Ross taught himself how to drive a stick in a half an hour. I was really impressed and didn't mind giving encouragement and enjoying the scenery (the beach was right across the road). The car was a brand new Peugeot (a French brand) so he was a little worried about learning on a brand new car.
Our directions to get to our B&B were a little vague, so it took us a while and a drive through the town of Ajaccio to finally get on the right road. This gave Ross a little more practice for the mountain roads he was going to battle. Yes, the roads in Corsica are all tiny and very windy. Ross did great and we got to the town of Campo, population 50, where our B&B, Chatelet de Campo sat on a hill overlooking a valley.
The area really reminds me of Malibu by Beth and Michael's house. We met Elizabeth, the owner, who is extremely nice, informative and talkative. She made us a reservation at a nearby restaurant where Ross had seafood pizza and I had salmon pasta with Rose wine.
The next day, we had a great breakfast made by Elizabeth with orange juice, coffee, yogurt, fruit, homemade bread and a special Corsican cake made with chestnut flour. Elizabeth lives on the top floor with her husband and three kids. Her and her husband moved to Corsica from Belgium to "start a new life" and remodeled the entire house by themselves.
During the day, we took a long drive to explore the towns around Campo. First, we went to Filitosa, a site with evidence of settlers on Corsica 10,000 years ago. Then we went to Sartene, an old town on the side of a mountain where we had lunch and soft serve ice cream, which the man let us pull ourselves. Then we drove through a few other small towns and admired the scenery.
Ross did grea ton the mountain roads and he believed me when I said that the car knew he was a beginner stick-driver because it said "virgin" on the dash board. It was actually just the radio station!
That night we drive all the way to Ajaccio for dinner and it was worth it! Both Ross and I had multi-course seafood meals that became our favorite of our whole time in France, and it wasn't very expensive either!
On Easter morning, Elizabeth had decorated the breakfast room with little eggs and bunnies everywhere. We had the usual breakfast plus hard-boiled eggs and a traditional bread shaped in a circle with an egg baked right into the crust. Then we head to Lake Tolla, not far away. We admired the big dam and tried to walk all the way around it but the path ended before we could make it. We returned to the car and had a picnic lunch of sausage, cheese, bread, apples and yogurt. On the way back we met a donkey on the side of the road at the village near the lake. We fed him some apple cores. Then we relaxed at the Chatelet and worked on a puzzle that we bought the day before.
For our Easter dinner, we went to a restaurant with a great view. I had charcuterie, an appetizer of different meats, and a traditional Corsican meal with a sausage called Funicellu. Ross and I both had ordered things that we had no idea what they were. He ended up eating something like veal with liver paste. When we got back to the Chatelet there were cows sitting in our parking space.
The next day we walked along the beach in Ajaccio and headed to the airport. When we dropped off the car at the rental agency, the man in the office told us they found a scratch on the driver's door. Ross and I both were very confused and scared because we knew there was no way we scratched the car and the man told us we would have to pay 363 euros! That is almost $500. We demanded to see the scratch and walked all the way back to the garage. I couldn't find any scratch on the car and the garage attendant told us that it was a mistake. As we walked back to the office, I told Ross that if the rude man in the office didn't apologize profusely, I would give him a piece of my mind. Ross tried to talk me out of it as we walked into the office where the man was waiting with a big smile on his face and two chocolate eggs for us.