Our first port is Bonifacio/Corsica
Trip Start Apr 13, 2011
19Trip End Apr 30, 2011
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mv Aegean Odyssey
Today we will discover the star of Corsica’s cliff-lined coast: the medieval town of Bonifacio and its walled citadel, Haute Ville, perched high above the sea. This magnificent town, founded in 828 by Bonifacio, the Marquis of Tuscany, is built on the site of an earlier Roman settlement. We are going to start with a tram ride to upper town that offers panoramic views at every turn (if it’s a clear day, you may spot Sardinia). Pass the eerie marine cemetery in the Bosco quarter and the 13th-century church of St. Dominique, a rare example of the Corsican Gothic style. Following our ride, enjoy a walking excursion through the heart of the historic district. Stroll along cobblestone streets lined with tall narrow houses, many originally built without doors so residents could enter by ladders they pulled up after themselves to prevent surprise attacks. Bonifacio’s architecture reflects its many centuries as a colony of Genoa. Admire the 12th-century cathedral, St. Marie Majeure, a mix of Romanesque, Baroque and Gothic architectural styles. Visit The Two Emperors Street, where Charles V and Napoleon Bonaparte once stayed, in 1541 and 1793 respectively. See the Place des Armes, the Jardin des Vestiges and an old market that offers sweeping views over the 230-feet cliffs. Pass through the enormous walls of the Porte de Gênes, once the only entrance to Haute Ville, (the drawbridge is a later addition). See the Chapel of St. Roch, built where the last plague victim died in 1528. We are geared up for heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain, with multiple uphill segments or where excursion features climbing in and out of local boats or small vehicles. The tram ride to Haut Ville is not advised for those with limited mobility.
We return to the ship for lunch
We are enjoying an afternoon at sea. Olga finally has time to try out the pool on board. Our group is taking part in a stimulating lecture given by a shipboard guest speaker, who is bringing history of our remarkable surroundings to life. We had our official introductions today and also had a lecture about food in Sicily by our group leader Michela. Fabulous weather all day long, but windy. Olga braved the whirpool.
We are now getting ready for our captain welcome cocktail party.
Sitting on deck at the Terrace Cafe we are enjoying wonderful views and a magnificent sunset.