June 8, 2013
[Note: No, I didn't give in to the temptation to jump on a plane and head back to Corsica so soon after my trip in May. My computer had a meltdown recently, and I thought I had lost a good portion of my photos from the island. Thanks to the miracle workers at Apple, such turns out not to be the case. So, here we are -- with some out-of-order posts from Corsica. I hope you enjoy them anyway, despite them being a bit later than expected.]
I think that there’s an instinct in those who travel frequently to avoid the restaurants with the best views, because we assume that they’re inevitably going to be tourist traps with sub-par food. Or be extraorinarily expensive. Or, likely, both. So it’s always a refreshing surprise to find a restaurant with a stunning view, delicious food, and reasonable prices like Chez Vincent in Bastia.
With an unbeatable view overlooking the old port and food that includes Corsican specialties such as veal stewed with chestnuts (above, served as a savory millefeuille) and a catch of the day served en papillote, as well as a page full of pizzas, Chez Vincent manages to have a dish for every craving, without being sycophantic.
Additionally, I will always be grateful to this restaurant for introducing me to my new favorite apéritif: Cap Corse, a fortified wine with a quinine base.
May 24, 2013
It has been raining every hot-damn day in Paris this week. I can’t tell if I’m making myself feel better or torturing myself by looking at these pictures from La Marana beach during our trip to Corsica.
What I wouldn’t give to be lying on that beach right now. Especially since I acquired an especially blotchy tan due to uneven sunblock application.
May 20, 2013
During our day-trip in Ajaccio, I had what was possibly the most charming encounter with a stranger that I’ve ever experienced.
A couple of us were eating lunch on the terrace of a small Italian joint in the old town, and I was sketching the small church just across from us, when an older gentleman came up and, in French, complimented me on the drawing. He proceeded to tell me that I should make sure to get the bell tower in the sketch, and I assured him I would as soon as I finished filling in the details of the face of the building. He wished us a good day and went on his way.
As we paid our bill and were getting ready to leave, the same gentleman came by and asked to see the finished sketch. After looking at it and complimenting me on a job well done, he asked if he could draw as well, to which I responded, bien sûr!
He spent about five minutes drawing the little church for us, during which time I learned that he’s been living in Ajaccio, and in fact on the same little street as this church, since he was a little boy.
May 16, 2013
During our trip to Corsica, we took a day-trip to Ajaccio, birthplace of one Napoleon Bonaparte. Perhaps you’ve heard of him.
The ancestral Bonaparte home, Casa Buonaparte, is still intact, having been continually owned by members of the family until 1923. It is now a national museum housing relics of the Emperor and his family.
I did this weird thing where I was completely uninterested in the historically significant pieces inside the museum, but fixated on the windows and what you could see of of them instead.