Irregular Posts; Corsica 3

Thursday August 30, 2018 Hi, HomeAgainHomeAgain JiggiddityJig.  WOW, I was not used to the humid 90F heat.  I felt like being back in Cambodia. The last days of travel, I am focused.  Then at home, for the next day or so I have NO focus.  It’s like ALL concentration disappears and it is start something, get distracted, start something else >>>. Eventually all things kind of get “done” with my body many hours out of sync. Usually I wake up at 4AM and can not sleep. So I get up, make coffee, and go to “work”. My eyes get real dry and sleepy about 9PM and it is bed time. Over a week, I work my way back to normal. I am glad I do not have to really Go To Work upon returning home.   Deciding how to leave Bastia was something that I had not decided on until a couple of days before departure.  I had a hotel reservation and had to return car on Monday.  I had a reservation for Nice hotel for Tuesday evening near the train station and flights from Nice to Boston via Heathrow on Wednesday.  How to get from Bastia to Nice! Three choices. #1 was fly; with buses, it would be cost about 110 euro.  Benefit less time transiting but twice the most expensive ferry.  #2 was Corsica Ferry for 55 euro.   It departs about 8AM, arriving Nice early afternoon.  A 5-hour transit time and 24 hours to re-explore Nice in summer.  The last time in Nice was a couple days around Christmas.  #3 was Moby Ferry for 19 euro.  It...

Irregular Posts; Corsica

Saturday August 25, 2018 Bonjour “Bastia?  What’s exciting there?” “Exciting is not the word to describe Bastia.”  It is a laid back small working city with a few hot spots. Vieux Port (Old Port) and the Terre Vecchia (Old Town) have been there for a couple thousand years in one form or another. It has strong ties to the Genoese empire and would be Italian except Napoleon Bonaparte was born in Corsica and when he took over France, he made Corse a French Department.  Bastia doesn’t look French and doesn’t especially look Genovese either; I would say it looks Mediterranean. The Genoese citadelle and Terra Nova neighborhood occupies a craggy hilltop above the bowl shaped Old Port.  The pleasure and fishing boat packed harbor is surrounded by open and outdoor seating restaurants.  Fish is a local food draw. The restaurants are busy from noon to 2P and then 7P to 10P.   The harbor is guarded by two small lighthouses, fue, on either side of the narrow mouth.   Big ferries actually stop outside and BACK into their berth if their cargo door is in the stern so cars can exit.  Front loaders must back out of the harbor!!!  I saw no cruise ships the two days I was in town. I walked about 8 miles each day.  Multiple trips to the Old Part for different light.  Even so, it begins to look much the same … but slightly different light.  The last time was for dinner at one of the best restaurants, Chez Huguette, overlooking the harbor and all the activity.  I made reservation for their opening at 7PM...

Irregular Post; Bagnols2

Friday April 14, 2017 Bagnols en Foret Bonjour,             Noisy-quiet here.  The boys run and scrum and follow and jump and climb or chase laughing and occasionally voice significant displeasure with each other.  As you might expect, sharing is not yet  high on their list of behaviors.  Sometimes they sit and read with Meg or Alice or Francoise (Alice’s mother) who joined us from Paris mid-week or play with Daddy and the legos or Papy with long balloons.             Since David can not drive with his foot injury, I drive us in my tiny rented Fiat Panda to the big Carrefore in Frejus to do the shopping.  Unbelievable the variety of meats and cheeses and pastry and prepared dishes and wines there.  Want a whole fresh rabbit (skinned and gutted for sure) for roasting?  Varied fresh lamb and veal cuts?  Assorted fresh terraines or pates? Got it.  They had a wine special earlier in the week; 50 euro store credit when you buy 150 euros of wine.  Got it.              Tuesday we visited the beach in Ste Maxime (Turkish kabab for lunch), historical centre Frejus on Thursday (Lebanese take away for lunch).  David’s foot injury limits the kind of places we walk and visit.  Francoise saw Meg take a foto of a rotisserie roasted lapine (rabbit) beside the roast chicken.  She bought it for dinner.              Frejus was called Forum Juli when founded by Julius Caesar in 44AD.  There is a large ancient forum, aqueduct, and a fine  archaeological museum (not yet visited by us) there. It is a “go back to” when the kids are not with...

Irregular Post; Bagnols Again

Monday April 10, 2017 Bagnols en Foret Bonjour,             Quietly eventful.             KLM flights to Gena via Amsterdam began last Thursday with hard rains in Boston. Storms in the south and midwest screwed up air-traffic so that there were bad lines at terminals in BOS. After 90 minutes in one line we were hailed “Anyone for Amsterdam?  Follow me.”  Four couples left the LONG line and started a short expedited line for check-in.             “OhOh!  Your reserved seats do not exist!  I’ll have to find new ones.”  said the agent.  “OK.  I have two near each other but not together; #26J and 27H”.  It turned out 26 and 27 are separated by toilets.  I am in an exit row with “extra leg room”.  Our new Global Entry card allowed us quick easy TSA pass through; very nice!              The plane was not at the gate when were supposed to load. “It is being towed over here (Terminal A) from terminal E.”  Through the rain, and occasional lightening, it appeared and carefully avoided the wings touching any other plane.  We did take off after only 100 minutes delay.  Not a problem as we had a four hour layover in Amsterdam.              Genoa is a small airport, easily negotiated for baggage, passport check, car rental, and exit on a Friday afternoon.  We have a Fiat Panda!  A “cute” little diesel manual shift car.  The trunk is only large enough for our two backpacks.  Out and onto the autostrada heading for a night stay in Finale Ligure, Italy, an hour from Genoa and three more hours from Bagnols.  Destination an agritourissmo specializing...

Irregular Post; January Paris

Thursday Jan 12 2017 Bonjour “Paris in winter?’ Yes, as you know, Paris in winter doesn’t really do sunny skies. Although we did experience one welcome morning with partly cloudy for a couple of hours. Typically, damp or drizzle or mist or light rain or just damp. Layer for all possibilities and, if you can, look currently stylish. We have been on the go almost all day, every day. We got a Metro pass in December with our picture on it. It can be loaded for 7 days of unlimited rides on all trains and buses but it can only loaded for Monday to Monday. Meg is the Metro genius; I just follow and look for the signs. Based on recommendations, we had reservations for food at two upscale establishments and visited three museums and a couple of markets and MANY streets. Louis Vuitton Museum, European Museum for Photography, the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation Museum. Lunch at Aux Lyonaise and dinner at L’Atelier. Louis Vuitton Foundation is a Frank Gehry architecture building and had a major exhibition of master painter works that were in a russian collector’s collection; Picasso, Matisse, and MANYMANY more. Being the only museum open on Monday it was CROWDED. They do not have the infrastructure to handle those crowds. We waited on line for 90 minutes to buy tickets. TIP: do not go on Monday without a per-purchased ticket. GO for the earliest time they open in AM. Be prepared to look through crowds at the paintings.  Enjoy the interior architecture; it reminded me of the Star Wars Death Star Tuesday’s lunch; hearty three course Lyonaise...

Irregular Post; Bagnols en Foret

Dec 29 BonSoir,           Chilling in Bagnols with the family.  Nice was lovely around Christmas weekend.  Sunsets were amazing because the clouds were above the horizon and the sun lit them from below.            Bagnols is an hour away by highway and then some narrow winding roads.  LOOVELLY to see everyone and the two little ones; 2 1/2 and 1 years old.  Tristan is trilingual in French Mandarin and English, and Gabriel is monolingual in baby. “travel light and wear a...