Life is a journey, not a destination, but I think it is actually both. We booked two weeks on the island of Corsica but getting there was a veeeery long and exhausting trip. We left our lovely house in the Alps and drove to Savona, Italy, crossing both the French & Italian Alps, and taking a $50 toll to cross the border. Our ferry to Corsica was scheduled to leave at 10pm and the car ride was about 6 hours, so we decided to take a break and stop for a short break in Turin. We found a shopping mall where the kids could run around and burn some energy (believe me, they are two firecrackers who want to explode anytime) before driving the final 2.5 hours to Savona. We were running low on gas and it was about 7:30, except all of the gas stations close at 7. How could we have know that!? We finally found a self serving gas station but try to read the instructions in Italian, good luck! Some very nice lady (another Good Samaritan) helped us out and we were good to go. We found the port without problem and got in line to be loaded on the boat.
Neither Rick or I have ever been on a cruise ship and honestly, I was a bit afraid of being on a boat for 10 hours. I love being in the water however, there is something about those cruise ships that doesn't fit my taste. Anyway, once we parked our car on the ferry, we were taken to our little cabin - very small and simple- two bunk beds and a tiny bathroom. It was actually not that bad, especially, since our arrival on the island was at 7 am. Leo and Mila were very excited and sat by the window until we departed. Shortly after 10 pm, we all fell asleep and woke up to the voice of the captain coming from the speakers and informing us that we arrived in Bastia, Corsica. Bastia is located on the northeast part of the island and our destination of Olmeta Beach was on the southwest part of the island, completely opposite side (about 4 hours drive). All I could hear in my head was "are we there yet!?". We got into our car and started driving.
Apparently the drive to our little town was spectacular, winding up and down the rugged interior of Corsica. I don't remember much because I passed out within minutes. I woke up 3 hours later to a sounds of a coughing child in the back seat. I looked back and all I saw was Mila vomiting everywhere! Seriously, 20km before our town! I had a dejavu moment - when I was pregnant with Mila, we traveled to California for two weeks. We were driving the Pacific Coast Highway, admiring the stunning views and suddenly, Leo started to vomit, 4 times in 3 hours. So when I saw Mila putting up her own show, it did not faze me. We have been there and have done that...so we pulled over, changed her and washed the car seat and car, as best as we could. Thank goodness our house had a washing machine!
We continued our road trip with four tired people, one screaming baby, a smelly car and no more words to say. At that moment I though to myself, why are we doing this!? I was exhausted, angry, furious, pissed, you name it. But then we got to our rental and I opened the balcony and saw this (picture). All I can say is that I can't wait to wake up tomorrow morning, make a coffee, sit on our balcony and look at the beautiful blue/turquoise water splashing against the rocks. That moment alone will make up for the previous 24 hours...
We’re at the height of tourist season in Corsica, but Rick chose Olmeta Beach for its seclusion, scenic views, and some of the best beaches around and we got it all. With the beach across the street from our apartment, we knew we’d be able to do exactly what we came for, relax to the sound of the Mediterranean Sea while the kids run around the beach and enjoy the sun. The weather was perfect for all of our 5 days here, 85 & sunny skies everyday with a nice sea breeze. The west coast of Corsica is known for its mountains and jagged beaches, with rocks & boulders jutting into the sea. Leo has a blast rock climbing at every chance he gets. He climbed pretty much all of the rocks located on every beach we visited. We didn’t do much driving here, which was quite a relief for Rick as he needed a break. We bounced between our beach across the street and one of the most famous beaches on the west coast, Cupabia Beach, 6 miles to our northwest.
Cupabia is a sunbathers paradise. It is nestled between mountain and sea with no development at all. You literally drive down the mountain, park your car on the side of a dirt road, and walk 200 meters over the sand dunes to this heaven on earth. If the backdrop of mountains was not enough, the crystal clarity of the water and gorgeous people make this spot a must. Rick and I had to go into our memory bank to see if anything rivaled this beach and to date, it tops our list. Leo continued to find more rocks to climb, Mila strutted around the shore line and Rick & I just enjoyed the therapeutic sounds of the sea with amazing views. We even spotted a mega yacht out to sea, and through our camera zoom, caught the name, “Here Comes the Sun”. With the power of Google, I come to find out this dandy costs $1.3 million to rent for 1 week! Ridiculous!
The views from our place is something out of a travel magazine. We get the kids to bed each night, enjoy a bottle of wine, and watch the sun set over the mountains & sea. I already feel like I’m on island time, and think Corsica is the perfect “break” from our very active month on our own. We open our balcony to the crashing waves on the rocks and call it a night.
Our last day in the south west part of Corsica was spent on Roccapina beach. Known as the “Lion’s Beach” because of its mountainous backdrop & lion looking figure at the top, this piece of paradise was located about 45 minutes by car from our village. As we were driving super windy and narrow roads through the mountains I was praying in my head that none of the kids throw up. My prayers were heard and this short trip to the beach was rather uneventful (I won't complain about that). The beach is very well hidden and you can tell its a locals beach. There are no signs for it on the road and in order to get there, towards the end, you need to take a dirt road for about 2km. We passed it on the first go around and Rick realized by the Lion’s head where the road was to get to the beach.
This place is another hidden gem, with clear turquoise water, and powder soft sand. When we got there, we were immediately warned about the jelly fish floating all over the water. There were probably 10-15 snorkels swimming around and catching the jelly fish into the nets. At first, it was a huge turnoff for us as it seemed to spoil the fact the water was sooooo enticing to swim. We were a bit afraid with the kids at first to go into the water but after while, when the weather got really hot, we decided to cool off. The water was so clear you were going to see any of them near you anyhow. We did see several jelly fish around us since the water was so clear but luckily we were not stung. The kids ran around, building sand castles, chasing each other and splashing in the sea. We stayed for good 3 hours and decided to drive back to our beach front apartment.
Our first week in Corsica reminded us a bit about our life in Florida, minus the work aspect. We fully enjoyed the beautiful beaches and swimming in the turquoise waters. There is something about the sound of the ocean/sea that puts you in the right state of mind. Life on the island of Corsica has been pretty simple - beach, beach and more beach. Add some good food and drinks to that equation and you have pretty darn good existence…