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Report 2028: Two Travellers on Corsica

By Doug Phillips from Canada, Spring 2012

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Page 3 of 14: To Bastia - Tuesday October 2

photo by Doug Phillips

Elba, the island of Napoleon's first exile

Public transit in Nice is excellent. Our ferry to Corsica was scheduled to depart at 2:00pm. We were able to catch a #7 bus (€1 each) a few steps from our hotel down to the port area. The port of Nice is quite extensive and a bit confusing for a first time visitor, so I asked a lady from our bus if she was going to Corsica. “Ajaccio ou Bastia?” she asked. When I replied, “Bastia,” she indicated that we were to follow her.

I really didn't know what to expect from the ferry, but I was pleasantly surprised. While most people drove onto the ferry either in their private autos, commercial vehicles or on tour buses, we were among a small group of pedestrians who got first pick of the several seating areas aboard. There was a storage room for our luggage, plenty of seating, several dining choices and many options for a stroll. The 5.5 hour crossing was not a hardship in any manner.

We arrived in Bastia at 8:15pm - lots of open water on the journey, but the highlight for me was seeing Elba in the near distance at one point. Eight years ago my wife and I took a day-trip from Tuscany to the island of Napoleon's first exile, and that day we were landing on the island of his birth.

I planned on hiring a cab at the port in Bastia to take us to our hotel - but no cabs were around. Many passengers drove off the ferry and most of the rest were met by friends or family - so no line of cabs looking for an easy fare. We walked about 900m to our hotel, the Best Western Bastia Centre, and in case you’re wondering, nobody walks downhill from a seaport.

We managed to have a late dinner at a restaurant around the corner and only a few minutes walk from the hotel. The food was OK, but everything else about it was nondescript - no intentions of returning.

The adventure begins tomorrow.

Next: Around Cap Corse

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