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13th May, 2013



The tail end of a ‘Mistral’ was experienced as we crossed over from Mahon towards Corsica, but the brisk north westerly wind and swell were of little consequence to our guests. By the time we sailed into the long bay of Ajaccio, the sea had calmed and the sky was blue.

From the sea it is such a pretty place and it was a delight to return after many years of being away, in fact the last time was six or seven years ago when there was just a touch of political unrest. The separatists had sent a rocket into the police station the night before and the Harbour Master refused to allow our passengers ashore. We anchored for a while until I was advised that the local fishermen were going to block our exit from the port if we stayed any longer.

Military men in Ajaccio

The town is the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte and, needless to say, he is remembered as a hero. Apart from his home being a museum, there are plenty of other reminders dotted around so it was no surprise to come across some men in 19th century costume who had obviously just come away from a minor historical pageant. Their relaxed gait and state of undress indicated that they were not exactly modern military men.

We took a stroll along the marvellous date palm lined promenade, then eventually came back to a pavement café and sampled a small bottle of the local beverage which was unenthusiastically served by a waiter who gesticulated we should move to the table not laid up with paper napkins and cutlery.

Considering the place was empty of other custom I thought he was being just a tad petulant. Across the narrow street a lady of mature years continued to look down at the comings and goings from a first floor window.

Local lady

The lunchtime rush never did materialise, so there was little for her to observe and she had shut up the shutters by the time we left the still empty café to return on board. The afternoon was glorious and many of our folks took the opportunity to sit out and enjoy the sunshine until we departed. Our pilot, on board for less than five minutes, spent all that time explaining how busy they were. I must be missing something.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.