Friday, 3 November 2017

Corsica IV: Piana and the Calanches

Back to the coast, we stayed a couple nights in an elegant hotel from the early twentieth century.  Les Roches Rouges in Piana was the place to be in the 1920's, but was abandoned for several decades.  It is now being resurrected, and has an appealing decayed art deco Jazz Age vibe - it is a pretty fine place to be in this century too.
Like most places in coastal Corsica, there's a beach.  No aggressive cows here, but there was a large herd of goats to navigate by on the winding road from Piana.  And - unusual in our experience on Corsica - there were other people on the beach.  Nine of them, to be precise (I counted).  One of the 16th-century anti-pirate guard towers dominates a rock outcrop in the background.
A main attraction in the area is the Calanches, a range of jagged red mountains eroded into fantastical shapes.  We climbed way up into the alpine, seeing only one other person - a Corsican hunter who pointed out the best trails, speaking in Corsu, which is a surprisingly understandable medieval form of Italian with some French thrown in.  We did a bit of scrambling up some small peaks, where the eroded stone made ridiculously easy hand- and foot-holds.  I sat on top of one outcrop and drew the rock formations, one of which looked either like a French aristocrat or mating cows, depending on your point-of-view.

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