Bonifacio, sitting at Corsica’s southern end (in a way, the most southerly point of France) and one ferry hour away from northern Sardinia, is one of Corsica’s main tourist spots.
The old city is perched on top of a high cliff in a quite breathtaking way. Its large natural harbour is home of dozens of yachts, and in the summer, it is visited by giant cruisers almost on a daily basis. From our temporary base in northern Sardinia, we could see them slowly approach like spaceships.
The harbour part of Bonifacio is full of restaurants and very expensive t-shirt shops. We had a salade italienne and a jus d’orange after we arrived, and marveled at the various million-dollar-yachts, but to get to the old town on the cliff, we had to climb the steep road.
The city walls and the outer houses are sitting directly on the edge of the cliff. I wonder what it is like to live in such a house and maybe have breakfast on a balcony above the sea, with lots of nothing below you.
The old city itself is picturesque of course, but we really wondered why some of the money that gets spent by the thousands of daily tourists isn’t invested in renovation. Many of the houses were in a very bad shape. Obviously, the money disappears in the hands of people who find better ways to spend it. After all, tourists continue to come, regardless of the condition of the old town!
A short look at Christian violence fantasies, mostly because the church was a good place to sit and cool down for a few minutes after walking around in the heat … this life-sized wooden martyr scene, weighing hundreds of kilograms, was sitting on a platform that could be carried around for some Christian ceremonies, hopefully taking place in a cooler time of the year.
Time to go back to the ferry. This lovely lady in the waiting hall caught my attention because she was busy loudly browsing the frequencies on a Sony short wave radio. She seemed to really love this little box, and continued playing with it later on the ferry back to Sardinia. I enjoyed being treated with this unexpected avantgarde sound installation.
Leaving Corsica and France, back to Italy. It was good to have been back to this remarkable place. I had visited it once in 1988 together with my American girlfriend (a year before I met Sabine). We had been on a round trip on Corsica, and while visiting Bonifacio, we had even met her older sister and her sister’s husband, who happened to be here on that day during a cruise tour of the Mediterranean. Looking at my photos again from that time, I am surprised how young I was then … and how distant it feels. A different self.