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From: Silver Spirit Cruise Review

Port of Ajaccio

Downtown Ajaccio

SNCM ferry in Ajaccio, Corsida

Silver Spirit arrived in the French port of Ajaccio, Corsica at 8 a.m.

From our veranda, we could see downtown Ajaccio rising up in tiers from the waterfront, with a car-passenger ferry of SNCM tied up at a pier nearby. (SNCM operates ferries on several routes between Marseille and Corsica.)


Breakfast on Silver Spirit

With a long day of sightseeing ahead of us, we loaded up our fuel tanks with a good breakfast: in Durant's case, a plate of herring, mackerel, pastries, a pancake, and two slices of melon, with a small bowl of Muesli on the side. (Not the most nutritious breakfast, perhaps, but with only 24 hours left before disembarkation, self-indulgence was easy to rationalize.)


View from gangway of Silver Spirit

MV Discovery

As we left Silver Spirit, we could see another ship moored across from us: MV Discovery, which began life as the Island Venture in 1972 and is currently operated by Voyages of Discovery. 


Tourist office booth in port of Ajaccio

The "Welcome to Ajaccio" information booth was closed as we walked toward the cruise terminal, but no matter: We'd already picked up a free Ajaccio: Napoleonic Call city map at the Slver Spirit shore concierge's desk.


Painting of Napoleon on horse in Ajaccio

A poster on the information booth left us in no doubt about Ajaccio's most celebrated native. In the painting by Jacques-Louis David, Napoleon Bonaparte makes a dashing figure on Marengo, his favorite horse (which just happens to rhyme with "Corse," the French name for "Corsica").


Terminal Maritime et Routier, Ajaccio

Ajaccio Cruise and Ferry Terminal

We cut through the Terminal Maritime et Routier, a.k.a. the Maritime Station, and found ourselves on the main street behind Ajaccio's waterfront.


Ajaccio Public Market

Our map showed that the Public Market was just up the street, so we turned left and headed for the Place Foch.


Olives in Ajaccio street market

Candy vendor in Ajaccio, Corsica public market

Gummi candies in Ajaccio, Corsica

The market was a true local street market--not just a tourist market--with fruits and vegetables, meats, bulk olives, gummi candies, and other staples of daily life.


Dog in Ajaccio market

Ajaccio marketplace dog

Dogs were in plentiful supply, accompanying both shoppers and the owners of market stalls.


Napoleon and Fountain of the Four Lions in Ajaccio

More animals (albeit carved ones) were evident at the Place Foch with its statue of the "Roman Emperor" Napoleon and the Fountain of the Four Lions.


Bearded Collie in Ajaccio, Corsica

While walking from the Place Foch to Ajaccio's central business district, we encountered a man with a Bearded  Collie named "Tigre," who--except for his grey-and-white coloring--could have been a dead ringer for our own Beardie (who stars in the "Maggie in Venice" dog blog).


Pigeons in Ajaccio

Nearby, a partial pride of pigeons made us think of the Rolling Stones song, "I'm Just Sittin' on a Fence."


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