European Travel and the Coronavirus
Silver Spirit Cruise Photos
Port of Ajaccio
Silver Spirit arrived in the French port of 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, which is now Maritima Ferries, operates ferries on several routes between Marseille and Corsica.)
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.)
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.
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.
A poster on the information booth left us in no doubt about Ajaccio's most celebrated native. In the painting by Jacques-Louis David, makes a dashing figure on Marengo, his favorite horse (which just happens to rhyme with "Corse," the French name for "Corsica").
We cut through the Terminal Maritime et Routier, a.k.a. the
Maritime Station, and found ourselves on the main street behind Ajaccio's
Our map showed that the was just up the street, so we turned left and headed for the Place Foch.
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.
Dogs were in plentiful supply, accompanying both shoppers and the owners of market stalls.
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.
While walking from the Place Foch to Ajaccio's central business district, we encountered a man with a 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).
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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