Sailing around Corsica – Ajaccio

Ajaccio – Capital of Corsica

From Girolata we sailed to the Baie de Sagone, where we anchored for the night.  The following day we sailed to Ajaccio, the capital of Corsica and birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte.Although Ajaccio is likely to have been established some time in the 2nd century AD, the majority of buildings present today were built after the end of World War II.  Notably, no Jewish person was either executed or deported from Corsica during the war and Ajaccio is distinguished in being the first French city to liberate itself from Germany.

Ajaccio’s large port dominated in this photo by a cruise ship that appears even larger.
The jetty has been fortified by large concrete jacks that nestle together
The marina jetty extends beyond the ancient wall that afforded protection to the Citadel.

Donkeys now inhabit what was once a large moat surrounding the city castle
On our first evening in Ajaccio we strolled the street along the harbor where many vendors display their offerings.  George went one way and I the another where a met a gentleman with a rabbit.  He did not speak English or French that I could understand.  Corsica has a language distinct from French that is widely spoken locally – it may have been Corsican.  In any event, he let me pet his rabbit, Giovanni, with the expectation that I would offer him some payment.  I explained beforehand that I did not have any money at all, but unfortunately, it is clear he did not understand why I was not paying him.  I was troubled by the encounter as he did seem somewhat desperate.
On the following day, as we were heading to the market for provisioning, I saw “the rabbit man” walking along with Giovanni.  I cheerfully greeted him and he, me with kisses on each cheek.  I was so happy to have the opportunity to conclude our transaction – I holding Giovanni for a photo with the gentleman and George paying him several euros.
Afterward, this gentleman tried several times to tell me something, but I could not understand.  He perked up and twisted off some greenery from the celery we just purchased and placed it in Giovanni’s carrier and we parted ways.  It was only after I viewed the photo that I felt I saw a profound sadness in this man’s expression and I wish I understood what he was trying to tell me.
Giovanni, a kindred spirit, and me
The docks in the marina were teaming with these tube worms.  We had never seen them before or since
On the approach to Ajaccio we passed by someone behind a parachute boat who photo-bombed my shot of a large cemetery right off the water (seen in closeup, below).
All the cemeteries we have seen in Corsica have housed the departed in above ground mausoleums similar to this one (likely a consequence of the fact that Corsica is a gigantic pile of enormous rocks).  Some have a combination of very old and seemingly recent structures.
Ajaccio, just left of the entrance to the harbor
A principle reason we took a berth in Ajaccio was to provision at their market which is held every day.  We were rewarded with a large market full of vegetables, fruits, baked goods, spices, cheeses, meats – everything we could have hoped for.

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