T Mobile Rant
My phone number will be up soon. It has hardly been used these past months. This does not matter because the clause the restriction is to the length of time you predominantly use roaming – not about the amount of use.
So…. in the very near future we will have difficulty with Internet access – our phone and text services will not be effected. Internet is a necessity as George needs to check multiple weather models each day to keep us safe.
Oh well – we are deep into our research of what plan may work for us in the Caribbean.
Now let me tell you about Bonifacio
|Approaching Bonifacio Old Town|
Allison, Mike, Riley and Tristan joined us in Sardinia on August 21st. It needs to be said that I could not be more grateful that our children have carved out vacation time from their many obligations in the “Real World” to join us in our “Dream come true World”.
Allison and Mike took the spare cabin and Riley and Tristan slept in the workroom – Riley in an ample, if slim, nest on the counter top; Tristan in a hammock that failed to grow as much as Tristan had over the past year. Tristan did not seem terribly daunted by this fact and took to sleeping with his legs draped out along the hammock sides.
A bad weather system called a Mistral was forecast during their stay with us. A Mistral is a strong, cold, dry, northerly wind in France. The strong winds of a Mistral and the large swells that develop, make for uncomfortable, at best, sailing and anchoring.
One item on everyone’s “Choose your own vacation itinerary” was to visit old towns and castles. So…We decided to sail the short distance (~ 7 miles) across to Corsica and spend several days in Bonifacio.
The Citadel and Old town of Bonifacio were built in the 9th century on the top of white, limestone, cliffs which are about 230 feet above sea level. Legend has it that a staircase, named the Staircase of Aragon, was hand-carved out of the limestone in a single night by soldiers of King Aragon during a siege in 1420. However, it is widely believed that it was carved out by Franciscan monks long before King Aragon’s reign. The staircase leads to a spring with fresh water.
|Staircase of Aragon showing modern safety
|Staircase of Aragon visible as diagonal line|
Allison longed to climb the stairs and Riley was quick to second her desire. I said I was not going to pay 5 euros to climb 187 stairs (said playfully, but sincerely). By the end of our stay in Bonifacio we must have climbed 10 times that many stairs, but we never did climb these fabled ones.
I feel a little bad about that.
The town overlooks a natural harbor that now includes a modern marina.
|This large, natural, harbor is both beautiful and unique in Corsica|
|Ramparts at edge of remaining cliff|
The cliffs have been undermined by the sea and portions of the Citadel walls and some residences seem precariously perched at the edge of of overhanging cliffs. There is conspicuous evidence of large portions of what was once part of the cliff down below.
|Portions of what once was a part of the cliff lie below|
|Note reinforcement of the cliff face|
Despite the appearance of imminent collapse, I trust a close eye is kept on this national treasure to ensure it will be kept safe for centuries to come.
For our first visit to the Old Town, we rode a small “train”, similar to the one we rode to Monet’s gardens with Margaret and Burt. From that point on we hiked up the 200+ feet – George and I likely made the trip 2-3 times a day – Allison, Mike, Riley and Tristan surely were up and down more often than that.
|The climb sure felt more steep than this picture shows|
We explored the narrow streets, and like much of Corsica, found few adornments compared with Old Towns on the France mainland.
We followed gravel paths beyond the town that led us to beautiful new views of the town, cliffs, and an old cemetery.
|We must have taken 20 pictures of these cliffs. This one, taken by Mike, is my favorite.|
|Defensive walls surrounding the ancient town complement the protection afforded by the cliffs|
|This cemetery in Bonafacio, like of most we saw in Corsica, was entirely above ground.|
Many shops were essentially man-made caves carved out of the stone.
|This candy store had a narrow entryway and continued deep into the mountain.|
Riley and Tristan are great travelers. They want to see and try every new thing and are always up to pose for a picture.
Tristan was excited to see a castle and unfortunately there is no castle, per se in Bonafacio. On top of that, the fort was closed. It appeared to have been converted to a school.
George hung a line from the mast so the kids could swing (when we were not under sail).
Tristan went first and suffered quite a bit until we got the harnesses padded better.
We (especially Tristan) were antsy for the beach so we climbed up to old town and then down to a small beach.
The water was rough from the mistral so no one swam but we spent a nice day climbing rocks, conversing, and searching for sea glass.
|Wine bottles make great beach glass|
The following morning Allison, Mike, Riley and Tristan were still in search of a beach where they could swim. They set off on a hike that lasted a good part of the day.
They climbed up one tall hill and down into another valley over and over again. Their fit-bit estimated they climbed the equivalent of 137 flights of stairs and walked 9-10 miles.
They had encountered a number of beautiful beaches along the way but never could decide which one to swim at.
May your lives and ours be filled with many more days like these.
|Riley is missing because she took this great picture|