Friday, January 22, 2021

Heading up to Bastia, Corsica

We depart Bonifacio for the four hour drive up the coast to Bastia where we will catch a ferry to Nice.  Heading up the coast, we drive by a number of beautiful beaches and, after passing one too many tempting locations, make a U-turn, park and walk in to enjoy the view and have a refreshing drink.

 Stop at a small beach along the road

Enjoying our Diet Cokes

We're not ready for lunch, but we admire the fish cooking on the wood-fired grill and the pizzas in the wood-burning pizza oven at the small restaurant where we have our beverages and hope we'll find something this good when we are hungry in a few hours.

Beach restaurant, lunch in process

Later, we're ready for lunch and stop in at a Boulangerie/Patisserie in a small town, sharing baguette sandwiches and a glass of wine.  Ok, it's not fish from the grill, but it's fresh, wonderful-tasting, and just the right amount.


We roll into Bastia, check into Hotel Port Toga, across from the ferry terminal, and head over to the old port for dinner, picking Restaurant Cote Marine.  We share two Formula meals:  starting with antipasti (zucchini, bell pepper, arugula, parmesan, crostini, olive tapenade) and an octopus salad, followed by Corsican pizza (olives, mushrooms, ham, cheese) and penne with langostino and mussels, with a cheese plate and profiteroles for desert.   While we're dining, a group serenades us from outside the restaurant.  Ok, we're coming back here again also!

 Corsican pizza, penne with langostino and mussels

Cheese plate, profiteroles, music to dine by

We walk back through the port and the quiet streets of Bastia, full, content, and ready to relax before the next stage of our journey.  We meet a  group of runners heading the other way, getting a little exercise and having a great time in the fresh evening air.

 The old port

Strolling through the streets

We rise early to catch the first ferry from Bastia to Nice.

 Early morning ferries

 Leaving Bastia

The ferry trip to Nice is five hours and we read, lounge around, and eat the wonderful hot fresh croissants and chocolate croissants (pain au chocolat) that we picked up at the just-opening bakery near the port before we boarded the ferry.

Hanging out in the ferry

As we get closer, we recognize Monaco, Cap d'Ail, Èze, then the familiar sites of Nice.

 Approaching Nice, entering the harbor

We wheelie off the ferry into old town, where we start looking for a restaurant to camp out and enjoy lunch.  After a block or two, we spot several possibilities and pick one that appeals to us.  We enjoy two kinds of mussels (with mustard and with chrorizo), accompanied by fish salad with octopus, calamari, shrimp, and mussels.  And, for desert, profiteroles.

Fish salad

Mussels two ways, profiteroles

We're still in France and need to make the most of our dinning options!

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