Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ajaccio, Corsica

decorated cheese rounds
pic of goat milker bottom left
Ajaccio’s claim to fame is that this spot was the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte.

The street names, multiple monuments and the main plaza all pay homage to its renowned native.

I love my morning walks on the deck.

But walking along palm lined avenues and checking out the local market is just one step above the former for exercise.

I like to check out the cuisine by looking at the stalls in the local food market.

Rebecca had purchased some cherries when we were in Toulon at the market, and I wanted another feast of them as I was walking along the market.

But it was hard to choose – I started taking pictures of what we don’t have at home – a tomato so large that it I couldn’t hold it in the palm of my hand, a local goat cheese round that was decorated with flowers, and the a picture of the merchant at the side of her both – there she was captured at home, sitting on a stool, milking her goats.

I walked along the top of the old city wall, trying to get a picture of the white sails of a yacht in the same picture as the light house – and listening to a man trying to explain to his four year old, why the child can’t see the light in the lighthouse.

“Because it is daytime,” the day was saying. “You just can’t see it.”

The little boy just doesn't get it.

Around the corner was a long stretch of pristine beach, families I recognize from the boat, already laying down their towels. I didn’t recognize the families – but I did recognize the cuisine line towels laid out along the beach.

Cheese rounds ... so round
I saw an old man fall in the market place.

Laying there his hand was held up, trembling, and people were surrounding him, placing their sweaters under his head to pillow it. I saw another fall coming back to the ship.

Someone had tried to get out of their wheel chair and fallen.

Four people tried to help her get up, with such power that she went from a backward fall to a forward one, onto her knees this time, still unable to move.

I am full from the boat but want to buy vegetables.
When I go out alone I have taken to carrying some identification – and I have stopped trying to eat gelato, take a picture with my camera and go down stairs, all three at the same time. I like to triple, or at least double up my pleasures, but in the interest of continuing to enjoy single pleasures, I no longer multi-task my happiness.

This day I was checking out fashionable European beachwear.

That is not to say, that I don’t have enough cover-ups at home, but when packing for this trip – it was hard to get everything I would need for 2 months into 2 bags.
The tomato was bigger than the palm of my hand.

Still it was a fashion statement at the beach – a bit of longing for the old days when I could wear those bikinis, a bit of guilty pleasure in the simple of fact of being alive and being able to stroll along such a beach.

I looked down from the quay to see the Carter-Johnson family below me – Alex as far out from the beach and into the water as far as any simmer; Duncan calling from closer in to his dad, trying to convince him that the water was just fine.

 I didn’t join them.
The ornament is a weight to keep the meat piled high

I know my limitation, and I had been out already two hours and I still had a one hour walk back to the boat ... which I continued, lest I be tempted to descend the narrow stairs of the high tide wall and go into the water with my walking clothes on.


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