London-Figari

roccapina

In my web wandering, sometimes i come across some very good informations. For example it was my goal to reach Bonifacio using its own airport, the Figari Sud Corse Airport.
Flights from France are very expensive, and in any case i would not have had any interest in departuring from Marseille or Nantes for example. But i discovered London has a flight. And it’s cheap. So it’s mine.
I’ve been in London 2 times in my life. The first one in 10.2007, my first flight. The second while coming back from Las Palmas island, a one-night stopover.

Day 1: From Cuorgne’ to London

Shard
That morning i started from my old domicile in Vanchiglia, Turin. The usuale path requesting 45′ to reach my office. After a quick check on the ordinary things, i was another time in the car, and at 9 i was into the airport. 3,5 h later, with a change of time zone, me and my brother were in Stansted airport, waiting for the National Express bus towards Liverpool Street station (1h). The tickets are sold in a complete automatic way. I used to think that automatization would let the stuff less expensive… i was wrong.
Brownie
The first problem here is “how to move our ass”? Some MoBike out of the office are the answer. The registration is quite fast and you can use the QR code printed below the saddle. The second step is to pay. Not so cheap, but in any case more convenient than the subway. After 9′ we reached Borough Market.
This was the biggest open market of London until it was closed in the middle of eighteenth century because of the congestions it was cause of. Indeed it’s position is quite good: just below the tower bridge and the are called “Pool of London”, an ex commercial harbour, Borough market is no more a kind of grocery, but a sort of huge street food festival.
FishChips
In 30′ you can buy a good sandwich and a brownie, like we did.
in 15′ we reach the Tower Bridge, maybe the most famous London monument. It consists of two bridge towers tied together. The maximum height is 65 m, and it was built for increasing the number of bridges connectiung the 2 faces of London during its years of maximum development (end of 1800).
Superman
20′ minutes of photo and then it’s the time of Tower of London, which has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of England. It has been founded in 1066 during the Norman conquest of England.
Also here 15′ for having a quick walkaround are sufficient and it’s time to have the check in in our hotel, the Cosy Rooms Sidney Square in Whitechapel area, a quite shabby area.
Famous in the past for the vicissitude of Jack the Ripper.
Trafalgar
30′ from that area, with our beloved MoBikes, we reach Trafalgar Square, commemorating Nelson’s victory over the French and Spanish in 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars. The 4 lion statues guards the admiral.
The London Eye is waiting for us (but before we choose to pass some time in Starbuck coffee in Belvedere rd), it’s facing the Thames, behind the Waterloo station (the first you reach coming from France by the train…). The ticket is quite expensive (27£) but it’s possible to plan the visit choosing a time.
Tower Bridge
Since at that time the line is too long, we choose the lates hour (8 pm) and in the meanwhile we go towards Buckingham Palace, the most expensive private house of the world.
From LEye
The road is quite simple but we get lost after buying the magnets of London (beautiful). Westminster station is hidden (like Big Ben clock, under repair). In 30′, passing through Green Park, we reach the attraction. No flag, so no queen.
Back to London Eye, for our 40′ 360° tour (so 2.62e-3 rad/s and 4.8 €/rad). The view, as you can see from the picture, is amazing.
Using the subway of Waterloo station, we reach Covent Garden: the light is beautiful but it’s just 9 pm, so all the shops are closed. We go on towards Piccadilly Circus, passing through Piccadilly Circus station.
Sotto LEyey
That’s my favourite place in London, so full of people, cars, huge monitors… You can feel at the centre of the world. The time for a panorama and, through Shaftesbury Ave, we reach first the LGBT quartier of London (I don’t know if this is the right name, but it was full of gay locals and LGBT flags) and then the Chinese one.
Chinese entrance
with metro, after 45′ from Piccadilly we reach the final destination of the day: Poppies Fish and Chips, a very typical fast food restaurant near Liverpool Street st.
Big Ben
That dinner has been ENJOYED. I council this beer.
In the bed at 1130 pm, too many km done

Day 2: From London to Bonifacio

Wake up at 7 and straight to St. Paul’s Cathedral, located in the highest point of London and also, at 111 m high, it was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1967.
In the nearby, on Ludgate Hill, there is a Joe’s Kitchen restaurant, a little franchise of 4 restaurant all over the UK. It’s interesting because you can pay via internet and because of the huge breakfast you can enjoy here (picture somewhere in the page). 1 h breakfast here is not so impossible to achieve.
My brother now turned romantic, and he went to buy a Pandora gift to his girlfriend, always well accepted .
The shop is located at Oxford Circus, once a residential district, now a retail one.
Breakfast
The Natural History Museum it’s our last stop. Like other publicly funded national museums in the United Kingdom, the Natural History Museum does not charge an admission fee, he’s supported by private donations.
Mammuth
in almost 2 h we take a subway and a train, and we reach the irreproachable Stansted airport. Our bad habits in eating are maintained and we visit the local BK, just beside the metal detectors. X-rays detect i have fullfilled my original Thermos: it’s time to drink 1 l of water at once (干杯).

Air Corsica does not inspire confidence on me. Too late for afterthoughts.
2.5 h later we are in the lush Corsica, Figari airport. The friend Gilles is waiting for us (no, it’s not true. That taxi-driver was going i don’t know where).
BK
30′ – 45 €, around 0.2 €/km. Nice shot.
Andrea Border
First we need some scooter for the next day, so we choose a local shop for renting, just behind the “Station d’avitaillement portuaire”, located here.
The price is quite good (65€) and we go to the hotel’s check in. The beautiful girl at the reception tolerates my poor french and we achieve a room at I floor, with view over NW (Madonnetta lighthouse and Hermitage de la Trinite).
The sun is still high and the temperature is good: that means RUNNING! Starting from the hotel first you can have the warm up facing the sun on the gouvernail (the parking area behind the city graveyard). My brother was taking picture there (photo somewhere). Passing through the city center you can start to smell the sweetness of the restaurants starting preparing dinner, and the people are clearly astonished from those.
Matteo Border
just finished the warm up, after 2 km, you abandon the city and start to run through the nature, with a gentle breeze pushing you toward the Pertusato lighthouse (Mistral). The road presents several rise and fall but it’s in good conditions. Approaching the lighthouse it’s possible to notice several shortcuts because of some trails beside the road.
Gouvernail
The lighthouse is not changed since the last time i’ve been there, 1 year before. At 100 msl, you are at the southernmost point of Corsica. You can call it in order to receive some weather info and it produces a halogen 1000W light. We can remember here that an halogen lamp is different from the classical incandescents because the chemical reaction between the halogen gas and the tungsten filament increases the efficiency and the color temperature. The negative side is the higher temperature at which they work.
I complete the path in about 1h and, after shower, we go to eat at Les Voyageurs restaurant. Nothing special is my boring comment.

Day 3: Flaneur in Corsica

Next day we start with a good breakfast at B52 bar. During the night it’s also a disco. On the scooter we reach, at 10′ from Bonifacio, the parking of Hermitage de la Trinite, belonged to some hermit in the medieval times. From that yard starts the Sentier de Fenu, a 3.5 km long trail which brings to Phare Capu Di fenu.
Capo Testa
The track is quite lovely and lonely: no one hiking with us. The maquis is surrounding us and the sky is blue. It’s not so hot so we quite enjoy the path.
Arrived at destination an old lighthouse is there to welcome us. A quick exploration is mandatory: this building is made by 4 parts: the entrance, a too dark cellar to see anythinig, a first floor in which are present the electric equipments and the terrace (above 20m asl), with the light and some antennas.
In front of the building there is a sort of natural pool and we manage to throw our asses into it. The water is very cold and my skin starts to be red in few minutes. Our GoPro camera is ready there to take some pictures.
at 12 we are at the parking and, with a quick ride, we reach Propriano at 1330. It’s a little touristic city faced on the west side of Corsica, of about 3.000 inhabitants. In the summer it’s full of people and colours.
The Valinco Gulf is beautiful on that day and we decide to eat in L’Annexe, a cheap bar at 100 m from the harbour. Nearby there’s a local festival, i don’t remember so well what’s the meaning, but i remember the waffles we tasted: full of chocolate and M&Ms. I got 1 kg only watching at them.
Capo Fenu
Coming back from the city we decided to reach the genoese tower of Tour d’Olmeto. After many picture during the road (from Sartene to Bonifacio the road becames beautiful) gMaps suggested us to pass through a white road. Little problem: From deck

Our scooter is a shity Honda 4T 125 and in 2 people i’m quite afraid to face up the hard road that was presenting to us. My brother is quite skilled in this way and he takes the control of the situation.
After scaring away some cows (who knows the end they did into the maquis…) we arrive at too difficult spot (but beautiful) and it’s time to come back. The road it’s wrong and i suggest to start from that point, NOT that.
After a quick visit to La Tonnara beach, in front of a comfortable residence, we proceed with the check out from the hotel (Magda still have my brother bracelet…) and we take the ferry to S.Teresa of 17:00.
Tonnara
After 1 h sailing (50€) and 1 h waiting (never ask an american coffee in S.Teresa…) we take the bus of 19:00 and in 30′ we’re in Palau. The dinner is the typical porceddu. Imported from Spain, this dairy pig was originally eaten only during easter festival. Recently Sardinian people are allowed to export this product over the mainland, after several decades of ban due to few cases of pig plague during 70s.
Porceddu
Cucumiao local is fantastic, near (only 5′ from Palau), as well as the food. The bill is expensive: 45€ each with wine.

Day 4: country roads take me home

Running in Palau is not so comfortable: it‘s very wavy and for knees and ankles is not the best. In any case i reach to run 12,4 km (strange measure, perhaps some inaccuracy). The pace is good: 5 ‘/km with warm up.
After the usual abundant breakfast it’s time for a lighthouse visit: Capo Testa is at only 30′ and it’s possible to reach the short path before the lighthouse with the car.
This lighthouse mount a L3 lens (out of the 4 present in Italy), W light and phase *0.2 – 2.3 – *0.2 – 2.3 – *0.2 – 6.8. The total height over sea level is 67 m.
Bagnino
In 5′ you can get the access of the Strait of Bonifacio. Here we encounter a man in his 60s, a veteran of this region: he left his spouse at home and went here alone, just to enjoy the same activity he has been doing from about 50 years, every year.
Places have changed, and people too. Not the rocks.
Cala del Faro

In 1:20 we reach a special beach in the other side of Arzachena gulf, the Capo Ferro beach.
Placed into a high-standard residence with panoramic view, at the moment we arrive, everything is desert. But the lifeguard is just there, waiting for people in july/august. There are a lot of buoys in front of us, and Cappuccini island in the background. During the summer there are 8 bungalows to host people in absolute tranquillity.
The lifeguard is not so kind to us, so we come back to Palau to have lunch at the local bar in front of ticket offices for La Maddalena island, just before the ferry boardings.
It is not possible to visit the real lighthouse because it is closed: like all the Italian lighthouse, they are property of the navy.
The time is out. 75′ of car, 90′ waiting, 75′ in the flight and we’re Caselle Airport.