Sunday, 22 August 2010

Happy Birthday with Sam and Bill
Napoleon's House and garden Inside his house
Napoleon's Summer Villa
Inside the Summer Villa
View from Marciana Villiage in the hills
Marciana Street
Medieval Church
Andrew, Maurice and Heather
Hi from Clare, Elba and Bonaparte 21ST August 2010 HAPPY BIRTHDAY On Sunday 15th August we had lunch in town to celebrate Andrew’s birthday. We chose a formal restaurant situated in a cool breezeway and thoroughly enjoyed the fine food and being waited on in style. In the evening we had Drinks on “Eye Candy” with Sam and Bill from “Blue Banana” and toasted Andrew’s good health with chilled Champagne (photo1) before heading into town for a music concert. At midnight there were fireworks for Assumption Day. By this time we were back on the boat and had a front row view of the fireworks. Had I thought of it, I could have organized the fireworks for Andrew’s birthday, oh well maybe next year. BONAPARTE AND MORE BONAPARTE We toured Napoleon Bonaparte’s house in Portoferraio where he lived when exiled in Elba (photos 2 & 3). It is situated high on a hill in the old walled town with a fabulous view of the ocean and harbour. The following day we took the bus to Villa Napoleonica in San Martino. This was his summer residence in the country, once again a prime location high up a valley surrounded by forests with a distant view of the sea (photos 4&5). Napoleon was exiled in Elba for only 300 days before he escaped. After seeing both his residences, we decided that banishment wouldn’t be too bad. By this time we have just about had enough of Napoleon. However the souvenir shops must love him as his name and face is plastered on just about every tacky nick knack imaginable. If Napoleon knew, I think he would be horrified! MORE PLAYMATES The New Zealand yacht “Baracca” came into our anchorage at Portoferraio. We first meet Heather and Maurice in 2008 when we did the EMYR rally. Since then we have meet up with them a few times at Yacht Marina in Turkey. It was lovely to see them and we had drinks on their boat that evening along with Sam and Bill from “Blue Banana” The conversation always flows easily when you put a few cruising folk together. We had a great night and planned to do some touring the next day. EASY TRAVEL We took the bus with Heather and Maurice the following morning and visited a number of towns on the island. We purchased a daily bus ticket which enabled us to get off at each town and spend an hour looking around before catching the next bus. It worked really well as an hour is enough time to explore the town. We also covered about 150 kilometres giving us the opportunity to sit in air conditioned comfort and see the island without the hassle of having to do the driving. AWAY FROM THE MADDING CROWD Elba is a very popular holiday destination and we have been amazed at the number of ferries coming and going each day. Each sea side town is crowded with tourists and the beaches are wall to wall umbrellas and sun lounges. On our bus trip we left the tourists behind on the beach and traveled high into the mountains and visited the unspoiled town of Marciana. It is perched on the hillside with a fabulous view of the ocean (photo 6). The old town has been well set out. There are a large number of stairs that are well spaced, thus making it an easy climb to the fort overlooking the town. Most of the houses had lovely flowering plants which softened the otherwise harsh appearance of cement and bluestone. The town had a peaceful feel to it and I was a little sorry to leave. (photos 7,8&9) SO WHAT NOW Well this afternoon the wind turned to the north and so it is time for us to head south. We left Portoferraio and had a fast sail (doing 8.6 knots at times) to the eastern end of the island. Early tomorrow (about 2am) we will set off to travel 80 miles down the east coast of Corsica to Porto Vecchio. We need to be in Oblia Sardinia by 3rd September when Andrew’s off springs (can’t call them children anymore) will join us. Love Candy xx