Ajaccio, Corsica

Sunday, December 2, 1928

At the inhuman hour of 5AM we docked at Bastia, Corsica‘s chief commercial center. I ”saw the town,” then spent a couple hours out on the breakwater watching the men fish and hunt clams or crabs. Going into town again I found things very different. Being Sunday, everybody turned on. The market square was crowded as were the streets. The town is small and for the most part dirty, having many narrow alleys, etc. At noon I took the speedy train for Ajaccio, 6¼ hours to go 100 miles. We raced along at 25 and 30, faster downhill, and were soon in the mountains of the interior. They are very beautiful, many rugged and snow-covered. Our one-lunged-sally proved her mettle as a hill climber but it was slow work. After passing Corte, it was all up for miles till we reached the snow line, then it was all down. Winding up the deep valleys beside the tumbling streams and winding around the mountains far up with many marvelous views was lots of fun—until it got cold at four. Then I got into a second-class car and rode in more comfort. We got to Ajaccio at 7:30PM. Here, too, the town was turned out 100%. —$2.67.

Sunday, December 2, I spent sightseeing. The noon train I had planned to take to Calvi to get my boat back to Nice I found did not make connections so I was stuck. Ajaccio has a certain charm about it. The one main drag nor the large public square on the bay nor anything else there is pretty, but still there is something. Maybe it is the surrounding mountains or the beautiful bay or the romantic side of which Corsica has plenty. Napoleon was born in Ajaccio. A large section of the town is slum district, narrow dirty streets, dirty kids playing about, and many disgusting sights. Yet it all seemed to fit in and make the picture complete. $1.97.

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