Last week I said I would write about Corsica and Palma de Mallorca.
We continued on our journey aboard the M/V Sovereign of Pullmantur Cruise Company, and went ashore at Ajaccio, the capital of Corsica, and the island's largest city.
Its modern history is dominated by statutes of Napoleon, who was born in the city in 1769. The harbour and city is beautiful. I enjoyed several hours in the city visiting the market square, and the many narrow streets with its lovely varied architecture and varied shops.
The island of Corsica, part of France 623 miles away, was my favourite of all the places we visited during the cruise. Jutting out of the Mediterranean sea like an impregnable fortress, the island has breathtaking scenery. Beautiful beaches, valleys, and dense forests. We only had time to visit part of the left side of the island. The photograph below shows most of the coastal places we passed by in the coach.
The flag of Corsica is interesting, which is depicted in the photograph above. The Moor's head, then blindfolded, first appeared in 1281, and the emblem was imported by the kings of Aragon. The present flag, portraying a Moor's head, the bandanna shown above his eyes, was adopted by Pasquale di Paoli in 1755. Paoli wanted the bandanna moved above the eyes to symbolise the liberation of the Corsican people.
The picture at the top of the blog showing a Mortello tower is situated near the Sanguinaire Islands, located at the Gulf of Ajaccio. The name originated from a tower at Mortella Point in Corsica which the British attacked in 1794 when blockading the island during the Napoleonic Wars.
Finally, reluctantly, we had to return to the ship as the ship set sail to our final destination, Palma de Mallorca. Sailing distance 349 nautical miles, approximately 402 miles. Mallorca is the largest of the Spanish Balearic islands, located just off the east coast of Spain. Palma de Mallorca is the capital city of the Balearic islands
We spent most of our time visiting The Cathedral of Santa Maria Palma, more commonly known as La Seu, built on the site of a pre-existing Arab mosque. You can see the work of Antoni Guadi here. The guide told us that the work he did in the cathedral at the time was not appreciated, but now, because of his work tourists all around the world flock to the cathedral. She also told us the main rose window is the biggest in the world.
We then visited the old city behind the cathedral, with its fascinating maize of streets, clearly hinting towards an Arab past. The old city is home to the area known as Banya Arabs, one of the few remnants of Palma's Moorish past.
I just had time to partake of a café con leche with a brandy, which cost me 8.50 euros, as opposed to half the price it would have cost me in places back at home in the Costa Blanca. I show a picture below taken in the square near to the café, of a fantastic 'Guadi-type' tree. I intend to paint it when I have time from writing my latest book.
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