Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ajaccio 12/3/09

We got a gorgeous view of the sunrise over the mountains on the French island of Corsica! Thank goodness I just happened to wake up at 7:15 so we could see it! I had to wake up Natashia so she could see it, too! From our balcony, we had a front row view of the sunrise, and also of the snow capped mountains!

It was a slow morning...we didn't dock until 10:00am, so Natashia and I took our time getting up and ready for the day. At 10:00am, we walked down to the 4th deck and got off the ship. We walked through the port and towards the Town Square. We passed a market on the way, and had fun looking at all the flowers, wines, cheeses, fruits, and veggies that were for sale.

We walked along the coastline and in a couple of minutes, arrived at the old walls of the Citadel. Down in what used to be the moat around the fortress, there was a donkey and a goat. I made a bleating noise to greet Mr. Goat, and an elderly woman standing about 10 feet from me exclaimed, "Oh! Did you hear the goat! He's talking to us!" She thought I was the goat! Hahaha! I didn't want to disappoint her, so I just went along with it! :-P

Beyond the Citadel was the beach! The water was chilly, but beautiful!

Next, we headed across the street to the Cath├ędrale Notre Dame de l'Assomption. This is where Napoleon Bonaparte was baptized and attended mass as a child.

We meandered through a few of the narrow streets and found Napoleon's House. We did not want to pay the admission fee, so we just took pictures at the front door and went on our way! There are two main shopping streets in Ajaccio that run parallel to the coast. This was our next destination, but we also wanted to find a post office. We stopped in a park on the way, and I successfully asked three young men how to get to "la poste." They gave their answer in French, and I understood it! I was quite proud of myself. :-) Of the three languages in which we had to communicate on this trip, I enjoyed using French the most! Anyway, we found the post office, sent some more post cards, and then did some window shopping. Natashia had certain items that she was looking for, but I had already promised myself that, in order to save money, I would not buy souvenirs aside from the postcards I was sending. When I travel, I am usually quite satisfied to let my photographs and my memories be my souvenirs!
Around 1:00pm, we found a cute little cafe to have some lunch. The owner of this restaurant was very friendly and helpful. He recommended we try a wine that I ended up loving (Moscato), and I had some delicious homemade lasagna and a huge salad...all for only about 12 euros!

After lunch, it was starting to rain lightly. I wasn't interested in more window shopping, but Natashia still hadn't found what she was looking we decided to split up for the afternoon. I went back to the ship, took a long, hot shower to warm myself up, drenched myself in body lotion (don't you just love that?!?!), and rested up a bit while Natashia shopped. Natashia got back to the ship at about 4:30pm. She had used the calling card to call her mom in the port building, so I decided that I would go call my dad before all aboard at 5:00pm. We ate dinner at the Grand Pacific Dining Room. We got there about 15 minutes before it opened, and there was already a line! We requested a seat at the window so we could watch when we were leaving port. We admired the Christmas decorations in the room as we ate. A woman at the table next to us was celebrating a birthday, and she shared her cake with us, so we got a nice little extra dessert! At 7:45pm, we decided to go to Evening Trivia in the Spinnaker Lounge. We ran into Judi and Patsy there and decided to be on their team. I don't remember exactly, but I'm sure we did pretty well. :-) We also met James and William, two guys who were traveling home after two years overseas in the Peace Corp. After trivia was over, we went to talk to Rob "Sugar", the Assistant Cruise Director. He had a contest going on that day...a prize to the person who could guess his real last name. With just two clues, I correctly guessed that his last name is Barker, and I won a Norwegian Cruise Line pen and a free Bingo card! Woohoo! Lol!
We went back to our room to rest. I also called Chad and Scott and left a message that we would love to have dinner with them one night soon. At 10:45, we went to a game called If You Know It, Sing It. I knew it was a crowd participation game, but I was not prepared for all that it entailed! I ended up being a very content observer of the crazy festivities! :-) By that time, the ship was rocking and rolling a bit, and there was a light rainstorm, so it definitely helped lull me to sleep...but not until after some precautionary motion sickness medicine! That night, the storm picked up and the ship started its creaking...a noise that became very familiar to us as we crossed the Atlantic!

See more pictures from "Ajaccio 12/3/09" HERE

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