42° 20′ 55.7988” N
8° 36′ 51.5808” E
June 16, 2017
It’s becoming summer in Calvi. It’s mid June, the temperature is buzzing close to 30 degrees, the beachgoers flood the beach, and all over the harbour disco rhythms blast all night in an attempt to whip up an early summer atmosphere.
After having been in Denmark for almost two months, we arrive in a transformed city. Most of the snow is melted on the Corsican mountains, and everywhere Calvi is enjoying more life, than when we left Ronja on a rack at the pickup site, Chantier Navale, at the end of April.
Calvi has become too much for those of us, who enjoy a good night’s sleep. We must continue.
The next stop becomes Girolata, which is not a port but a protected bay with laid out buoys in a pattern resembling a port. You are assigned to a spot by helpful port assistants in inflatable boats that take care of attaching rope to buoys front and rear. We are close to the other boats in an exceptional beautiful landscape with brown dairy cattle on the beach, primitive restauration shacks – all surrounded by beautiful mountains, and after the tour boats have brought the last tourists back to civilization, we are even blessed with a divine silence.
It costs 31 euros for one night. Well, for two buoys and an infinite silence for the hole night. Sometimes that’s worth 31 euros.
We stay for two nights, and we go for walks in the nearby mountains. On Tuesday we continue to Cargése, a small harbour with room for only 12-15 boats in addition to the permanent occupants. Cargése is a Greek-inspired mountain village with Greek Catholic churches. The location is wonderful. But otherwise we are most affected by the fact, that it is less than ideal for shopping. First, you climb a mountain under the burning sun to reach the local Spar supermarket at the top of the mountain, and then you clamber down the mountain again with your stuffed shopping bags.
Bonus info: Should you ever use a port for some months in Corsica, while you are at home, Calvi is a good bet. Chantier Navale, the local pick up space, stores your boat at an acceptable price, and if you need to have small jobs done on the boat, then Dumé, the practical guy on the spot is more than ordinarily friendly, totally reliable and capable of getting things done. Only “minus” is, that he speaks only French. Great guy.
42° 33′ 49.7556” N
8° 45′ 27.3384” E
12-16. April, 2017
If you are in Corsican Calvi on a Good Friday, then you should experience Granitola, the annual Easter parade where barefoot culprits wearing Ku Klux Klan masks carries three relics – a wooden cross, a recumbent sculpture of Jesus Christ and an upright sculpture of the Virgin Mary – down through Calvi city. The parade starts at the cathedral on top of the citadel and winds in long rows down to a church in the city. And then return to the cathedral again.
In front of the procession walks brothers from local churches with banners as they sing the hymns that are linked to the ritual. It is dark, there is a crowd of hundreds, it may seem strange in a the head of a rational nordic person, but you do feel that you witness something big and important.
Calvi is an exciting city. Allready in early April you sense how the city will explode into a true vacation paradise in the summer with its long sandy beaches, beach bars, sunbeds, boat rentals, playgrounds, diving excursions, anchorages and a town center where a good part of yt rises sharply on top of an ancient citadel.
The city is remarkably rich in shops and restaurants. “On a daily basis we live only 5,000 people in Calvi. But in the summer months increases the number to 45,000, “says a Danish-speaking employee at the tourist office. She is from Amager in DK but lives in Calvi, because her husband works in the Foreign Legion, which has large barracks outside the city.
If the city is overrun in the summer, then is is very accessible here in April. We are only three guesting boats in the harbour and we all get a visit by armed customs officers who want to see the ships documents and hear about our business in Calvi.
Calvi is outstandingly favoured by beautiful scenery. On both sides of the city’s you find bays. One bay has fine sandy beaches and dry, fragrant pine plantations. The other bay has blooming maquis and rocks. Hiking for every taste.
Facts: Calvi takes a high price for a berth in summer. But in low season the price is lowered to 25 euros per night, even with the addition that we can stay for free on Saturday and Sunday, when the port office has closed. “If you are gone by Monday morning at 9:00, then weekends are free,” more than suggests the helpsome girl at the port office.