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A Little Village in Corsica
We All Rode From Paris to Corsica in a Car Like This!
Escape from the Corsican Sun
Arriving in Cannelle
The car stops, finally. We are hot, all legs and sweat and bad humor and dog breath. It feels like we are on the edge of the earth.
Juliette opens the door and we pour out of the Citroën station wagon. Stretching our legs from the long journey, I look in amazement. We are in a dusty parking lot perched on the side of a hill. There is a village way below and beyond that is the glittering sea. Behind me is steep ledge covered with Figuier de Barbarie (prickly pear cactus) and sun parched weeds. Behind me is a village made of stone, with no way to drive into it.
"Come on sweetie, grab those bags," my aunt hands me snorkeling gear and sun lotion and puts four straw sun has on my head. The bags are so big, I have to lift my scrawny arms up high as I carry them so they don't drag along the ground.
I look at my aunt, "Where's the house?" She doesn't hear me through the tangling of the dog, Vega's, leash around my uncle's ankles and the back and forth between Juliette and Uncle Jean in French. Eileesh seems as stunned as I am and stands there as people pile bags of bedding and cook pots into her arms.
"Everyone ready?" Aunt Norrine asks brightly and we follow her like loaded-down soldiers into the unknown. I notice the car isn't empty, so I guess we'll have to do this again. Who's going to carry the mattresses?
Cap Corse - Corsica, France
Slide show of Cannelle now by Philippe EVRARD
- Corse1009010145 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Vues diverses du village : ruelle inférieure
Like Pack-Mules Through the Roman Village
There's no road through this village, only an ancient, cobbled street beyond the arch. My head bobbles up and down, left and right, trying to take it all in. The cobbled street is shadowed by the stuccoed walls with windows, shutters and doorways. Most of the shutters are closed and the stucco is crumbling in some places.
The bags are heavy and the cobbles stones curve under my sandals. "Ouch!" I whine as I stub my naked toes on the hot stone.
We keep walking and my aunt cheers me on, "Sweetie, look - here's the church!" It doesn't really look any different than the other buildings, being all part of the same façade, but will a bell tower where I can barely see it if I crick my neck.
Then she points to a yellow box attached to the side of another building, "and there's where you'll mail your letters home to your mom and dad!"
We round a corner and enter a stone archway. I have to stop and blink, it's so dark. "Ahh," I think, "dark and cool!" I set my bags down and wipe my sweaty forehead. I want to stay here.
I look around. It's an arch, but also like a tunnel. The street heads down hill and goes in two directions, light peeking in at each end.
"Sweetie, come on! We're almost there." aunt Norrine's voice echoes in the stone tunnel. I pick up my bags again, wishing I had long legs and long arms like Juliette and Eileesh. They were lucky.
Finally, I trudge around another corner and my eyes go all watery and blind as I enter an alley flooded with bright Mediterranean sun. Everyone gathers around the tiny door. There is one shuttered window above it and only one other door and window at the end of this dead-end ally. Aunt Norrine struggles with the ancient looking keys while Juliette and Eileesh drop their bags and disappear around the corner.
"Ca va?" my uncles looks at me, laughing sort of awkwardly at his American niece, "You are tired already, my dear?"
I nod shyly with sweat dripping down my forehead, "It's so hot!"
"Oh yes, C'est tres chaud, yes!" The he looks at the dog, shouting, "Ca suffit, Vega!" as the dog jumps and wraps the leash around his ankles and then mine.
"Voila, it's open!" Aunt Norrine announces, as she pushes the heavy door into the dark of the little house.