Tag Archives: Heritage

Corsica, France: From Bastia To Corte (1)

An Original Way of Traveling

A Mix of TGV & Ferry

When I was offered to travel to Corsica with a TGV with SNCB International and ferry of Corsica Linea, I was very curious to experience this way of traveling! Departure from Brussels from Gare du Midi around 10 a.m. In the comfort of the first class, I quietly watch the landscape scroll.

Arrived in Marseille at 3:50 p.m. The subway is direct (2 or 3 stations) to the ferries of Corsica Linea which is located in a renovated area, with large modern shopping malls in old warehouses. How to wait before boarding the Pascal Paoli ferry at 6 p.m. for Bastia? Do some shopping : I took the opportunity to buy Detox Kusmi Tea (a soulful memory of the Paris fashion weeks years ago, lololol!).

We had dinner in the ferry restaurant. Everything was really fine: the crew was super pro and the night route allows you to reach your destination early. My only con, some travelers: as a woman, I did not feel comfortable crossing the corridors, alone. 

The spectacle of the sunrise when approaching the port of Bastia is absolutely gorgeous! 

From Bastia To Corte

The Old Port of Bastia

At 7 a.m., we land at Bastia. Early fall, the trees start to slightly become orange under a shy sun. After a long break in an outside cafe, we walk in empty picturesque streets leading to the Old Port. The city wakes up slowly. I like the South, its rhythm.

  

Lunch in Folelli

I fruletti

In the late morning, we leave Bastia for the village of Folleli, where we have lunch at the restaurant I Fulett. Our long table is on a pleasant terrace with enough sun to believe summer is not over. The Mediterranean cuisine with Corsican and Italian influences is delicious. I even took a dessert (my dishes pictured above and below)! 

The Parc Galéa

We take the road towards Taglio Isolaccio to visit the Parc Galéa, where I had a big crush for the cactus gardens (photos above and below). This park allows to discover the natural and cultural heritage of Corsica.Visitors can attend lectures on various topics, or have guided tours and educational workshops. 

  

Corsican Whisky

Domaine Mavela

Surprise: Corsican whiskey! The Mavela distillery produces spirits and has partnered with the Pietra brewery to produce quality Corsican whiskeys under the name P & M. I do not drink alcohol, but I am always curious about terroirs and know-how. After a tour of the distillery, we tasted different liqueurs (like those of Cédrat Natura and Clémentine Natura) and some whiskeys.

Then we leave for Corte, where we sleep tonight. To be continued…

    

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

To go to Corsica by Ferry : www.corsicalinea.com, Sales office in Brussels : T. 02/620 06 76, resa.benelux@corsicalinea.com

To go to Marseille by train : www.sncb-international.com. 2 or 3 connections a day by TGV Brussels-France (duration: 5h10). If you buy your TGV tickects online, you can print them at your home, or download them with the SNCB International mobile appli.

CCI de Bastia et de la Haute-Corse : www.ccihc.fr

Related articles : Destinations & Lifestyle

Many thanks to the Corsica Linea, SNCB International and CCI de Bastia et de la Haute-Corse, for this beautiful invitation. As always these are opinions.

Our Second Roadtrip in Andalusia, Spain: Cádiz

Stunning Architecture

A Walk In The Old Town

Finally in Cádiz on the Atlantic coast of Andalusia! We left the surroundings of Malaga around 10 a.m. this morning. On the way, we stopped at a beautiful deserted beach in Tarifa. Then on the road, we allso stopped at another beautiful beach in a natural reserve lost in the middle of nowhere. In short, we arrive in the historic center of Cadiz in the middle of the afternoon. Better late than never! 

Big crush for the city: the seaside reminds me Havana! The old buildings are superb. The pace is indolent in the oldest city of the West founded by the Phoenicians 3000 years ago. A movie set in a soft light, without tourists at this time of the year. The old town is small, we quickly made the tour: I take pleasure in losing myself in its streets and take the same route several times.

        

Castillo de San Sebastián

While we are looking for a café overlooking the ocean, we come across an entrance to this fortress surrounded by water (left photo below): the Castillo de San Sebastián. A very pleasant walk where we can see another point of view of Cádiz (first photo of the article). 

  

The Outdoor Café

  

Very cool, close to the cathedral of Cádiz and facing the ocean: the dream! On the left, when you are facing the Cathedral (back to the ocean). Relaxed atmosphere and great panoramic view! Excellent green olives with our drinks, I don’t want to return to Malaga (our base for this second roadtrip in Andalusia).

And if we stayed in Cadiz, darling? “The beauty of Cadiz has velvet eyes, Chi-ca! Chi-ca! Chic! Ay! Ay! Ay!“, translation: “The beauty of Cadiz has velvet eyes, Chi-ca! Chi-ca! Chic! Ay! Ay! Ay! ” (by Luis Mariano). Sorry (not sorry), I couldn’t help myself! Lol! A little vintage operetta. To be continued beautiful readers … 

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

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Related articles : Destinations & Hotel Reviews

Japon: Sasayuri-Ann Terrace Villas (D2)

The Fire Ceremony

Here is the following article of the previous : Japan Sasayuri-Ann Terrace Villas (Day 1). Before you start playing: If the videos take a long time to load, or stop playing, be patient and refresh the page. 

Early this morning, around 7:30 am we attend the Fire Ceremony in the small temple of the Sasayuri-Ann property. We are eight people, monks included. Our host and owner of the villas, Mr. Matsubayashi is also a monk of the Shugendo sect, one of the oldest in Japan. 

The day before, each of us wrote on a wooden stick a wish with his name, or the one of the person to whom the wish is intended to. These sticks will feed the fire during the ceremony. The rite is really impressive with the fire, drum, song and incantations. You can’t live and feel the same. 

During: I observe, I notice the smallest details without understanding. So later, I ask Mr. Matsubayashi about the Fire Ceremony’s purpose that takes place on the 28th of each month. He rxplains : “in the esoteric Buddhism, fire is the symbol of God”.

 

 

The Akame 48 Shijyuhachitaki Waterfalls

  

Late Morning

We go to the Akame 48 falls (Nabari), the region is the cradle of Ninjas who also included women. The story tells that in the feudal period, a secret agent ninja was training there.

What a joy to be in contact with nature in the beautiful Muro Akame Aoyama National Park! We spontaneously made tree hunging! The place is inspiring. I know, I know … But believe it or not, this added to the contemplation and sound of the falls, recharged us.

Some falls are easily accessible and others more difficult (you need hiking shoes and to plan more than one hour). We reached Nunobiki Fall (the eighth fall, left photo above) 30 meters high and describes as one of the most beautiful falls. Chi va piano, va sano, va lontano, okay (lol)!

  

The Live of Shakuhachi 

Back to the Ozunu villa (where we stay), the musician Toshimitsu Ishikawa introduces us to the sound and chords of the shakuhachi, the Japanese bamboo flute (above right photo: his portrait). A very poetic and exotic music that soothes the soul.

I only put you short excerpts, because the songs are long and I could not download them on this web page. I am thinking of making a film about our trip to Japan, with more complete sequences that I will download on my You Tube channel. 

 

 

The Gourmet Dinner

  

Kaiseki

Have you ever dreamed of a Michelin starred chef doing a cooking demonstration at home just for you? At the amazing Sasayuri-Ann Terrace Villas, we had this gorgeous surprise with chef Kouzi Nagata, owner of the Manso restaurant in Nara!

Magic moment with a generous humble chef who masters the art of cutting (10 years of learning to cut the famous fish with thousands of pin bones) and beauty. Each dish is graphic and uncluttered. The flavors are delicate, with a subtle play on textures.

The chef wants to please you while sharing his knowledge. Collector of old blades, he also showed me and let me touch centuries-old swords that belonged to samurai.

 

 

Photos & vidéos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Sasayuri-Ann Terrace Villas

Organiser son voyage avec Exclusif Voyages 

Flying to Japan : direct flights from Brussels & Paris with ANA 

Related articles : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to Exclusif Voyages, Ryokan Collection and Mr and Mrs Matsubayashi and their sons, the Sugendo monks and Mr. Toshimitsu Ishikawa and Mr. Kouzi Nagata, for this wonderful immersion in a traditional hedonistic Japan.  As always, these are my opinions.