Sailing the Med in Eye Candy - the Island of Elba
by Andrew and Clare Payne on 22 Aug 2010
Eye Candy .. .
Andrew and Clare Payne, cruising the Mediterranean in their yacht Eye Candy, have reached Portoferraio, in the province of Livorno, on the edge of the Elba Harbour of the island of Elba, where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled for a time.
On Sunday we had lunch in town for a birthday celebration. We chose a formal restaurant situated in a cool breezeway and thoroughly enjoyed the fine food and being waited on in style. In the evening we again headed into town for a music concert. At midnight there were fireworks for Assumption Day. By this time we were back on the boat and had a front row view of the fireworks.
Elba is where Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled, and we toured his house in Portoferraio where he lived.
It is situated high on a hill in the old walled town with a fabulous view of the ocean and harbour. The following day we took the bus to Villa Napoleonica in San Martino.
This was his summer residence in the country, once again a prime location high up a valley surrounded by forests with a distant view of the sea.
Napoleon was exiled in Elba for only 300 days before he escaped. After seeing both his residences, we decided that banishment wouldn’t be too bad. By this time we have just about had enough of Napoleon.
However the souvenir shops must love him as his name and face is plastered on just about every tacky nick knack imaginable.
If Napoleon knew, I think he would be horrified!
With cruising friends we took the bus the following morning and visited a number of towns on the island.
We purchased a daily bus ticket which enabled us to get off at each town and spend an hour looking around before catching the next bus.
It worked really well as an hour is enough time to explore the town.
We also covered about 150 kilometres giving us the opportunity to sit in air
conditioned comfort and see the island without the hassle of having to do the driving.
Elba is a very popular holiday destination and we have been amazed at the number of ferries coming and going each day.
Each sea side town is crowded with tourists and the beaches are wall to wall umbrellas and sun lounges.
On our bus trip we left the tourists behind on the beach and traveled high into the mountains and visited the unspoiled town of Marciana.
It is perched on the hillside with a fabulous view of the ocean. The old town has been well set out.
There are a large number of
stairs that are well spaced, thus making it an easy climb to the fort overlooking the town.
Most of the houses had lovely flowering plants which softened the otherwise harsh appearance of cement and bluestone.
The town had a peaceful feel to it and I was a little sorry to leave.
So what now? Well this afternoon the wind had turned to the north and so it was time for us to head south. We left Portoferraio and had a fast sail (doing 8.6 knots at times) to the eastern end of the island.
Early tomorrow (about 2am) we will set off to travel 80 miles down the east coast of
Corsica to Porto Vecchio.
To learn more about the adventures of Eye Candy and her crew Andrew and Clare Payne, go to their www.freedomandadventure.blogspot.com!website
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