I promised my friends an unforgettable souvenir taking less than an hour, without running or even walking. Simply being lulled by the sea. And I will keep my promise! Immediate boarding for the cruise around the cliffs, on board one of the local cruise boats.
I was to meet my friends at 9 a.m. at the Honour Quay, just at the entry to the port near a well-designed wooden lodge. They are not on time and the lodge is impossible not to find: I bet they went out last night, got in late and the alarm this morning has not yet brought them back to the land of the living. They are quite right to enjoy themselves; after all they are on vacation.
Anyway, it’s not dramatic: a boat leaves every half-hour. I’ll wait for a while looking at … oh, there they are! Just in time for the first departure of the day, the best one.
Once aboard, our boat slowly navigates through the port and the show is on the road: we pass the luxury yachts aligned as if in a parade. Immediately, Arthur, who loves super cars and other shiny objects, asks me their price. I don’t know precisely but you can count in dozens of millions. Even in hundreds in some cases! I suggest he plays the Lottery…
We leave the port and turn to the right towards a small red and white lighthouse: La Madonetta, the ‘small Madonna”. If we look hard, we discover a small statue of the Virgin Mary dressed in light blue and white, in the centre of the building. She watches over the seamen, the fishermen and all that pass by boat. We are lucky today as the sea is calm. No worries. Sometimes there is a bit of a swell but the skippers are used to this and advance with precision. To say it plainly, no one is ever seasick.
A few hundred meters further, the boat turns to the right in the direction of the cliffs. A small and dark orifice can be seen: the entry to the S’Dragonatto “the little dragon” grotto. I tell my friends we are going in. “What, with this big boat?” Arthur asks me. Oh yes, my friend! Go to the front of boat and set up your camera and you will film a rare and spectacular moment.
In front of the small entry, the boat stops for a moment, waiting for the right wave. And then suddenly, hop, full speed: the boat plunges into the stone passage, leaving only a few centimetres on either side. Totally impressive!
And once inside, even more impressive! We find ourselves in a not-so-small grotto. And it is open-air! It is quite remarkable as its shape is that of Corsica. Just like a geography map but with blue sky and a few clouds that pass. Total poetry! My friends take photos non-stop. The boat then turns around towards the exit and again passes the stone sides with mastery. We made it, applause aboard!
Now the boat heads towards a small creek, the bay of Fazzio. A dream! The water is turquoise, translucent, a true swimming pool. The fish can be seen easily. Lots of fish. And beyond, there is a small semi-circular beach. Nirvana! We will most definitely come back. As we have many more spectacular visits on our program, we have no time to take a dip.
Now the boat retraces its route and passes La Madonetta once again and now heads towards the cliffs further along. The limestone stratum is easily visible, horizontally placed like an enormous mille-feuille pastry, but without the vanilla cream. The boat’s motor purrs, the cliffs slip past, the houses appear, sitting on the edge of the precipice. Stunning! And this dark scar in the cliff ahead, which descends at 45° is the famous King of Aragon’s Stairway. I let my friends know that once our cruise is finished, we will go up to the medieval town and immediately go to the Stairway. It is a must: 187 steps to descend and the same again back to the top: Arthur laughs, however his girlfriend not so much.
The boat returns to port, slowly but surely. I look at my watch and turn to Arthur: “54 minutes”. He answers “an hour of pure bliss”!