From summer and sun, skis and snowboards, from ants and watermelons. From broken bones and coastal highways, ships and sea urchins, from two girls and one bus - the GOA-Bus.
We decide to start late on a sunday evening to flee from next days heat for a few hours at least. It's july and we are on our way to Les deux Alpes in france, on our way back to winter for some amazing halfpipe sessions up on the glacier. That's our plan so far - how Maja and me ended up at the french island Corse 1300 km and two days later I'll tell You now:
We do the first few houndred kilometers at night till we fall into our bed somewhere in switzerland at 3 am.
Half way done at the next day, we decide to do a short break in Lausanne in switzerland. Sun is burning down and we're already feeling like grilled chicken in our bus.
In Lausanne we follow the sign "port" and make it to Lac Lèman at the bottom of the city. Crystal clear water is waiting for us and from the free parking lot it's only a 5 minutes skate to the beach. Perfect! Sun is gone, we are refreshed and so we are doing the last half of our way to the french alps. With the last daylight we arrive at our sleeping spot and are exited as fuck for the next day while falling slowly asleep.
As fast as the first skiing day is ahead it's already over after the fifth run in the morning. Maja fall on her shoulder and brakes her collarbone into three pieces. Luckily the first attending doc has the greatest connections ever and so Maja gets surgery at the same day in Grenoble. While she's already napping in her fresh hospital bed I'm searching for some food in the streets of Grenoble.
daily advice: when you buy a skipass in Les deux Alpes, get the insurance with it! It's your only guarantee of getting any money back if You get injured!
I get Maja back the next morning - 6 screws included. Aimless we're standing in front of the clinic. What to do now?
Skiing as well as going home isn't an option and while we're getting our morning coffee in a cafè right next to our bus we begin to discuss about where to go next. France or italy, mountains or coast vibes? We're really not into that summer holiday thing so we've no idea what to do without mountains and some snow.
After sending daddy an SMS asking him what a ferry could cost we decide spontaneously to book one and go to Corse. Daddy had no idea but Google said 72€. And after loosing around 400€ by a skipass we didn't used, this is no big deal anymore.
Next to old buildings, torrential rivers and little gorges we are driving deeper and deeper into southern flair and arrive after a quick coffee stop in Monaco at Savona's port one day later.
daily advice: for saving money book a ferry without defining your date of travelling before!
After a chaotic arrival in Savona the friendly women in front of the port points out that we booked our ticket for the wrong date. Wednesday is wednesday and thursday is thursday, as everyone already knew this little fact - we didn't. 15 minutes later we still don't know how this could happen but go for to buy a new ticket. 5 minutes later and 80€ worse off (we did it again…) we get the right ticket and our place on the ferry.
On the ferry we decide to save some money and not book a room for the night. We pack some stuff for the night and decide for a night under the stars on deck. As luck isn't on our side it begins to rains a few moments later and our romantic camp has to take place in on of the corridors inside.
On the next morning we arrive at Bastia with the first sun. We enjoy this special moment for a short time before we leave the ferry to start into our next adventure.
daily advice: on a night ferry saving money is really easy. any people have their sleeping bags with them and sleep in the corridors or the closed restaurants. And the first sunlight the next morning is totally worth a night on the floor!
Nearly pole position on the ferry means we're leaving stressless and super fast and at 6:30 am our bus is racing already on an empty road directly next to the ocean. With 110 kmh we're enjoying the fluffy pink clouds above our heads. 50 kilometers later we stop at a small store which is promoting „produits regionaux“. We go shopping for a regional breakfast and 5 minutes later we're checking in at a small campground. Premiere for the GOA-Bus, who always avoided those places till now. But as we got scared by many internet reports from wild campers who got attacked by locals or the police we decide pro campground. And aside from this little fact - we definitely need a shower!
1:0 for the campground. We can choose our pitch and decide for one in the shadow of a small forest. For summer season it's quiet and peacefull and for 20€ per night we're sleeping directly next to the ocean - empty beach included. First thing to do for us is to jump straight into this water. I've to jump twice cause Maja isn't allowed due to her surgery.
The shadow is saving us from the midday heat. Beneath drinking to much coffee we begin gambling "the Legends of Andor" and who knows this game knows what I'm talking about. With our new holiday power we not only fight some fire storms but also find all the treasures in the cave. An afternoon full of success!
The remaining afternoon we're debating about which places to check out on Corse the next days. Maybe better said what we do not want to visit. Cause there are too many for only 6 days and we don't wanna drive much more than we already did the last days.
Sout or north? Beach or cliffs? Mountains and gorges or blue lagoons and sea urchins?
We decided for mountains and a mix of northern and western coast. So the next day Corte in the middle of the island is the next stop.
On our way we stop at a little farm to by some breakfast stuff. At „U Suartu“ we by not only the planned cheese but olive marmelade, blood orange marmelade, eggs and a corse specialty - a jelly "d'immortelles". The nice lady from the shop explains us that L'immortelles are corse flowers and a lot of other things like wine or soaps are flavoured with them as well. We need three more days to identify the right flower around us but when we find out which one it is we see them everywhere around us.
After having breakfast like king and queen beside the road we reach Corte at early midday. It's a lovely small village in the mountains. Our planned destination in Corte is the „Gorges de la Restonica“ - a gorge filled with many small natural swimming pools flooded with fresh water from mountain streams.
The street to the gorge is easy to find but is rapidly changing into a really curvy and adventourus one. 15 kilometers which are definitely worth to see but nothing for people who are scared of heights. Posticous in the gorge one can find a small campground laying beetween some trees right next to the river. We use a free place beside the street a few kilometers later for parking and a 5 minutes barefoot hike we figure out our private chill spot for the rest of the day. Diving into this water is a must have even if its temperature is nearly at the one of a glacier lake.
While we're still enjoying the quiet and peacefull character of the forest around more more more clouds appear and half an hour after we left the valley it seems to be the last day of the world around us. It's raining like shit and equipped with cookies from the supermarket we use the bad weather for the last part of our roadtrip that day.
While the sun is coming back we reach the nothern coast and are speechless from turquoise blue water among huge cliffs.
We leave the GOA-Bus beside the street straight away, climb down to the water and enjoy a coffee while we're searching for sea urchins in the shallow water. We cannot find one - a good sign!
Half an hour later we reach our campground for the night in Ile Rousse. A 10 minutes walk to the beach and hot showers - all we can ask for.
With the cookies we bought some citronella candles and with some spray against the mosquitos we prepare for the nightly bug fight.
daily advice: U Suartu an der route de Corte, 20270 Aléria
daily advice: Gorges de la Restonica, 20250 Corte
Strolling through the streets of Ile Rousse is pretty nice. Beneath a lot of small but cute shops we find a manufacturing bakery. Here we are able to have a look at the work process and buy some aniseed cantuccini.
For Maja we buy an inflatable pineapple instead and use this one for the next three hours of floating on the ocean.
daily advice: Biscuiterie salvatori, Place du Canon, 20220 Ile Rousse for Biscotti and Canistrelli in many different flavours
With a rental SUP (Majas searching sea urchins with the GoPro, I'm paddling) we paddle into a small bay. Is really worth its money but as you plan it you should check the wind before you start wisely. Otherwise the tour is maybe more a torture in the end.
After the second shopping tour (we need new aniseed cookies) we free the car from the midday heat and continue our journey till Calvi.
In Calvi we searched for a coffee but only found a bar. After one hour we didn't got something to drink but recharged not only the smartphones but the Laptop and the cameras as well. We leave Calvi as fast as we checked in due to a parking ticket out of date. On the coastal highway we pass the north western corner of the island which is definitely worth a short stop.
We leave it due to a timelack behind us and decide for a restaurant half an hour later where we get a highly sugared iced coffee but the shadow is included and we're happy.
Afterwards the drive continues on the coastal highway which is getting more and more curvy and is loosing more and more of its width.
We end up at a closed campground in the middle of nowhere and as driving back is no option (the last hour we saw nothing more than brushy landscapes) we decide to drive through till Galeria. Straight in front of Galeria we reach a parking area located at the top of a cliff and with an amazing view. For 20€ one is allowed to camp at this place officially and we decide to stay here for the night. Right next to the paking area there's a small restaurant which is not only having healthy, creative and super delicious foods but planting their own veggies and selling some regional products in a cute shop. The ladies are super friendly and the next three days we check out nearly half of the menu they serve. All is great! We found a new home for the next days and happy and full up we enjoy the breathtaking westcoast sunset and are ready for the first night sleeping with open doors.
daily advice: with a rental SUP into the bay in the north of Ile de la Pietra in Ile Rousse.
daily advice: camping wild but official for 20€ per night at the parking area straight in the front of Galeria.
daily advice: order the whole menu of L’artigiana in Galeria
Right next to our pitch we find a small bay and even if its already noon noone is around. A small and steep path guides us to the beach and packed with water shoes (still searching for sea urchins) and watermelon we start our private little carribean adventure.
The first hour we are the only ones around and while Maja is working on her filming skills I'm trying out some smaller cliff jumps for the first time. Afterwards an indian family is joining us and with them a family arrives who's building their beach camp for the day straight between the water and us. No other space around the empty bay where they could stay. We aren't motivated anymore and follow the tip of some other campers from the parking area into the Fango valley. 30 minutes later we follow a small road into the valley. A little river is searching its way in between red rocks, like a small canyon, right next to the street. But camping isn't allowed in the whole valley and as it's getting late we drive back to our cliff spot after a quick stop at the river. Beneath another breathtaking sunset the winds getting stronger and the ocean is starting to flutter.
daily advice: the lost bay between parking area and public beach, 50 m from the parking area by foot
As we wake up we can see real waves at the ocean for the first time. Due to parking directly on top of a cliff, only 50 percent of having breakfast in front of the GOA-Bus are still fun. The rest gets blown away.
We decide to have a look at the public beach anyway. It's made out of black pebbles and the ocean is getting more and more uninviting for a bath. We're tanning for two hours and get back to our car. Flewing from the midday heat we get a cappuccino in the shadow of the trees in front of L'artigiana, eat a tarte and some ice cream and initiate our way back up to the nothern coast. The view from the coastal highway down to the ocean let us get speechless the next hour and even if curves and bumps are getting to a challenge with oncoming traffic we would honestly love to do the whole way back again only for some more of this view.
In front of Ile Rousse we find another parking area for the night. The wind increased and we decide for a pitch in between some trees to not get blown away while cooking dinner. A camping family is helping out with some information and like on the camping ground before someone's collecting 20€ in the morning for staying over night. But as we're early birds we disappear early in the morning. Invisibility skills rised over holidays!
daily advice: the ice menu of L’artigiana with many extraordinary flacours - all we tested were amazing!
daily advice: at the parking area de la plage Ghjunchitu, 20256 Corbara one is allowed to camp for 20€ per night. pitched underneath some trees and directly located to the beach
Before noon we visit the beach of Ile Rousse one last time. To be honest main reason for another Ile Rousse visit have been the aniseed cookies. Freshly equipped with cookies and refreshed from the ocean we start our drive back direction eastern coast.
Along the coast for another while and then straight into nowhere. A really small street guides us a long while trough brushwood and we begin some bets about how long it takes till we reach the next gas station. The next village got none and the one afterwards is looking like they'd move only by horse.
But we follow this small street due to a bathing cave we wanna pass on our way back to Bastia. The cave got its own charme and isn't much crowded. Why only a few people are still here we figure out really fast - the sun is already gone and the water is fucking cold.
I remove all the salt in my hair rapidly and we continue our adventure through the middle of nowhere.
Straight before reaching Bastia we stop at a „Fromagerie“ and buy the "Brocciu" which we could find nearly on every menu the past few days. Another corse specialty and really delicious.
In Bastia chaos is waiting for us and after an hour of searching for a nice restaurant for dinner we change the plan and decide for one of the bigger ones near the port. Beneath noise and stress a bad service and even worse pasta are included. Who wants to eat something before entering the ferry is well advised searching for a restaurant in the villages around Bastia.
daily advice: we didn't got any problems camping over night at the parking area next to the port. But no guarantee! Anyway it's the cheapest possibility if the ferry leaves early in the morning
Just in time (5 am) - two hours before departure - we reach the ferry. Well done cause we're one of the first what means entering and leaving the ferry first as well. Less stress, more coffee and while we're cooking our morning coffee in the waiting area the other one's are looking a bit irritated from inside of their cars.
Reaching Livorno at noon we're lost for a moment cause our brains are still in holiday mood and don't identify the italian Firenze as the german Florenz. After a quick hustle in the italian traffic we manage to get the right "autostrada" and are back on track.
A quick and chaotic stop at Firenzes „Piazzale Michelangelo“ and a short race through Firenzes city (searching for a nice cafè but only paid one hour for parking) gets us back in driving mode and we make it till Bologna, where I'm happy as a child due to a free shower in a swimming pool.
It's getting late and we're still in need of a real italian pizza. Beside the road a friendly looking restaurant is waiting for us and after getting some Prosecco as an automatical entrèe we realise that they serve everything but pizza. The waiters try their best not looking irritatd about those two german tourist girls in jogging pants and we try our best not to laugh while we're communicating with eye contact about how wrong we feel on our table. But the food is delicious and we're happy about falling asleep an hour later in a small village next to Verona.
daily advice: be ready at the port two hours before ferry departure. Being one of the first entering the ferry means waiting less in between all the cars for leaving at the end.
In the early morning we already race direction Lago di Garda cause we want to be in front of all the holiday traffic.
After a quick ice coffee stop at the lake we use the smaller streets up to Brenner and one and a half hours later we enter Innsbruck again. Getting welcomed by rain let's get us back to reality much faster than we hoped but even with a lot of great and crazy memories of the past two weeks.
daily advice: use smaller streets right next to the italian "Autostrada" to get out of traffic zones and for saving money.