This morning we made an early entry into the Ajaccio’s harbour on the island of Corsica.
My wife and I have visited Ajaccio on a number of occasions so today we opted to take one of Viking Star’s ‘optional’ excursions: to the 17th century village commune at Cargèse.
The scenic village of Cargèse was some 27 kilometres from Ajaccio and the drive took us along the coastal road and around Liscia Bay where we witnessed some stunning scenery. Cargèse was originally a refuge for Greek immigrants whose ancestors escaped Ottoman persecution. The village itself sits 60 metres above a small picturesque harbour and its most distinguishing feature are its two churches – one Catholic and one Greek Orthodox – that face each other across a small valley. Needless to say tourism is now the prime function of the village.
We were delighted to be able to witness a service in the Greek Orthodox church which was both a colourful and interesting experience. Our guide was also able to point out and explain to us the system of ancient Genoise towers that formed a link along the western part of the island: a defensive measure serving as watch towers against invasion.
The excursion lasted 4 hours and again proved good value for money.
On our return to Ajaccio, basking in some gorgeous sunny weather, I took the opportunity to try the Aquavit Terrace’s Infinity Pool’ and very good it was too.
Having enjoyed our previous lunch at the Pool Grill we again utilised this perfect facility before I took myself off into Ajaccio for a little secret Christmas shopping and an opportunity for few photographs of the ship, on it’s berth, from the harbour entrance.
This evening we had booked to dine at ‘The Chef’s Table’, the second of the speciality restaurants onboard Viking Star. This really is the ship’s signature restaurant and offers a degustation taking menu complete with wine pairings. It is worth noting that there is no cover charge for reservations at the Chef’s table and of course, the wines with meals are also complimentary.
This is not a restaurant to be rushed through and we had a particularly pleasant dining experience before eventually heading to Torshavn, Viking Star’s late night music and dance venue and home of the ship’s resident ‘Viking Band’.
Tomorrow we head for the port of Livorno which serves more as the gateway to Pisa and Florence. We have booked a complimentary excursion to Pisa which hopefully should hopefully give more time there than we had on a previous visit, while tomorrow night we have tickets for ‘The Rat Pack’.