France – Corsica by bicycle
Once upon a time… there was the desire to overcome great distances under your own power and to fight against wind and weather. So in 2010 – after a long search on the internet – I decided to buy a touring bike and fully equip it. I decided on the brand Velotraum. Why? The frames of these bikes are designed for maximum weights of up to 180 kilograms. All components on the wheel are convincing for use in long, hard applications. After buying the Velotraum at the bike courier shop in Bern, the question was – where to go? I was already fascinated by the history of the Corsicans while reading the comic strip “Asterix in Corsica” as a child. So I planned a test tour in France – to ride Corsica by bike.
France – Corsica by bicycle
So that I could start the tour in Corsica quickly, I took the train from Zurich via Milan to Genoa and from there I took the ferry to Corsica. With the arrival in Bastia and getting off the ferry the adventure “France – Corsica by bike” could start. With the agony of choosing which direction to take, I followed my gut feeling to the north. And so I started cycling – out of the city of Bastia. No sooner had I left the city behind me, a scent rose into my nose, which I have not forgotten until today. The smell of the maquis. A composition of different herbs like myrtle, rosemary, juniper or broom plus the fresh sea air. And as I was on the island at the end of May at the beginning of June, the scent of the flowering plants is particularly intense.
gust of wind, fall, sprained foot
Since it was my first time in Corsica I didn’t know about the weather and wind conditions of the island. Of course I informed myself in advance – but you don’t read anything about monstrous gusts of wind when you cycle out of the lee of the mountain on the top of the pass. On the second day I found myself on the pass in the northwest of the island. I drove out of the slipstream of a mountain in a left-hand bend and there a monster gust of wind caught me unprepared and with full force. It knocked me off my bike and when I put my right foot off the pedals on the asphalt I buckled – stabbing pain went through my ankle. Great thing – foot sprained. So I rode the rest of the bike tour on Corsica with 1 1/2 legs. From zero meters above sea level to passes of 1800 meters above sea level. But it was fantastic.
Specialities in Corsica
As already mentioned, the macchia is something incomparable and omnipresent in the whole island. I would like to recommend everyone to visit this island and if so, then in spring when everything is blooming, fragrant and full of rich, strong colours.
The Corsicans are a very proud people. They are not French – they are Corsican. And the Corsicans love delicacies – especially cheese and sausages. Brocchiu is the most famous corsican cheese. It is usually distorted in the 2-3 days after its production. It can be enjoyed sweet or salted, cold or warm. Corsicans usually serve it with fig jam after the main course. It is also popular as a dessert. At breakfast, the tradition of brocciu with pepper has also taken root.
The lean pork is particularly tasty from the semi-wild pigs (Obelix loved these semi-wild domestic pigs), which feed mainly on sweet chestnuts. Occasionally there is also wild boar. From the kitchen of the mountain farmers come the nutritious stews: the “stufatu” with lamb, onions, noodles and cheese.
Unfortunately I did not take any photos for this. But if one or the other of you wants to travel to Corsica, you will find Corsican specialities all over the island.
Impressions of Corsica