June 17, 2014
Woke to a gorgeous morning in Porto, hardly a cloud in the sky. Made me wonder if we shouldn’t be out on the trail instead of spending one more night on the coast.
By the time we had reached Calvi, thunderheads were looming over the mountains. I stopped wondering.
The road from Porto to Calvi clings to the cliffs with fabulous views of Girolata and Scandola below. The narrow road is barely wide enough for two cars to pass and very popular with cyclists. Added obstructions include goats and cows that lounge on the pavement.
Dropped the rental car at the Calvi airport and took a taxi to the hotel, 20€.
A simple lunch at la Transat along the harbor. What else? Pizza Nepolitana for Don – good but over sauced – and mussels marinière.
After lunch a spin through the fortified Haute Ville. The expected quaint narrow streets, crumbly buildings and views in all directions were high on charm and stunning against a crisp blue sky.
Hostellerie de l’Abbaye, an upscale hotel with grand open spaces including a shaded patio, is centrally located near the train station and short walk to the harbor and Haute Ville beyond.
The superior room is spacious with a super firm to hard bed and a smallish bathroom.
The staff is helpful and can accommodate an early 6:00AM departure to Calenzana, the start of the GR20. They have a continental breakfast that can be ordered the night before and delivered to the room for 9€. For a 5:15AM breakfast time, they gave us coffee and access to the breakfast buffet including a large selection of bake goods, fruit, charcuterie and cheese for the 9€ continental breakfast rate. Normally the buffet breakfast is 18€.
Dinner at A Funtana, a casual eatery set on a pretty square on the main street, Boulevard Wilson.
Started with salads – a tomato salad and an arugula salad. Neither one terribly interesting, made better by combining them into one.
For mains tried the whole dorade – a nicely cooked decent size fish.
The jarret de cochon (pig knuckle) cooked seven hours was fall off the bone tender and tasty. Both mains were served with a side of mashed potatoes.
Dessert was a nicely tart lemon tart in a thick sweet pastry something like a rich cookie and covered in meringue like a lemon pie.