Another glorious day and I’m off to L’Ile Rousse, a laid back coastal town about 11 miles from Calvi with a beautiful sandy beach set against a back drop of the La Balagne mountains.
Parking near the train station the walk into town offers a lovely view of the beach. I’m here to photograph the town and start by exploring the cobbled streets near the beach filled with numerous enticing restaurants and interesting little shops, as well as the usual seaside postcard and souvenir outlets and a charming covered market.
The smell of fresh fruits greets me as I wonder from stall to stall, stopping a while by the honey as the stall holder insists that I try every single variety of honey he has (and there are quite a few) followed by a rather delicious glass of mead. Having purchased my favourite pot made by bees that have fed on the marquis (the wild herbs growing over much of Corsica), I move on past stalls of cured meats, fresh fish, oils and local cheeses. Tempting, but it’s back to the beach for me. The water is the clearest blue I’ve ever seen and so inviting but instead of swimming I try to capture its beauty with my camera.
That evening, I dine with friends in one of the many fabulous restaurants here. As we are finishing our meal a choir gathers outside and bursts into song! It is World Music Day after all – a tradition started in Paris in the 80s known as Fête de la Musique where concerts are held across France to celebrate the summer solstice every 21st June.
The original idea was that amateur and professional musicians perform in the streets all-night. Two conditions sanctioned by the official Fête de la Musique organization in Paris are that all concerts must be free to the public, and all performers donate their time for free. World Music Day is now celebrated around the globe and in fact I first heard of it while travelling in Africa.
Before dusk a concert starts in L’Ile Rousse’s town square – musicians of all ages entertain locals and tourists alike into the early hours. Luckily my friends’ son has no school tomorrow!
There is also a free concert going on in Calvi tonight to celebrate Fête de La Musique and to mark the start of the annual Calvi Jazz Festival.
Back in Algajola another concert is still in full swing under the arcade close to my hotel and I am tempted to join in the celebrations but I have an early start in the morning. Luckily in my hotel room the noise is unobtrusive and I easily fall asleep, dreaming of another wonderful day in Corsica.
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