Another port visit on our honeymoon adventure took us to Corsica. We planned to do a half-day guided tour of Ajaccio – the Imperial City. We started out on bus for the first hour and then spent about 90-minutes walking through the city.
They are very proud of Napoleon here. We first stopped at a monument to him with what our guide called a realistic statue on top as opposed to the other ones we would see of him throughout the island that made him look Roman. The statue was right next to a small cave where he supposedly played as a child.
We drove along the coastline taking in some breathtaking views as we learned more about the history of Corsica. Once we set out on the walking portion we saw two different Churches and learned how intermingled culture and religion were here. Also, many of their monuments are new and have been put up very recently – something different than most of Europe.
We also saw the still-occupied French garrison, which no longer has a moat and instead has donkeys there to eat the grass. Finally we stopped at Napoleon’s house and birthplace.
I finally ran out of energy so we called it a day and ventured back to the boat after our half-day tour. We enjoyed a bottle of our new favorite Italian wine we had brought from the hotel in Rome on the balcony of our ship-room. We watched the most amazing sunset as we pulled away from Corsica and the Blood Islands on a perfect night and sat talking into the dark.
Over the weekend Ian and I got an invite to go hiking with some friends. I’ve never been hiking with the exception of once as part of a project adventure class I took my sophomore year of college. Yes, that was a real class. I didn’t really remember much about it though, so I googled the Billy Goat Trail in Great Falls to see what we’d be getting ourselves into.
I quickly skimmed through the page and told Ian it sounded fun and would probably be like a nature hike. I should have looked deeper into it though – or maybe tried to find out what rock scramble meant. This in fact, was a legit hike that would take four or five hours and a whole lot of effort.
It was so worth it though! We had a really good time and got to take in some amazing views!
After just a 30-minute drive, we checked out a scenic overlook area near the falls before making our way to the start of the Billy Goat Trail. It’s split into three sections with a bit of walking along the C&O towpath in between. We started with section A, which was by far the hardest part involving a bit of rock scrambling and climbing a 50-foot traverse!
My pride over completing this was only hurt by looking around at the many young kids who seemed to be having no troubles with any of the trail.
We skipped past section B to do C first. This section was a bit more my speed. Lots of great views, mostly easy walking around the trail and just a few challenging parts. I nearly landed myself in the water crossing over one creek when I stumbled mid-crossing and instantly started laughing. Luckily I was able to pull myself together and didn’t end up splashing in!
The rest of the group soldiered on and made it through Section B too, but Ian and I decided to call it a day and meet them back at the car. We took our time along the 3 mile walk back along the towpath enjoying some snacks we packed and snagging a few more pictures. It was a great day and something I’d definitely do again… at least once I forget how exhausting it was!
It’s so amazing to me that there is this huge place full of nature and beauty so close to the city. If you live near the D.C. area and haven’t been to Great Falls, this needs to be on your list.