Tuesday, June 07, 2011


The Sardinia Vera

I suspect that the Sardinia Vera is not the pride of Corsica Ferries’ considerable fleet of passenger vessels.

There is an air of tiredness and grubbiness on her that extends from the loose panelling in the Gents’ toilets to the stains on the seats in the passenger lounges. Nevertheless, I always feel welcome on board, both by the friendly and cheerful Italian crew and the crackly rendition of Rossini’s Thieving Magpie when the voyage starts and finishes.

On this, our latest voyage of five and three quarter hours, we had some difficult choices. When our Peugeot refused to go up the ramp to Deck 5, should I risk a burnt-out clutch or the wrath of the crew urging me on? I chose the former, hopefully without ill-effect. Our most difficult choice however concerned our seating. Should we sit in the relatively peaceful but far from silent forward lounge in our reserved seats, or in the noisy rear cafeteria where the engine noise and vibration was close to being physically painful.

It won’t surprise you to learn that we chose to use our comfy seats in the front lounge. At the insistence of a crewman, we had a tape of a recent TV5 broadcast playing on a screen in front of us, and a short music loop coming from a speaker behind us, dominated by Tony Bennett tracks. The sounds of these were fighting each other for our attention at considerable volume.

I think we heard The Best is yet to Come seven times, though it could have been played one more time while we were trying to eat our meals in the noisy cafeteria at the rear. The trouble is, we knew that we had heard the best already, and that all we would get in the future would be more of the same. I just hope they change the tapes before we go back on the same boat in a few weeks’ time.

Good to see you posting again, Derek. We have just returned from our 3rd visit to Corsica. This time we did it by public transport (little train etc) and backpacks, although we stayed in decent hotels. The weather could have been better but we had some marvellous walks. Can't wait to get back there again - we manage it once every 4 years...
Thanks Vanessa!
Not a peep out of Tony Bennett on the way back, and the engines were a bit quieter too! These small benefits make up for the vastly inflated prices, presumably hiked upwards because the French school holidays have just started!
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