Monday, September 26, 2011

Saint-Florent Sept. 13

Saint-Florent      Sept. 13

The majestic mountain ranges of Corsica behind Saint Florent 

Saint Florent's neat, tidy streets 

View of the harbor

We’ve been here for 3 days now.  Since there is no schedule (yet) to push 3Rivers onward, we are waiting patiently for the wind goddess to get us at least to Calvi.  Tucked away at the back of a magnificent gulf, and bordering on beautiful, unsoiled beaches, the antique Roman city-Saint Florent, has become a popular summer resort.  

The port was built at the beginning of the XVth century around the Genoese fort, and is counted among one of the most beautiful sites of the Mediterranean.   It’s a lively area of the city, catering to both yachts and visitors out for a stroll. 

We visited the Cathedral Santa Maria Assunta which was built in the Xlleme century with pale limestone. The majestic columns sheltered in its centre the mysterious relic of Saint Flor.  In the glass case are the remains of a Roman soldier mummified in the 3rd century AD.  Story has that it was Monsignor Guasco, bishop of Nebbio (from 1770 to 1773), who wanted to bestow his diocese with a holy relic and he asked Pope Clement XIV to give him the remains of a Roman soldier.  Adorned with his tunic, embroidered with fine pearls and his war apparel, the reliquary was carefully transported by sea to the beach of Marana, it was then transported via mule trails to the Cathedral.  Ever since, the spirit of this Soldier of Christ has watched over Saint-Florent, and multitudes of parishioners from the region gather for the triennial celebration and contemplation of Saint Flor.

With sleepy waves gently lapping 3Rivers, today was a perfect sunny, light breeze day to just lie around, or enjoy some water sport activities run by Altore, a professional adventure guide set up on the beach.  For 80 to 150 euros, one could have the thrill of a silent flight and experience the baptemes parapente (paragliding), or for 120 to 200 euros, one could ride the baptemes bateau Volant (flying zodiac); the souvenir film is only 30 euros.   Or, you can anchor like us, for free.

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