‘U Trinichellu’ (The Little Train): another way to explore Corsica

By Johanna Published 12/07/2018

Scopre a Corsica cu u trinichellu !

Take part in a journey like no other through the heart of Corsica.

Les voyageurs prêts à embarquer ! Les voyageurs prêts à embarquer !

8am, Ajaccio station. At this time of year (September), there were still lots of tourists gathered on the platform. The start is near

8am, Ajaccio station. At this time of year (September), there were still lots of tourists gathered on the platform. The start is near

Twelve minutes later the train – whose name ‘trinichellu’ literally translates as ‘trembling’, due to the old models’ unique motion in their shaky frames – set off towards the north. We passed the Gulf of Ajaccio with its cruise ships moored in port, the sea sparkling and the sun beginning to feel warm through the windows

The railway runs parallel to the main Corte road for a few kilometers, before the landscape changes: we see fewer cars, the mountains are getting closer, palms give way to chestnut trees, the sea to rivers, and the maquis and stone houses are coming into view. We entered the Gravona valley, passing Aucciani, Carbuccia, Tavera and Bocognano, with the impression of travelling into Corsica’s wilderness and a territory not yet explored.

Approaching the village of Bocognano, the landscape is still changing and we wend our way past forests and rivers. Bocognano station, like others en route, is a large, square building dating from the 18th century. 

 

As some travellers climb, others descend... hikers in Vizzavona, students in Vivario, workers in Venaco. An English tourist asked me if that day’s blue sky was a common sight in September. I answered that autumn in Corsica is an extension of the summer, and beautiful clear days continue through the month! Everyone on board was relaxed, telling stories and sharing holiday experiences. It seems the train is a social tool – and certainly a cure for gloom.

We saw some animals, no doubt accustomed to this noisy vehicle rumbling through the countryside: foxes, kites, cows and donkeys. The driver slows, almost embarrassed to have to disturb their peace. 

 

Two hours later, when the train stops at Corte station, it’s with regret that I disembark: what an pleasurable journey through Corsica!

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