Sunday, June 30th, 2019

In English for some reason, like other place names, this island’s name changes to Sardinia. And no, it’s now where sardines come from. It is the second largest island in the Mediterranean sea (after Sicilia – Sicily – another mysterious name change). It was one of 4 of the Italian regions that I’ve not visited. Well, I suppose it’s cheating to say that I’ve been in Molise when I only saw it while passing through on the autostrada.

I’ve always been curious about it so in the second week of June Laura and I took a Ryanair flight from Bologna to Alghero. If you’ve never flown Ryanair, you can’t imagine what a pain in the ass it is. However it is redeemed somewhat by it’s ridiculously low air fares. They make you suffer for the privilege of low fares.

Part of the suffering is that the flight times are extremely inconvenient. We left Bologna at 7:00 AM and returned a week later at midnight. Still, it’s just an hour flight and was about 75 euros each including the luxury of a checked (small and light) suitcase which costs 10 euros. But with Ryanair EVERYTHING costs extra but I do understand that if it’s really cheap they’ve got to get more at every opportunity. Upon arrival we picked up the rental car at the airport. I was thrilled to have a Fiat 500, the car I had and loved for the last 4 years that I lived in California.

The AirBnB in Alghero was comfortable, at a very affordable price. It was fairly far from the city center but since we had a car that was not a problem and actually an advantage since it was really easy to park near the apartment.

The first day we bought groceries and explored the city a bit. We took a walk along the port area with defensive positions, catapults and cannons and had an unremarkable ice cream at a gelatoria.

One of the fortifications at the port – built in the 14th century
Part of the extensive wall in one direction from the tower
One of two or three catapults on display. There were also canons but these seemed more interesting

The next day we went to a nearby beach Spiaggia di Maria Pia. The water was nice if a bit cold but for me the annoying thing that unless you were careful in wading out to a depth where I could swim I would often step into sand that would come up to my ankles. It was not easy to identify a path devoid of this muck.

The first beach we visited – Maria Pia – not far north of the city. Photo from web since I left my phone locked in the car.

The next day we decided to roam a bit further. We had an excellent lunch in the little town of Fertilia and explored a bit of a regional park Porto Conte.

Torre di Porto Conte – in part of a regional park. Doing some restoration work.

Another part of the park which we didn’t see but I wish that we had.

Then another beach day a bit further north at Spiaggia Punta Negra. I liked the beach better here but the water was colder. It was more of a tanning day and getting in the water up to my waist.

On the Spiaggia (beach) di Puta Negra decorated with the back of Laura

The following day we took another break from the beach and headed to Castelsardo which is only about 70 km away but we took a lunch break at Porto Torres. The meal was nothing special but the main interesting thing about that stop is that aside from a lot of industry around it is also a port for ferries that go Corsica, Marseille and Barcelona. Those ferries are huge! I’ve seen ferries before in the Caribbean and in Hawaii but nothing like those brutes.

Castelsardo is quite spectacular because there is, well, a castle on the top of a hill. Pretty impressive.

Castelsardo – note the castle on top of the hill

And you can visit the castle which we did.

The castle on top of the hill – closer look

Okay that’s it for now. There’s more to the story but I’ll save that for part 2. Stay tuned.

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