Sunday, 27 May 2012

To Sardinia

Woke up to rain! Is this stuff following us? Thunderstorms rattling round the mountains inland. Got up late and breakfasted at the place over the road where we had beers yesterday. Set out in light drizzle for Bonifacio in the extreme south of the island where we planned to take a ferry to Sardinia.
Bonifacio is a medieval town built on the top of limestone cliffs that are eroding away under the ancient township. It looks like sooner or later some buildings and streets are going to plunge into the sea. The township itself is a made up of narrow cobbled streets and in an approximation of a grid pattern much of it dating back to the 13th century. The more recent buildings are 18th century. It’s quite touristy though which spoils the atmosphere a bit but is inevitable when a town is so historic and picturesque.

The next ferry was due to sail at 3.30 so we parked near the wharf, walked up the hill to the old town, bought some sandwiches and sat on a seat watching the world go by until it started to rain again and we headed back to the wharf where we hung out in a coffee shop until we could buy ferry tickets.
A big ferry with a car deck and lounge area and cafĂ© but only 15% full. Ours was the only motorcycle but several touring cyclists on board. The ship is Italian so it was a new language experience when ordering coffees and a bottle of water. I’ll have to pick up some Italian quick as we’ll be in Italy for quite a while now as we travel through Sardinia, Sicily and mainland Italy .

The view of Bonifacio as we sailed away was dramatic.

An hour later we docked at Santa Teresa Gallura in Sardinia in glorious sunshine. By now the riding day had almost gone so we cruised around town until we found a bar that had a B&B sign. The proprietor walked us through the bar and a snooker room to a brand new accommodation section where we settled for a large newly fitted out room with king size bed and its own balcony, new bathroom with everything, for 50 euros, without breakfast which we declined because it isn’t served until 8.30 and we are hoping to get an early start, IF IT’S NOT RAINING.

Went for a walk round town and to the 16th century tower we had seen from the ferry. The tower was built when Catholic Europe was at war with Henry and Liz 1 in Tudor England.

A very nice town. Modern in a classic way, with everything in perfect condition. The roads for example, instead of being of bitumen, are paved with granite slabs laid perfectly uniformly, so they must be on a bed of concrete to be that flat. There’s no sign of the Italian financial crisis here. Some roads are patterned with cobbled sections of small round river rocks of uniform size. Many of the restaurants have taken over and enclosed not just the footpath but also part of the road. I can just imagine what an Aussie town council would think of that.

Had a great dinner. In typical Italian fashion the restaurants don’t open until about 8.30 pm.  My grilled tuna steak with grilled Mediterranean vegetables and a basket of bread which would have cost $25 in Oz was $17. A bottle of excellent red wine was $11. Dessert was a local speciality, a 10 cm diameter pastry flying saucer filled with cheese and lemon and coated with hot honey. “Most peculiar” was Gail’s verdict.

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