We pack up and after breakfast we get in the car and start the drive from the northeastern tip of the island to the southern coast--a trip of about 300 kilometers or 186 miles. The sky has cleared and it looks like we will have nice weather for the drive. For the first part of the trip, the road climbs through peaceful rolling hills before the heading into the more mountainous interior.
which we just pass through (getting a little lost in the middle of town) on our way south.
We chose an alternate route (somewhat shorter in distance) that takes us through some stunning mountain scenery before descending to the plains.
The rest of the trip is on a a four land divided highway which is faster but less scenic. We arrive in Cagliari, the largest city on the island, in the mid-afternoon and we find our hotel quite easily. The hotel--Le Suite sul Corso--is right in the middle of the center of town not far from the waterfront. We park the car on the street and unload. Our room is very nice...high ceilings and spacious--with floor to ceiling windows and balconies that look out on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. We are in Cagliari for the big festival of their patron saint--Sant'Efisio--and there will be a big parade tomorrow that will pass right under our windows.
I go out to check out the neighborhood and get our bearings and then we both take a stroll down the main street and along the shopping arcade on the waterfront.
There are lots of people on the street and preparations being made for the big procession tomorrow...there are bleachers set up along the main route for spectators, the buildings are decorated with banners and flowers and the no parking signs are everywhere. I will have to move the car off the street to the parking lot near the railroad station but before doing that, we take a ride out to the very long beach area -Poetto- to the east of the downtown.
The very pretty beach goes for miles and there are hotels, bars and beach clubs stretched out along it.
We have some prosecco at one of the beachside bars
and then head back to town and park the car.
We have dinner at a very modest trattoria on the same street as the hotel (our first choice is all booked up but we make reservations for tomorrow night). The trattoria--Sa Turra--is almost empty when we arrive around 8:30 but it quickly fills up some with locals who all seem to know the proprietor. The food is very good...I have a dish of fried mussels which is terrific followed by a grilled sausage which is also excellent and would have been appreciated more if it hadn't taken so long to arrive. Diana starts with a cured meat antipasto followed by a dish of spaghetti with garlic, oil and pepper flakes - simple but good. Most of the regulars are ordering various preparations of mussels...something to keep in mind if we return.
Tomorrow we will spend a good part of the day with Sant'Efisio...the patron saint of Cagliari.
Jim and Diana