Monday, May 21, 2012

Italy: Spring 2012: Thursday, May 10: Day 16: Oristano-Alghero

Italy: Spring 2012: Thursday, May 10: Day 16: Oristano-Alghero

Another bright sunny day.....that keeps me in a good mood.  After breakfast we pack up and get ready to leave Oristano. The hotel people - members of one family plus one other woman - are all extremely friendly, charming and helpful as indeed have been most of the Sardinians we've encountered.

Our route to Alghero--in the far northwest of Sardinia--takes us first through the very flat Sinis peninsula...beaches, 

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dunes and lagoons, but as we get further north, the hills begin and we get some very nice views over the water.  We make a stop midway in Bosa, a pretty town with brightly painted houses that is located along the only navigable river in Sardinia--the Tema.  It is only navigable for six kilometers...but it gives the town a different look and feel than the other Sardinian towns we have visited.

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We drive up towards the big Malaspina castle that overlooks the town

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and get a good overview of the center and surroundings.

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When we go back to the center, we park the car and begin to look for the street where we had read about ladies sitting in their doorways working on their lace....and after walking down the main street which is very lively and attractive, we reach the old part of town

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and right on schedule, the lacemaking lady appears.

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After some pleasantries, we admire some of her work and Diana buys a small piece that she likes.

For lunch, we choose one of the many outdoor restaurants on the main street and have a light lunch (sandwich for Diana, clams and mussels for me) while enjoying the warm sunshine.

The drive north to Alghero is touted by the guidebooks as one of the most spectacular in Sardinia...which in our experience would be hard to live up to.  But the  very good road does climb high as it winds (gently) along the side of the hills and we get some pretty spectacular panoramas both inland and over the sea.

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We drive straight through Alghero...our hotel is about 15 minutes beyond the center.  There is long stretch of beach and a nice promenade along the water outside the city walls and it seems to do an active tourist business. 

Our hotel--the El Faro--is set in a breathtaking position on the tip of a peninsula, surrounded by clear, colorful water, a rocky coast, green headlands, sandy beaches and a view out to the cape that stands at the mouth of the bay.

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This picture--from the hotel web site--is not an exaggeration.  The building has lots of public space..both indoors and outdoors..where you can enjoy the surroundings and there are lounge chairs scattered all over the grounds.  Our room is fine but the terrace is great - large, with this view over the hotel's terrace and the bay.

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We get unpacked and have a drink at the outside bar....very relaxing.  The hotel is so inviting that we decide to have dinner in the dining room (with floor to ceiling windows so we can enjoy the sun going down as we eat).  And the food turns out to be very good....especially the baked ombrina with a potato crust and the excellent bean soup with mussels.  We drink the last of our Sardinian vermintino as it gets dark and soon we have to leave for the airport to pick up our friend from Rome--Maureen and Franco--who are joining us for the weekend.  Their plane is early and we get back to the hotel without a problem....

Tomorrow we plan to visit Alghero, maybe do some shopping and then relax at the hotel.

Jim and Diana

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