After leaving Villadora, our first Sardinian site, we make for Alghero but schedule a stop at Sassari as it’s worth a look, according to Rough Guide. On this Sunday the roads are quiet and when we reach Sassari we follow signs to ‘centro’, finishing up by parking in a street, although we can see no sign of a meter or restriction of any kind.
After grabbing a quick lunch, we wander out to explore. The old city is quiet as a grave, shops and cafes closed, few people about. There’s allegedly a spectacular Duomo but we’ve no clue to its whereabouts in spite of the tiny map of the town we’ve ripped from our guide. I spot an unsuspecting woman and decide to try out my amoebic Italian linguistic skills. I clear my throat. ‘Scusi’ I begin, ‘dove duomo?’ I ask her, eliciting an eruption of speech and gesticulation. She pauses at our mystified expressions then collars another passer-by and persuades him to take us, which he does, leading us through a network of narrow streets and even solicitously avoiding one with dustbins in it because it isn’t good for ‘touristas’! ‘Capito Italiano?’ he asks us, and I tell him I can do ‘grazie’ and ‘per favore’.
We get to the small square housing the Duomo and he leaves us- I wonder if he expected a tip, but Husband thinks not- he was just being public spirited. The church is every bit as beautiful as promised but surrounded by tall buildings which do nothing to show it off. There is just one other couple visiting, a pair from Florida who are as surprised to see us as we are them in this tourist desert.
Other than the Duomo, there’s a grand square with a ducal palace and some characterful streets. We drift back to the van and press on to Alghero- not far. But the site we’ve picked, while near to the centre of town, is packed to the gunnels with vans and motorhomes, with barely a hand’s width between. The woman at Reception shrugs. We can stay if we can find a space. We can’t. We give up and go a couple of miles out of town to ‘Laguna Blu’, a large camping village opposite the beach. We decide it will do and queue up to check in, during which I actually meet a Brummie man, who is as surprised to see another Brit as I am! ‘We’re a rare breed!’ he says and I agree.
It’s still extremely hot, having not dipped below the low 30s for weeks now. We set up and go across the road to the beach, where there’s a friendly, welcoming beach bar with cold beer and excellent internet, which we prefer to the vast, corporate bar/restaurant at the site. Here in Sardinia we’re now unable to use our mobile wifi device with its French, Orange SIM card and are having to rely on campsites for internet, which is not always successful. At Laguna Blu we can access it at the bar, which has to do.
We can also get a bus to Alghero from the stop outside the site, which we do, next day. We’re suffering another tech glitch in that my camera’s memory card is displaying a worrying split. This prompts a dilemma- should I go on taking photos? If so, will I leave some memory card behind in the camera when I want to remove it? I’m not into using my phone’s camera for various reasons, not least that I can’t hold it still!
In Alghero we find the tourist information, where a jovial lady shows us where to get our bus back as well as a phone shop. We wander along the quayside and spot a couple of boat trips to ‘Grotte di Nettuno’, a trip that should not be missed, according to our Rough Guide. One of the boats is about to leave. We make a spur-of-the-moment decision and buy tickets. Quite apart from anything else, it will be cool on board!…
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Proper travelling if you meet only one person from your own country!
In all our time in Corsica and Sardinia we only saw 3 British vehicles- and they were all on one [terrifying] Sardinian mountain road!