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27.06.17 0657 [PST]
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Home >> Articles >> Life of Myden

Sardinia

Friday October 2
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- Flew from Calgary to Toronto to Milan. Toronto was on the 787 Dreamliner, a new plane on this route for Air Canada. Unfortunately it still had software and hardware bugs, and they spent 3 hours getting Boeing to fix the problem. We had no chance to catch our connecting flight in Milan and had to buy a new ticket.

Saturday October 3
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- Our new flight was leaving from a different Milan airport (LIN) than the one we had arrived at (MXP) - which meant rushing across the city via public bus. We made pretty good time though.

- After finally getting to Cagliari, and during the pick up of our rental car, Chris realized his passport was missing. Rushing back to the lost & found department, they were able to locate it. Apparently it had somehow been left on the plane.

- After 24 hours in transit, we were on our way to check in at our first AirBNB stay in Cagliari. Chris navigated the narrow streets and parked the car. We met Antonio, who recommended eating pizza at 'My Flower'. We walked over there and ordered the 'normale' size (the only one available) and the local beer 'Ichnusa' which is the same generic beer that every country in the world has.

- The pizza was delicious, and huge, and had a great, thin crust. Mine was topped with delicious sausage, and Chris had tomatoes.

Sunday October 4
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- Got up and walked down towards the water. Walked along the promenade, and then up a steep hill overlooking the city. Went and checked out the 'Torre di San Pancrazio'. Walked up the steep steps, and checked out the view.

- Went for breakfast at a local 'pasticerria', a capuccino, a latte, and a croissant. Picked up some groceris and drove to Gesturi.

- Walked the 5km loop around Giara di gaesturi, hoping to see some wild horses. We did end up seeing 3 in total. They were small.

- Drove to Oristano, trying to find our AirBNB and ended up on some *very* narrow streets, where we weren't even sure we could turn the corners. Met Stefano who showed us to our apartment.

- Went for a walk and grabbed a gelato at Barba. Chris had pistachio and fig. I had strachiatella and some chocolate cookie flavor. Not bad gelato, although not the 'real' gelato. It melted really fast.

- Had a siesta. Went out for dinner to a place we don't know the name of. Bistrot something. I had gnocchio with a pesto base, and Chris had salmon crepes, and bottarga (need to figure out what that is). We ate outside on the cobblestone street. Listening to all the locals, most of which turned out to be tourists.

Monday October 5
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- Went and had a latte and a croissant for breakfast and a pasitcerria.

- Went to a store called Caseficio Cuozzo that specializes in local goods. Bought some honey (almost accidently bought a type that wasn't sweet), percorio cheese and some bread.

- Drove to S'Archittu, a natural arch in the ocean. Next up was the Su Pallaosu cat colony. Unfortunately they were closed on Mondays so we saw a few cats wondering around inside the garden area but that was it.

- Headded to Is Atturas, a beach with quartz sand the size of rice grains. Apparently there's one thousand euro fine if you try to take any. Went a swim, water was a little chilly but good beach weather for Chris because it was overcast and he didn't have to worry about getting sunburnt. Had a picnic lunch on the beach.

- Came back to our room to relax for a bit and then headed out to dinner at Cocco and Dessi. Shared a caprese salad and then each got a pizza, sausage and pecorino for Chris, and apple and gorgonzola for me. Had a good wine that we'll have to try to find in stores. (Rocco Rubia).

Tuesday October 6
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- Went for lattes and croissants and then headed to the cat colony (yes, again). This time it was open (we had booked ahead). The sign outside said there were 54 felinas. The first cat we encountered had a weird voice, almost like a growling meow. We would later learn he had throat surgery of some kind.

We toured the colony and the owner showed us around, including the houses where the cats slept, their beautiful garden, some turtles, some artificats, and gave us the history of the colony. Some of the cats were ancestors from the original colony, when fishermen used the cats to catch mice.

Went down to the beach and one cat named Coral took a liking to us and we were told that we could adopt her and take her back to Canada. "She's available for adoption" the owner told us. I'm not sure she would consider it an upgrade to go from her laid back beach lifestyle to freezing cold temperatures.

Went back in with a couple of the other cats. Bought a magnet. Gave a donation. Said goodbye to Coral..

- Hit the road and drove to Nuoro and went for lunch. Had some sandwiches and Peroni chill at a sandwich place, with a nice patio on a busy street corner. I had a hamburger with egg, and Chris had zucchini on a bun. Deliciosio. "Deli-is-e-o-zo" the owner corrected me.

- Next stop was Mount Ortobene. Although it was a little foggy, smoggy, but the views were still nice. And then we continued on to Orgosolo because I wanted to see some graffiti. Had some gelato, took pictures, and watched Germans try to avoid being hit by locals.

- Drove by Olinea, a town at the base of a mountain. And then on to Agritourismo Guddithai. Checked in after finally finding someone and then drove to Dorgali to find Cantina Sociale Dorgali. Tried 3 samples of wine, and bought the Classico red wine (cannanou grapes).

- Came back and got ready for our 4 course dinner. To start we had bread, followed by some veggie appetizers, and then pasta, and I had lamb while Chris had a bread and cheese thing, followed by dessert and tea. We were stuffed. After dinner we found a cute farm cat, who nearly followed us back to our room.

Wednesday October 7
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- Went for breakfast at the agritourismo and then went to Grotta di Ispinigoli, a famous cave. It was a pretty spectacular cave with one of the world's largest stalagmites (2nd or 3rd largest, depending on who you believe). We learned that the stalagmite was made of calcium carbonate, which can be either limestone or chalk.

- Next up was Gola di Gorropu, a famous canyon, the 'Grand Canyon of Europe'. We began our descent to the bottom and knew we were in for a tough hike back up to the top later on. We had lunch at the bottom, before entering the canyon. Chris joked that the canyon would be closed, as so many things seemed to be on our trip so far, and she was somewhat right, as the canyon entrance was 'closed for lunch' when we first arrived (but only had to wait 10 minutes).

- We checked out the canyon and learned about the rare plant life, and then turned around for our grueling walk back up to the top.

- Drove to Baunei, taking in the great views along the way, as we headed up, and up, and up, the windy roads, cool tunnels, etc. A fun road to drive on!

- Checked in to our Baunei B&B, Domo Agostina, which was probably the nicest of our trip, with an excellent roof top view of the surrounding valley. Sat out on the patio and drank some wine, soaking in the views.

- Went to dinner next door at Cafe Baunei Centro. We had some delicious ravioli and quattro formaggi pizza, with some tasty house wine, and bread (as always).

Thursday October 8
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- Had some nice breakfast on our patio at the B&B, and got ready for our hike to Cala Goloritze, one of the nicest beaches in Sardinia.

- The hike was about 90 minutes down, taking a bit longer than usual, as a storm had washed out the path a few days before. The final approach was very steep, and a bit difficult to climb down, as much of the railings had been taken out by the storm as well.

- The water at Cala Goloritze was a mix of beautiful blues, ranging from dark blue to turqoise. There was also an interesting looking arch rock formation.

- The hike back up seemed almost easier than the hike down, since we had to be so careful walking down.

- Back in Baunei, we once again had some wine, this time on the rooftop of the B&B, and watched the sun set.

- Went for dinner at Pisaneddu. Chris had sausage pizza (again) AND spaghetti carbonara. And Hofbrau beer. I had arugula and cherry tomato pizza. No bread this time, which was probably a good thing, as we had a *lot* of other food to eat.

Friday October 9
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- Got up early and left Baunei to go to our tour of a winery (Piero Mancini). When we arrived, the gate was closed. Thinking that perhaps we were just too early, we went for a short hike up to an old castle that was nearby.

- Trying again to get into the winery, the gate was still closed. After e-mailing the winery to find out the scoop, they replied with "Sorry, we made a mistake." We tried to figure out if we could still do the tour, but didn't receive a reply after that.

- Drove through Aggius but didn't really stop to check it out. Also drove through the Valle de Luna.

- Headed to Castelsardo, a town with an interesting looking castle on top of the hill. Walked up to La Guardiola restaurant, which had a nice view of the ocean. A little too windy to sit outside. Chris had vegetarian pasta (penne) while I had malloredus pasta with sausage.

- Just as we were getting ready to leave, Chris received a text message from our previous night's B&B owner in Baunei. 'You forgot our passport.' (cue ominous music). This would mean a 3-4 hour drive back to Baunei, each way, back the through windy mountainous roads. Chris was not pleased. We debated our options, such as having it couriered to our next town, but it didn't seem like a wise idea to rely on the Italian postal system for on-time delivery.

- Went and looked at the Elephant's Rock (Roccia dell'Elefante) - it was raining and we were still reeling from the forgotten passport incident, so we just took a picture from the car.

- Drove to Alghero, and finally found the parking area. Checked in to B&B Benebenniu (it means welcome in a Sardinian dialect). It was still raining, so we decided to watch some Blue Jays baseball and mentally prepare for our unexpected long drive the next day.

- Went for dinner at Osteria Barcellonetta. Probably our best pasta meal of the trip so far. Chris had trofie with ricotta salata and eggplant, and I had ravioli. Shared a 'mista' salad. For dessert we tried the local delicacy, seadas. Essentially fried pecorino cheese in a doughy crust with honey on top.

Saturday October 10
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- Drove to Baunei. Encountered a wedding blocking the only road through the mountain town, which caused a traffic jam. Retrieved passport. Drove back.

- Stopped at Salla e Mosca winery on the way back. Nice grounds, but they didn't offer tastings on Saturdays, so it was basically just a gift shop. Not much luck with wineries on this trip.

- Went to the grocery store and picked up some snacks for the next day. Chris planned a 'walking tour' of the old town. We started with a drink at Blau Skybar, which had a 9th floor view of the entire town and watched the sun set. Chris had a bellini and I had a 'Blau cocktail' (which had a lot of different things in it). Free salty chips.

- Walked to the local Sardinian product shop, 'Lu Ribell'. Tried a local microbrew 'Marduk Brewery' Bohemian Pilsner. Tasty. Chris had a sparkling wine. We had a large platter of delicious meats and cheeses. And bread. Always the bread.

- Headed back to the old town, and went for dinner at Paco. My butternut squash tagliatelle with bacon was delicious. Chris's gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce and balsamic drizzled on top was also quite good, but perhaps a little too rich for her taste. One thing is for sure, we were stuffed after this.

- Found a nice gatto outside, waiting for his next meal. Went and checked out some sort of beauty peagant that was going on in a local square. Didn't hold our interest for too long.

- Too full even to have gelato on this night, which is saying something.

Sunday October 11
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- Breakfast at the B&B, and then off to meet our via feretta guide, Coraddo, at Capo Caccia. It would be ourselves and 8 Italians, trekking a course along the mountain that Coraddo himself had built.

- The course had beautiful views along the way, especially of Foradada Island. The course was also in the shade most of the time, which was very nice.

- Went for a beer with Coraddo and the other climbers, before heading to 'Grotte di Nettuno' a cave built into the side of the cliff. Walked down over 600 stairs to reach it. The sound of the waves crashing into the side of the cave was pretty amazing.

- The cave itself was beautiful inside, although the speaker system they use for the tour guide to explain the features of the cave kind of takes away from the experience. It sounds like a bad P.A. system.

- Walked back up the 600 steps.

- Freshened up in the room and walked over to 'OK Pizza' - which is definitely a poor name for this restaurant, because it was our best pizza of the trip. Wood fired, with a perfect crust and very fresh tomato sauce. I had the spicy sausage (Calabrese) while Chris had 'peperoni' which is actually vegetarian (roasted red peppers). It was also an amazing value, both of our pizzas and a half litre of wine, and free mirto and limoncello (unlimited) came to just 14 euros.

- Went and had gelato at La Voglia Matta. We shared one with mirto, and I can't really remember what other flavors we had, tiramisu or strachiatelli ?

Monday October 12
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- Walked down the Alghero city beach to try and find a kayak rental. We were told to come back in an hour. We did, and ended up with stand up paddle boards. The sea was very calm, and one of us even managed to paddle board all the way across the bay without falling in. Chris almost made it without falling in, but claims she was tripped up by a rope that snagged the fin on her board.

- Went for lunch at Focacce Del Milese. Pretty good focaccia sandwiches.

- Had some gelato at Arcobelano, which we thought was the best gelato of our trip. We had dark chocolate, crema catalana, and banana.

- Walked by the cat that lived in the storefront again. Walked along the Alghero ocean front and then drove to the airport.

- Flew to Milan, and got picked up at the airport by Emilio and he dropped us off at the train station, where we caught the train to the Milan Expo (after dealing with the frustrating Italian train system).

- Walked into the Expo and through security. At which point, they asked if we had our ticket. When we said no, they told us we had to walk all the way back to the entrance, through the train entrance hallway, and into a small corner, where we could purchase our tickets. Ah, Italy, so efficient.

- With our tickets in hand, we walked back through security, and into the Expo. We had heard there were very long lines. It was starting to drizzle rain which we had hoped would keep the crowds away. It still seemed pretty busy, but we were able to get into most exhibits without waiting too long.

- Our favorite exhibit was probably the Ajerbaijan one, with some interesting things to look it, cool electronic flowers to wave your hand over, and interactive digital cooking demonstrations.

- Starving, we tried to find some food, which you wouldn't think would be too difficult at a food expo, although most things either had ridiculously long lines, or were ridiculously overpriced for what you were getting. Eventually we settled on Thailand, which involved choosing your own frozen thai food from the freezer, and they heated it up for you. It actually wasn't bad (although we were hungry). .




  

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