Cagliari - Springtime Spin in Sardinia 2019 - CycleBlaze

June 11, 2019


I woke up at the usual time of 7:30 but today I could take my time getting going because we only had to migrate about 500m with our belongings to our last B&B of the trip. We had stayed at this B&B at the beginning of the trip when the sights and sounds of Cagliari more than filled our senses. This final move would be a special one as we’d be closing the loop on our 2 wheeled circumnavigation of Sardinia. We both looked forward to seeing our host Ignazio and his son. We had arranged to meet his son at the B&B at 12:30 which gave us time to stroll through the Marina district, an area we had missed on our first visit. David’s main goal today is to disassemble and pack the Bike Friday in the suitcases, hence the early check-in.

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Scott AndersonSo beautiful. One of my favorite trees.
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The giant jacaranda trees were out in bloom along the boulevards, their blossoms wafting in purple drifts down the sidewalks.

Bastione di Saint Remy.
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When we were here at the Bastione di Saint Remy a month ago, it was under renovation so today we saw it in its full glory. I scrambled up the steps to give some perspective to its grandeur.

Church of Santa Lucia.
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Cagliari has an interesting and ancient history and warrants a historical walking tour, but at this point in our trip we were satisfied to just stroll and take in its ambiance. Along the way through the old cobbled streets, we came upon the ruins of the Church of Santa Lucia in the Marina district. It dates to the early 17th century but the original church structures on this site date back to 1119 and perhaps further than this. It came to its demise when Cagliari was bombed in 1947. Archaeological excavations, which began in 2010, seem to have come to a halt.

There was a cruise ship in the harbour this morning, so the cafes and shops of the Marina district were hopping with tourists. What a stark difference to one month ago when we were two of a smattering of tourists wandering the streets. The tall arcades along via Roma were jammed with tourists. Our progress was hindered by a ‘shock the tourists into handing over their euros’ stall. On an orange crate at the centre of attention was a sleeping cat surrounded by five mice who were all very alive and well. I am not sure what the ransom was if you took a photo because it only made us want to escape the absurdity more quickly. 

Traditional Dorgali pottery.
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So, why the heck did we join the melee in the first place, you might wonder. Ever since I saw the pottery in Dorgali on day seven, I knew I wanted to bring home a piece as a momento of Sardinia. Carrying pottery is out of the question while we are on tour, of course. We’d checked with Mr. Google this morning and he suggested a shop located along via Roma for the pottery, so I blame him for getting us in with all the looky-loo’s. All’s well that ends well because we found this beautiful platter And two matching coffee cups and saucers.

After all that shopping, we were both hungry. Again.

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We re-visited a tiny panini shop next to the San Benedetto market where we ordered these two paninis, one with roasted veggies and cheese and the other with ham and cheese. I wasn’t sure I could get through it but I had no problem whatsoever. If they bottled the smell of their panini shop, I swear I would have bought a bottle!

We headed over to B&B Leo at 12:30 and were greeted by Ignazio’s son.   Ignazio is a collector and I couldn’t resist taking a few pictures of his collections, starting with this sewing machine.

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Naturally I was drawn to this relic, a treadle sewing machine. And yes, I learned to sew on a Singer treadle machine! 

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These are all snuff tins and packages from around the world. I enjoyed looking at the collection but wouldn’t be game to try it let alone sniff it!

While David worked on the bikes, I wandered over to the market for one last visit. I had olive oil in the brain, but the market was closing as I arrived. That left lots of time to just relax and think about where we could find our next meal!

I had one other thing to experience before leaving Sardinia. I had my first  Aperol Spritz in Sicily and fell in love with it, but I haven’t had one yet on this trip. So, at 6:30pm we headed for funky local bar on our way to the restaurant. The bartender spoke English and had a great playlist so we sat and grooved the tunes while enjoying our drinks. This was the second time in a month that we’ve heard music that we could enjoy, so this was really music to our ears. It’s not that we haven’t heard music, it’s just that there’s an affinity for really old, bad tunes here. Wherever you go here you will hear a radio or a television making noise, just not anything pleasing. 

We peeled ourselves out of the bar and headed across the railway tracks and along a shoddy dirt trail to our chosen restaurant, La Pergola Bianca. It was a clean and modern restaurant, run by two lovely women. I will let the photos tell the story of our dinner.

Moules, of course.
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Fennel and orange salad with prawns.
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Clams with bottargia.
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Seafood spaghetti.
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We re-packed our belongings in preparation for the long trip home before heading to bed. Panniers got collapsed and packed in the carry-ons and all the rest of our clothes were squeezed in on top. The Dorgali platter got sandwiched in the middle layer.

And so ended the final day of our tour. With the final rituals completed, we both drifted off to sleep.

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