First stops in Sardinia
Trip Start Apr 17, 2009
58Trip End May 09, 2010
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Where I stayed
Anyway, we drove northwest along the coast and took a ferry from the island of Sardinia to an ever smaller island called Isola di San Pietro. We took our car on the ferry and John did a great job of backing our car from the parking lot onto the ferry boat (driving backwards the entire time). You have to back onto the ferry boat so that your car is facing forward when the ferry arrives at the next island.
So, we arrived on the island of Isola San Pietro and stayed in a very nice town there called Carloforte. Very old fashioned town and quite charming. There are about 7,000 people on the island of Isola San Pietro. We totally lucked out with a great hotel that we found- it was a small family owned place located at the top of a hill, above the town, and overlooking the ocean. The owners were a brother and sister and they were so nice to us. The place was great and we had our own private terrace overlooking the ocean. AWESOME!!!
Just like we saw in Cagliari, the town of Carloforte has tons of flamingos in the marshes and waters all around the town- very cool to see them when they fly.
The staple of life on this tiny island is TUNA! They fish for tuna and it is the food of choice in all shapes and forms here.
The people in Sardinia are extremely nice and helpful. Here is an example- When we were asking someone about a suggestion for a place to have dinner, a very old man with a cane came up and used hand signs to ask us if we wanted to eat. He then proceeded to walk us two blocks to a restaurant, pointed to it, rubbed his stomach and said "molto bene" (very good). He smiled and left us there at the restaurant.
There are not a lot of restaurants in Carloforte and when you go into one to eat you do not have much choice in the matter. They basically tell you what you will be having to eat - take it or leave it. We went with the flow and enjoyed some interesting meals- most of which will consist of some form of tuna. The most bizarre was when we had tuna tripe (tuna stomach) cut up and grilled for us. They were very proud of the dish and we politely ate it and smiled. It was decent but not something we would order again.
Like in southern France and Spain, everything here closes from 1pm to 5pm for "siesta" Most businesses are open from 10am to 1pm and then 5pm to 8pm (yes that is a 6 hour day!)
As mentioned, this rural island off the coast of Sardinia is rather old fashioned and it's like stepping back 30 or more years. Every couple of days they post the "death notices" on a very big board in the town square. The death notices are posters that tell you who has died and what the arrangements for services etc will be. Each dead person has their own poster with a summary of their life, their family listed and a prayer with a picture of Jesus or the Virgin Mary. We watched one day as people gathered to await the posting of the "death posters" It was quite strange and apparently is done like that in all of the towns of Sardinia since there are no local TV stations and few, if any, newspapers.
During our time on the island of Isola di San Pietro we drove all around and saw many beaches, an old lighthouse, and fields and fields of wildflowers. The coastline is very similar to Oregon or Maine- it is very rugged with high cliffs and small beaches in the coves.
From Carloforte (Isola di San Pietro) we will take the return ferry to the main island of Sardinia and make our way north along the west coast.