I haven’t posted since my last update, mainly because I had to get home first (I posted that from my phone in the hostel I was staying at), so I haven’t really had the chance to write about my trip. So…here it goes!
I decided to go to Sardinia, because I was looking at EasyJet flights and searching for deals. I kind of wanted to avoid the main cities, because sometimes, you just have to get out of the city. I saw Sardinia and thought “hmmm….I’ve never really thought about going there before…” so I did a bit of research and decided to go.
I flew into Olbia, which is in the North East, but I didn’t really stick around there because though it’s a great area for beaches, it’s not really that time of year yet, and there’s not much else to do. I took a train over to Cagliari, and stayed there for 2 nights. It was a really pretty city, with lots of narrow streets up hills and Mediterranean looking buildings. I saw most of the major sites in one day and took in a spectacular view of the city and harbour from a hill. The next day I walked around for a morning and bought some delicious Amaretti (almost like macaroons), and then collected my rental bike from the train station.
My original plan was to cycle around the South West of the island for 5 days, but due to a combination of factors it took me 3. Distances were shorter, I was reluctant to go off the beaten path (which often means going down a deserted dirt road) alone and I got rained on, so my plans of spending some time on a beautiful beach didn’t pan out. I also seriously underestimated my own athletic abilities…I had been training beforehand on my exercise bike and doing longer bike rides around Berlin (such as the Mauerweg, which I posted about a few weeks ago), but I didn’t have much practice going up hills, and there are lots of hills in Sardinia. I had to walk up a couple of larger hills, but mostly I did ok, and I was able to do an average of about 60 km a day, as opposed to the 30-50 I thought I’d be able to do.
I had a nice time biking, despite the rain. Next time I do a bike trip out of town, I’ll go with friends. I enjoyed my times biking alone, and I felt safe enough…it was nice to have some time to think and clear my head. The thing that made me crave company was the after-bike evenings, because a lot of the towns are small and there isn’t much to do other than eat dinner and hang out in hotel rooms, especially this time of year. It would have been nice to have a bit of company!
I’d planned on camping, but I didn’t really luck out with that. Every time I was near a campground, I was soaking wet, and I didn’t really fancy camping when all my clothes and hair were damp! Hotels were fairly cheap though, so even though I wasn’t always near hostels, I was able to stick to my budget.
I finished cycling 2 days early, but on my last day I took the opportunity to cycle around Pula and see the archaeological site of Nora, which was Phoenician, then Punic, then Roman city. The ruins you see today are strictly Roman, as each successive conqueror built on top of the city of the previous occupants. It was interesting, and they’ve done a great job of restoring the mosaics.
Since I finished cycling early, I took the extra time to go up to Alghero, which I hadn’t planned on doing. I’m glad I got the opportunity to go there, because it’s a beautiful city. It’s a lot more touristy, but not in a horrible way. In the early afternoon I went to the fish market. They have a grill there where you can pick out fresh fish and they grill it for you, so I had some squid, fish and oysters. Absolutely delicious! I spent the rest of the day walking around the city. The next day I walked around the countryside and went to an archaeological site with Nuragic ruins, which was really cool. It’s different than the other kinds of ancient ruins I’ve seen! I walked about 10 or so km that day, and I was pretty tired from the rest of the trip, so I had an early night, which prepared me for waking up at 5:30 am to take the bus/train back to Olbia for my flight home!
I had a nice time, and I have more to post later…and lots of pics!