Monday, 21 April 2014

Sardegna - in vacanza On holiday in Sardinia

Of course my trip to Sardinia wasn't all holiday, (I'll describe the workshops in a separate post) but I did manage to squeeze in a few days of relaxation with my daughters, aided and abetted by my lovely and very welcoming hosts Giulia and Emanuela.

We stayed in a comfortable house with a lovely secluded garden, surrounded by olive, fig and apricot trees. It was in a quiet residential area called Torre degli Ulivi, about half an hour from Cagliari, and just a couple of minutes walk from the beach.

The day I arrived I was invited to an egg-decorating class, Ukranian - style, where I was made very welcome
 The tutor Olga is standing on my left, with our hostess Randi next to her
Mari even made me a cake!

Coming from the chilly Scottish early spring, it was lovely to be able to relax outside, although the sea breezes kept it from getting too hot.

One evening Giulia took me for a memorable drive up to the Monte Arcosu nature reserve. We passed a herd of goats on the way
At first the only scents were the flowers and shrubs of the macchie

then just as I started to notice a rather different smell, Giulia pointed out a family of wild boar rooting about in the bushes.
 Look hard and you will see two adults and two small youngsters. We watched them very quietly for a few minutes, then they went off into the trees.

The day after my workshops were over my two girls arrived for a few days, keen to soak up some sun.

Giulia and Emanuela took us on a tour of the rugged south-west coast,

first to Chia where we climbed up to the tower and I learned how to find wild asparagus,
and then on to Teulada beach,

where we picnicked under flowering mimosa trees.
In fact there are flowers everywhere at this time of year (lots of dyestuffs....!)

from there we headed inland to the sleepy town of Santadi. The girls attracted a bit of attention in their summer dresses (most Sardinians were still wearing warm jackets and scarves!).
We visited the ethnographical museum first

then we found an exhibition of traditional crafts.
we were particularly interested in a display of natural-dyed yarn,

and also the demonstration of typical traditional Sardinian weaving.

I was impressed how quickly the weaver, Assunta, worked the rows of loops, but still a very timeconsuming job, placing each loop precisely according to a chart that could easily be used for knitting colourwork or lace.

Next day the girls and I took off on our own by bus to Pula, and then walked from there abut 3km to the beach at Nora.
After the obligatory sunbathing we had a look round the excavations of a large town on the promontory.

It dates back to roman times and earlier, and was once much larger - the sea level has risen and much of it is now under water,

and there is still a large area on land to be excavated.

We felt rather rushed by the guide and there was no opportunity to explore on our own, but tummies were rumbling so we headed to the bar opposite the little church for some lunch.

As we walked back to Pula it tried to rain, but clearly Scottish rain is more effective as we didn't get wet!

Thursday was our Cagliari day, first lunch in a typical fish restaurant - after eight antipasti ranging from octopus, catfish, prawns, icefish, tuna, and three kinds of shellfish to aubergine parmigiano, and then  a first course of spaghetti, we didn't make it to the second course! It was all delicious and the place had a lively atmosphere and very helpful staff. We rallied enough for an icecream a few minutes later though!
The girls went off for a wander round Cagliari while I delivered my last workshop for this trip, then it was time to head back and pack ready for flying home next day.
We all really enjoyed our time in Sardinia and can't wait to go back!

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