Wrote this on Sunday evening at the airport, waiting to go home
It completely overwhelmed me
Villa d’Este has more fountains than some towns have streets (my opinion)
& stairs…way too many stairs for a hot muggy day in Italy
I was sprouting my own fountains…truly, 10 stairs & a fountain sprouted on my forehead, every single time!
But it was worth every one of those stairs!
Wow, wow, wow
Done there, I got lost in the back streets of Tivoli.
Eventually, someone helps me, kind of…
Had a brief conversation with a shop owner…
& more stairs, thousands more at the Villa Gregoriana park…they should call it a valley, not a park.
I climbed down a thousand steps at least, skipped the viewpoint that had almost 100 more. Big, giant stairs.
Walked down most of the others, visited Il Grotto di Nettuno (yes another one, though very different to Sardinia’s one) & climbed more stairs back out of the valley
Yes, sweating waterfalls, of which there were two real ones, gushing strongly & loudly
A true paradise
So glad I stopped in Tivoli
According to Google maps, I moved 504 km today
That excludes the wrong turns I took (only once), the fact that I went further because I used buses & trains, my up & down in Rome due to a misunderstanding, I will call it.
I had beauty part of the way, the train ride through Sardinia, flying over the coast of Sardinia, the first glimpse of Tivoli with a massive waterfall gushing from its side, I had amusement… The flight from Olbia was delayed. Then we got on, started moving…& then went right back to where we started…a technical problem
I sat next to an American couple, the lady so curious, she pops up like a little chipmunk to see what is happening.
Our amusement was multiplied as it was shared
I had tears when I realised I had been misled by the trenitalia ticket kiosk that said I had to go to Roma Termini, more tears when I finally got to the right train & it refused to open it’s doors…
I finally arrived in Tivoli four hours later than planned
But oh, wow
Clinging to a hill top, the waterfall I mentioned…the river like a sky…
Ancient streets with ancient stories
Absolutely worth every minute of effort to get here!
I had looked forward to today
It was supposed to be special, my last day in Sardinia, going off with a bang.
Things seldom happen just as we plan them.
It was just too hot!
I set out for Torregrande, where the scenery is perfect for what I needed. A long walk along the sea & beautiful seascape & photo paradise…
I was affected by the heat on the way there…badly
I sat for an hour & a half trying to “feel better” so I could start my perfect day.
I realised somewhere that it wasn’t going to happen
I came back to Oristano, rested & slept the heat away
Even at 17:00 it was still too hot to stand in the sun
I sat in the shade writing long stories, too much opinion & too little fact
But, it was restful, I sat close to Eleonora D’Arborea’s statue & could think about the amazing things such a woman could achieve.
My evening ended with pizza in an old building with 80’s music…perfect!
I was clamping my jaw!
Three successive villages with narrow lanes, so narrow that the bus had to stop abruptly, to allow oncoming cars to pass.
There was even a car that had to reverse as he was caught in too narrow an area & there was nowhere to go.
Between villages, we had “announcing corners”, my description of hairpin bends that you cannot see around & are too narrow. So you hoot the horn to announce your arrival to any oncoming unsuspecting vehicles from the opposite direction.
The bus driver was competent, & knew exactly what she was doing.
A tiny Sardinian lady that could not open the roof window as she couldn’t reach, but completely in charge
& so we came to Oristano. Mountains, small villages & the sea
But only in the distance.
The place has a strange history, people moved the found in the 11th century as they were tired of being sacked by pirates. So the moved away from the sea, 20+ km away.
They also had a heroine, Eleonora of Arborea, who kept the Spanish away & wrote a “code of conduct” for people to live by.
It is a pretty town, although there are some ugly modern buildings in between.
Tomorrow, I might just discover old paths?
When I was up on the castle wall yesterday, I saaw a pretty picture of a church on the opposite bank, a short distance away from town.
I walked there this morning. Over the old bridge, through the suburbs & along a road interspersed with small patches of land & then larger small holdings & farms
Very old olive trees, dry stone walls & on the opposite side, the picturesque town becoming more like a painting by the minute
As I got to the church, a young man pulled in with a screech, to open the church, slightly late.
I would not have complained, if it was closed, but, duly paid the two Euros for a look inside.
On the way back, observed Italians hard at work on their fields, some only arriving as I walked past.
I bought some provisions from a supermarket close to the tanneries & had a makeshift brunch on a bench.
Today’s wreathed flirted, only & made no commitments, then sun, then cloudy with a few rain drops & even fog over the mountains…
After a siesta, I read & finished my book, then took a mother leisurely walk through the old town.
A lazy day in Sardinia
It was raining, on & off until 11:00. Which meant that many of thremshops were closed, &, well, it was wet.
I left the hotel in a slight drizzle, this became nothing as I walked to first buy, then wait for the bus.
I am becoming Italian!
I looks around, saw a caffe & went to sit & drink coffee, unlike an American family nearby, who waited the whole time (50 minutes) at the bus stop!
I had heard that thee scenery between Alghero & Boss has been described as some of the most beautiful, & once outside Alghero, I could see why.
Dramatic sea scenes with protruding rocks & cliffs.
Our driver, blasé, was quite dismissive of hairpin bends, ascents & descents alike.
& then came the rain
Across the sea, like a curtain being pulled toward us, & we were in it! Storming, he wind blowing. Lesser drivers stopped along the road, we thundered on, seeing small rivers form as water ran down mountainsides through rain streaked windows.
& then it was past us
& the fog came down the mountain side, in waves, so thick, you could only see the bushes next to the road, & just like that we seemed to be completely isolated
Our inteprid bus driver was forced to slow down slightly
& then that too was gone, back to dramatic coastline
& finally Boss
After such an introduction, I could not but love the place!
I could not face more sun today, & so it was!
I was quite surprised when I left the hotel this morning, the air was heavy with clouds, & the sun did not make more than brief visits before disappearing again.
I walked back to the wall, but walked all the way to the harbour, in no hurry.
I know that the Neptune caves could only be visited in good weather.
Apparently the Italians’ idea of good weather is very different to mine.
By the time we alighted at the caves, it was pouring with rain & the sea quite choppy.
The caves were quite amazing, a plethoric display of stalactites & stalacmites, & a see through body of water on the cave floor.
This made for a wet & humid tour. Apparently reaches 98% humidity in summer.
We shuffled along, there are lines of people, but nonetheless worth the experience.
It rained all the way back & the group huddled inside the ferry, instead of on top as on the way out.
I had had a good view stationed next to a railing on the way out, so was content to sit inside & keep a focused eye on the land to the left.
In spite of this dedication, still had an intense headache (my version of seasickness) by the time we docked in the pouring rain
I paid too much for a small umbrella & went to find lunch.
After a pizza piccolo, I was ready to rest.
This evening, although the rain came & went, people still walked about the brightly lit shops & paused at the restaurants & trattorias to view the offerings. Only the many umbrellas & rain jackets acknowledging the inclement weather