When we came back from Naples, A and I had uneasy thoughts about our next trip to Italy. Naples had been a shock to the system, grimy, gritty, hard to love. Would Sardinia be the same?
At first, we weren’t sure. Rolling our suitcase out of Alghero’s tiny airport, we headed for the car rental stall, only to see a group of angry Germans arguing furiously with a group of 5 sunglasses-clad deeply bronzed Italians manning the desk. It took all 5 of them to sort out one car for this increasingly irate man.
Thankfully, our own car hire was a smooth, relatively uneventful process. The Ford Fiesta was a step up from the car I had originally picked, and soon we were driving out of the airport, deep into the midst of olive groves, green hills, the roads lined with poppies and other wildflowers. Blue skies ahead, I felt utterly content.
With huddles of sheep in the distance, and the trill of birdsong in the air, tortoises crawling across the road, you just couldn’t get further away from the busy urban life of work, London and commuting.
I’m not sure I remember doing much in the way of tourist attractions apart from exploring some of Sardinia’s nuraghe, stone towers that are the last remnants of an ancient civilisation. So much more interesting than Stonehenge, and dotted just about everywhere.
The rest of the short holiday was naturally spent happily doing laps in the gorgeous hotel swimming pool, or sunning myself on a virtually empty beach, hills dotted with purple blooms of wild orchids rising into the background.
It was just simply perfect. Not to mention the fresh seafood, grilled on the beach, and served up with a fresh tablecloth, napkins, and squeeze of lemon, because fish and chips has a totally different meaning Italian-style.
When all you want is a little R n’ R, I cannot recommend Sardinia highly enough. It was a perfect holiday destination, and I can’t wait to go back.