Hello all, I am back with another travel blog post about my experiences in Sardinia, Italy.
So my friend Chrystal has wanted to travel to Sardinia for a while and I caught the travelling bug so I was down with the cause. One night in January, we decided to book a trip to Cagliari in South Sardinia for a much needed break. The break turned out to be the perfect way to celebrate milestones in our lives (me finding a new job and my girl finishing her professional exams). We opted for the south of Sardinia due to the sandy beaches!
*Fast forward to June*
Our flight was in the afternoon so as soon as we landed we took the opportunity to take a dip in the hotel pool. We stayed at the Holiday Inn in Cagliari which was a bus ride away from Cagliari’s city centre. Luckily the hotel had a very nice restaurant serving local Italian cuisine such as spaghetti al bottarga (dried fish eggs) and honestly there is something about the food in Italy because it was all so fresh and tantalising.
Saturday 16th June
After finally figuring out where to get the bus to the city centre, we soon realised that it’s similar to London in which we aren’t able to buy tickets on board. A few stops later, my girl figured out the app we needed to download to buy the daily bus pass we needed (shoutout to Monzo a real lifesaver).
Mind you it was very early (like 9am), the first stop of this Sardinia holiday was going to Mercato San Benedetto just to see and get a feel of where the locals go to buy their meat, fish, cheese, bread and much more. The market was located indoors with two very huge floors that had a wide variety of products to purchase. I honestly haven’t seen such a variety of large fresh fish; the size of some of them my goodness they were massive and resembled the size of sharks. The stall owners for the most part were quite friendly as we were walking through because they probably could tell that we were tourists. I was then very impressed with the Cagliari bus tour because it was very informative and also quite extensive. It essentially took us all over Cagliari even past some of the sites we eventually ended up seeing. I’m not surprised about the history Cagliari carries related to warfare and the limestone architecture was lovely to look at. Also, the views were breathtaking you could see pretty much most of the city from the Elephant Tower to Cagliari FC stadium (Serie A fans). We also got a peak at the flamingos in which Cagliari is partly famous for. We passed the Cagliari Cathedral during the bus tour however, the cathedral was a must see for both my girl and I. It is said to be dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Saint Cecelia and honestly The architecture of the inside was really pretty. We were not in there for a very long time since the walk to the cathedral pretty much took us out but we did manage to scan the two floors of the cathedral. The most popular beach in South Sardinia (Poetto) was the perfect combination of amazing weather and the sparkling and clear sea. Taking a walk in the sea was very much needed though to cool off from baking and tanning on the beach. The whole atmosphere was set up for a quick power nap. The only downside was that a majority of the beach was “private” so there was limited space for us to find a spot to chill.
Well dinner was a huge disappointment purely because of the professionalism of the restaurant we attended. They forgot our fish and calamari that we were both craving and they took an hour to serve us our simple pasta; even though other attendees who came after us got their food before us. As affordable as it was, the overall experience was underwhelming. However taking a stroll after dinner, we got a flavour of the nightlife and how the hustle doesn’t stop. We were pleasantly surprised at the amount of souvenir shops that were open at 11pm at night and also the amount of excited kids with their parents soaking up the night. We topped off the night a cheeky but very generous scoop of gelato before undergoing a calamitous taxi ride to the hotel that had me holding the handrail inside the car for dear life.
Sunday 17th June
After another fulfilling breakfast, we set off for the Museo archeologico nazionale museum (National Archaeological Musuem). This was located within the citadel of museums (Citedella dị Musei) alongside the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Cagliari ( National Gallery of Cagliari) however we only visited the Museo archeologico nazionale which was again much bigger than we anticipated. There were 4 floors which showcased a plethora of artefacts showcasing the history of Cagliari. The varying ages of the artefacts and statues on display included the Bronze Age, Iron Age, the Roman era and many more. I was personally excited to see the Anfiteatro Romano di Cagliari (Roman Amphitheater of Cagliari) afterwards because I liked learning about Roman history in primary school. Even though it was undergoing reconstruction, you were able to see the ruins of an ancient amphitheater where gladiators fought for honour as spectators watched. A good fraction of the structure has remained in tact making it visible and easy to figure out what part was what. The Poetto experience of the weather, boiling hot sand and pristine sea was pretty much the same from the previous day. However we finally learnt what the fellows from the previous day meant by “private” beach as we were trying to find somewhere to sit. Those on the private side had simply paid a entry free to be in that section and then paid extra for whatever equipment they needed such as an umbrella or chair. We were in desperate need of an umbrella to block out the sun (even though to no avail I still caught a tan). We sucked it up and paid and then he attitude of the fellows automatically changed upon seeing our tickets lol.
Similar to the previous day the hunt for the best fresh shrimp and calamari Sardinia had to offer was on. The restaurant we went to was much so much better because our food came reasonably timed and nothing was forgotten from our order. The white wine wasn’t the best but it was better than the previous day (the wine we had on Friday at the hotel was the greatest). There was also some street entertainment along the street so this was also quite fun and interesting to witness. Again we took a stroll to burn off the calories although in vain because we picked up another late night gelato this time a more manageable size. To our surprise, we saved ourselves some euros and the possibility of another dangerous taxi ride upon seeing our bus taking us towards the hotel. I won’t advise to do this if you are solo travelling because the walk from the bus stop to our hotel was quite daunting and the road was a little on the eerie side. Not to mention the dogs that barked at anything or anyone that walked past but luckily I had my sister friend to endure this with.
We wished we spent another day to enjoy the weather doing absolutely nothing as we left had no choice but to go to the airport after checking out and wait the following day. Overall the weather was amazing and treated me well with a tan but the sand at Poetto Beach was boiling and I definitely burnt my foot on Sunday. I must say for the most part the food especially the juice and fruit were amazeballs and fresh. I also had so much fun dressing up in my summery outfits in anticipation for the weather (shoutout to Primark, Missguided and Pretty Little Thing for hooking your girl up!). You don’t have to worry about gym or gaining weight because the walking you will do will definitely be enough cardio. In comparison to Amsterdam, there isn’t much to do in Sardinia attractions wise but honestly that’s okay because sometimes a beach holiday with minimal activities will be what you are after. One thing that really put a dampener on this holiday for me the staring and weird advances of men from the moment we touched the hotel. It made me very wary because kids were also staring at us well which made me a bit more conscious than usual. But we did our best to not let this get us down because there were also some very lovely and accommodating locals alongside the breathtaking views.
Until my next adventure