Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy - April 21, 2015
Sardinia was added to our itinerary instead of Tunis, Tunisia. According to our guide, Sardinia is much better than Tunis. I've never been to Tunis but I can confirm that Sardinia is pretty special.
Our group of 8 - people we connected with through Cruise Critic - met our guide Gillo from Sardinia Dream Tour and we're off to Barumini to see the megalithic Nuraghic complex of Su Nuraxi. It was about an hour drive and Gillo kept us entertained and informed. The drive was very scenic and we saw a lot of sheep for the production of pecorino cheese.
Licensed tour guides in Europe are very educated and passionate. Typically they have at least 4-5 years of university education and they can speak a minimum of 4 languages.
Once at the site, we had a local licensed guide take us through the site. The site was rediscovered in 1950. It was absolutely amazing and one of the most interesting structures I have been in. First of all, the oldest tower dates back to 1500 BC. The stones that the towers are built out of are huge and made out of rock from the plateau 10 km away. How did they move so many huge stones so far? And how did they get them to sit on top of each other with no cement? To get in the towers we had to climb up, then squeeze through tight rock walls and go down very steep steps. The steps made Amsterdam stairs look like child's play. And it's dark (especially with sunglasses on). It was fascinating to be in something that old and actually touch the walls.
We visited the museum at Casa Zapata to learn more about the artifacts and the people. As Gillo put it, these were not were not the Flintstone's. They were highly organized, creative and intelligent. I loved this tour - it was so interesting.
We drove back to Sardinia and stopped at a high look out point. From here we had a good view of the lagoon with all the pink flamingos. Thousands in fact. They arrived in 1992 from Africa and they stayed. Good weather and crustaceans to eat.
We stopped for a picnic at a base area with spectacular views. We had a huge calzone and water bottle full of wine. Odd but perfect.
Gillo then demonstrated his superb driving skills by taking us down the narrow streets of the old town. We toured through the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Cecilia dating from around 1250. It is full of interesting art and stories of people buried in the crypts. One of the highlights is the 12th-century pair of pulpits by Master Guglielmo, originally sculpted for the cathedral of Pisa. It was taken to Cagliari in 1312 and placed in the nave - eventually it was split in two.
This was a fabulous tour. Sardinia has a fascinating history and there's a lot more to see and do in Sardinia and I would definitely come back!
Back on the ship we went to happy hour and then decided a quick dinner at the Dive In would be perfect. The evening show featured a very talented classical pianist, Julian G.