Alghero, Sardinia

About 3 months ago – at the beginning of summer – Cat and I took a short trip. Sardinia seemed like a good option, so the two of us hopped on a Ryanair flight to Alghero for next to nothing, then found a sweet little B&B called Aigua, with split-level rooms inside the old town walls: all dark, rich wood, exposed beams and wrought iron railings. A non-intrusive B&B even; breakfast was provided but fixing it was self-service. Excellent for a quick journey to Sardinia with kids.

It had one of those large, shiny coffee machines they have in coffee bars, so now I know how to make my own barista quality espresso. Not latte, though; couldn’t seem to get the milk right – it always turned out lukewarm. Takes more practice, I suppose.

Alghero is a pleasant town of 42 000 inhabitants, beautifully (as well as strategically) located. The old town is built around a 900-year-old fort and has tall city walls. We walked, took a little train, walked, rode in a horse drawn carriage, and then walked some more. I can safely say we know Alghero’s old town pretty well.

Sardinia with kids

Sardinia with kids is easy, and Alghero with its old town and city walls is fun and exciting. At the edge of the old town is a park with a good playground, essential for a child friendly holiday. There was even a small fair one night. Alghero also has good beaches.

And a non-descript aquarium. It’s small, dark and dank and probably bad for the sea creatures. One redeeming quality is a mirror with L’animale piu’ pericoloso della terra written above it. Humans are indeed the most dangerous creature of all. We saw sea turtles, a couple of forlorn sharks and a surprisingly scary-looking large green eel, a murena verde. But I suppose I would look scary, too, crammed into that little tank. The Humane Society should probably have a look.

On a more cheerful note, Alghero Bay is home to heaps of undiscovered caves – above and below water – and good opportunities for diving, trekking and climbing in caves. One cave that is most definitely not undiscovered is Neptune’s – or Grotta di Nettuno. A large rock seemingly in the middle of the Med, it’s a large, deep cave with cool acoustics. Stalactites abound. When we visited, people abounded, too. Even though it was the beginning of tourist season (in Sardinia, a mere 3 – 4 months long), we walked in a queue for much of the visit. But worth it.

Tomorrow: More about Sardinia. And Sardinians.