Friday, July 27, 2018

Into Caligari in a Blur

Image result for Caffè degli Spirits at the Bastione St Remy. Cagliari
Caffé degli Spiriti, a terrace bar with a breathtaking view where we hung out every night.

Caligari was the first place DH Lawrence visited here.
It was our last.
Having started on the Northern most end of the island, traversing Southwest down the West coast and then across the island East, we made our way to journey South to Caligari, the capital city of Sardinia. We’d stay in a b n b in the medieval quarter.
Street graffiti and churches were everywhere in this ethereal space overlooking the city.
“Don’t write on the walls,” declares one post. “Please write poetry,” notes another.
By an old church, we meet a few cats.
An elder woman pulls out a bucket and fills it with water for one of them.
We keep on walking.
“She is lovely.  It does not look like the sun has gotten to her,” notes an elder woman on the street, commenting on the teenager's white skin with an amiable laugh.
Smiling, we keep wandering, sitting for a drink an early dinner taking in the majestic night, with the bella luna shining over the medieval quarter.
The next day, make our way into the Marina, one of the four of the quarters dividing the medieval district.  These include Castello, where we are staying, the Marina, Stampace, Villanova.
It was odd sleeping the night before.  None of us quite have our barring.  Its hard to know where we were as we slept, much less woke, in another strange place, a room that looks like some place from childhood, wood beams over head with windows opening to a view of another city, seemingly lost in time.
But we made our way, exploring.  With a hint of Lisbon, the streets are intriguing.  The messages are everywhere.  I find myself wandering through the Castello section of town without the girls.
“Via Carlo!” declares a painted message  under and anarchy sign, seemingly referring to Carlo Guiliani, the anarchist killed during an anti-globalization demonstration outside the July 2001 G8 summit in Genoa, Italy.  But there are many Carloses.  I could be missing one.
"Racism and Fascism is not the response" declares another sign of the times.
I find myself standing by a sign by a graffiti declaring: “Racial chic is the new egocentricity.”
I ask for a better translation.
“Radical chic is the new king,” a woman suggests snapping a shot for me.
I keep on walking looking at a street art installation on Via Giusseppe. A couple of guys are sitting there eating water melon.
"Lotto marzo sciopero" signs are everywhere, supporting movements for self determination, march an strike a lot. 
A few cats sit in the ruins of an old building.
I stumble into a bowl full of water someone has put out for them.
And I keep on meandering, reading the signs, wondering about people’s lives.
The girls text me that they are done with their siesta.
So I meet then on the way to the Archaeology Museum.
People are writing in cafes.
Others are looking out.
Many more are napping.
The heat of the day is devouring.
The museum offers a respite.
The arts of the Nuraghe people are thrilling.
There is nothing new notes Caroline looking at a few of their small, expressive statues.
The shape of time takes countless turns, as the art of the Nuraghe turns to the Phoenicians to the Roman empire which took over. As languages overlap along with the iconography we’d come to know with images such as the ChiRho Page in the Book of Kells, we see the roots of here, formed between superimposing the first two letters—chi and rho —of the Greek word ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ.
Upstairs we find actual the Giants of Monte Palma we’ve been chasing around the island. Here they are. Oh to have been the discoverers who found them. Maybe one day we will all be archaeologists.
The museum is full of stories of plagues and saints who fought the pestilences, wars and peoples and rituals.
And out we walk into the sun.
Its even hotter now as we make our way to the old Roman Amphitheater from the end of the first and the first half of the second century AD., along the southern hillside of Buoncammino.
It looks like a bit of a ruin after years and years as a quarry.
For a while there, gladiators battled animals, the classes separated by station.
But today, the heat of the millennia wears on me as I look.
The girls have given up and are sitting in a café.
That was the best cappuccino I ever had, notes Caroline.
The sun finally starts to sit at the Caffé degli Spirits at the Bastione St Remy.
We’re about to leave Sardinia.
Oh Sardinia, oh Sardinia.  
Musicians are everywhere.
Bands are performing.
Kids are playing. 

And we are out. Ciao Sardinia!

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