Saturday, July 14, 2018

Sardinia Stop One – Getting the Hell Out of NYC and on the Road

“Why, then, must one go? Why not stay?” wrote DH Lawrence in Sea and Sardinia, his travel log of a trip from Palermo to Sardinia.

Do I really have to go, asked the bigger one.  I want to stay in Brooklyn.
Friends and obligations call, but we really have to go.
 I know we bring ourselves everywhere we go.  But i feel the urge to get out of the crazy old USA where leaders who win the minority of the popular votes, appoint judges, gut social programs, and punish the poor.
There is another world to find if we explore the world in general, in this case, the Mediterranean coasts and mythology long enough.  Italy never disappoints. Well it hasn’t yet. Swimming with gods and hero’s awaits.
Our flight out of New York for a month was at 5 PM from JFK.  We were leaving early.  Perhaps my favorite moment of our trips is when we arrive at the airport, hours early, having packed bags, made it through security, found our gate, and sitting for a pint and a laugh with the gals. England was playing Croatia when we sat down. They were already ahead.  A man from Norway sat behind us. Who are you for, I asked.  England.  By the time we jumped on the flight, they’d blown their lead in overtime.  But it was the farthest they’d gone in 28 years.  There would be no Bastille Day final against France.  Croatia would have that honor.  Bar Tobac, on Smith Street, would be a madhouse as it was for the semi-final.  We’d be in Sardinia.
We arrived in Rome eight hours later, 1 AM our time, 7 AM theirs.  We had seven hours for our short flight to Olbia.
All the news is about Trump's bravado.
Who can he insult next?
People seem to understand. 
Italy had their Mussolini.
Image result for Mussolini.
Now we have ours. 
We thought about grabbing a train into town but sleep felt more appeal, no more security checks than necessary.
You can still people watch in the airport.
The Italians and their fashion buzzing about, speaking their wonderful language, cutting cues, buying trashy magazines.
A woman ahead of me looks like Versace's sister Donatella, same eye makeup.
After wandering through the magazine shops, I give in.
Sleep calls.
I slept for three hours before we jumped on our next flight.
The flight to Olbia was bumpy.
But before we know it, we could see the coast below.
And soon enough we were buzzing through the roads, straight out of a spaghetti Western, on the way to Via Grazia Deledda Le TERRAZE della FOCE RESIDENCE in Palau, Sardigna 07020.
The light magic sunlight shining on people making their way to and from the beach.
Alessandro shows us to our rooms with a view of the pool and the beach, some cows mooing in the distance.

First impressions of Sardinia set in.

“Sardinia has a long history of being subject to impressions. The Greeks called it “Ichnusa,” or “footprint” — when Zeus created the earth, he gathered the leftover pieces, threw them into the sea, and stepped down hard: voilà, Sardinia. Intruders have been leaving their footprints ever since: Phoenicians, Romans, Pisans, Catalans, billionaire yachtsmen, crabby and indolent writers. And yet somehow it has retained its thorny, intransigent particularity — “lost between Europe and Africa, and belonging to nowhere,” as Lawrence put it. It’s that very betweenness, at once central and marginal to history, that drew him.”

After a dip in the pool, we walk out for dinner, two k away, wandering down the road, looking at Allesando’s hand drawn map, knowing where we’re going, just wandering, winderring, through the sand dues to a beach dinner with a view.  
Whats the specialty of the house?
A langoustine, its called Aragosta AllaCatalana, noted our amiable waiter.  Its my favorite.  Garnished with cherry tomatoes, olive oil, and wine, it’s the best lobster I ever had.
I want to have it again and again.
He brings it Sandinian beer, with an image of four Moors on the bottle, the Sos battor moros, named for four Moorish princes defeated in the 13th century.
Walking home by the beach, we look at the big dipper, following the stars back to our room.  They looked bigger and brighter here than the last time I looked when we were in South Carolina.

Our old friend Matteo would meet us the next day for a magic day in Porto Pollo, on the Northern shore.
The bluest waters ever, we swim and boat around all day long, talking about days long past.  He learned to sail here, enjoying a meal here the night before he caught a boat to Rome to fly out to Texas in 1986.  I met him that fall and we’ve been friends since then. Our paths have crossed from San Francisco to New York, Paris to London, and so on.  But it started with that fall in Dallas, and a subsequent summer in Milan, when we were kids.
So we talk about the world and eat and splash in beach after beach, playing on the rocks with bare feet, the sun splashing in our eyes, aqua water in the distance.
There is an island South of Sicily, just 37 miles from Tunisa called Pantelleria where he spent a few Augusts with Fatima, his girlfriend.
Maybe will all go there?
Over lunch, we chat about patriarchal vs matriarical societies.  And the day passes into the afternoon with more exploring and swimming on our little boat.
There has to be a forward leaning arch of history, hopes Matteo. 
I'm not as optimistic about human nature, sadly. 
For a day, it feels like anything is possible.  
Best day ever, notes the little one.
Best day ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment