Saturday, July 21, 2018

The days begin to blur here – in and around Alghero Sardinia

Images of some of the best days ever. 

July 16
Lazy day in the country.
Good mood has returned.
The teenager plays guitar.
I do yoga and read and edit all morning.
Later, we go swimming at Vignolo beach, the bluest waters.
The little one wrestles and battles with me.
I’m prisoner c37.
A drink at Jakita, a bar on the beach.
A late dinner that takes for ever and ever and ever.
The country is lovely.

July 17th
We say goodbye to Agriturismo Nuraghe Tuttusoni, our little agiturismo, bidding our hosts goodbye. I look Sea and Sardinia in Italian over breakfast.
And make our way out in search of the bluest waters we can find. But it’s hard to match the first day.  Past Sassari, we drive to Stintino beach.  Arriving we see waves of the dreaded beach chairs and umbrellas, the signs of an overcrowded beach.  There isn’t a place to park.
Maybe we should try another beach, notes the teenager.
We’ve driven all this way.
After two and a half hours of driving, its noon.  We need to stop.  I pull into a restaurant, L’Anchora Porticciolo, where we park.  The attendant wants us to rent a dreaded umbrella for 25 Euros.  But we stop for a snack at the bar.  And find our way to the water. Its light aqua.  Not much beach, but beautiful waters if we can get there.
There has to be a place beyond the umbrellas, notes the teenager, keeping walking. Beyond the rows of boats and teenagers in bathing suits that pull up their behinds, and rocks, we swim up to a beach where we all swim out to a dock, where the kids are jumping off.
And play for the next few hours.
Caroline waves me in.
Matteo and Fatima are at another beach, 15 minutes away, with parking and lots of blue.
Lets go.
“You see I am a populist,” notes Matteo sitting eating a steak, drinking a Sardinian beer, at the beach bar, I Fenicotteri, at the next spiagga. Alzeimers is setting in, notes Matteo.  My phone is gone. I already have it, I concede, offering a bit of solidarity. Fatima and I talk about bathing suits.  I feel like mine is too revealing.  Buttcheek inside or outside that is the question.  We talk about her plans for an ethnography of critical Islam.  It’s a system of control, notes Matteo.  So the conversation meanders to how they met, parents, kids, writing, books that have not yet been written, drafts and fragments of ideas, Trump, the future of the world, etc.  The future is Chinese and then machines, notes Mattteo.
Alghero, a seven century old town, and former colony of Catalonia, is only 45 minutes away.  But it’s a medieval town. Driving, much less, parking is never that simple in small medieval towns. Still, Caroline goes to find our host and we find the address for a parking. The medieval streets are filled with lanterns and shops, outdoor restaurants and piazzas.
Arriving, Matteo is waiting for us outside.  He just parked in the streets.
Fatima is in a crisis.  One of her volunteers is falling apart so she is at the bar.  After we drop off our bags and shower, we go meet her.
Do you think that baseball cap is augmenting your look, wonders Matteo.
The commentary is unending.
Ridicule from all fronts.
We wander to La Bajada, a bar nearby to check on Fatima.
Caroline has a Negroni, Matteo a mojito, myself an Aperol Spritz, Fatima an OJ, and a beer for the table.
They go down fast. Anthony B., our lost friend from travel tv, always had Negronis in Italy.
The little ones are hungry. So we wander to the restaurant near our apartment.
Tables fill the piazza outside at La Posada del Mar on Via Adami.
Ordering is a time for me to show off my impeccable Italian, perfected over decades.
Everyone is impressed with how fluent and conversational I am.
Spirits are high.
Matteo and Fatima still do not have a place.
They like to toy with finding the cheapest place possible over the next few days, looking out on their aps, before going to negotiate. Sometimes they get the best deals; sometimes they end up without a spot to sleep.
We enjoy risotto and shrimp and vino bianco and an after dinner digestive called a Milton.  Matteo says he’ll write it down. But I do before memory eludes us.
“Rivers of champagne will pour,” when Matteo’s dad dies.
The little one is ready for gelato. She stands, bumping into a flower pot, stumbling on her head.
Everyone is very impressed. A grand retreat. Arrivederci, we wander out after gelato.
Its like a dream out there.
Three hundred years after the Spanish left, it still feels like a town in Catalonia.
Still, we meander and meander through the night, taking in the colors, to the majestic waterfront.
And back. The teenager wants to stay out. We wander till eleven bidding our amici adieu.
L’Adventure continue. Its all like a dream, blurring through the days. We’ve not even been here a week. But it feels like ages. When we arrive at out house, the neighbors are still outside in their patio, eating and chatting. The cactai sit looking at the moon.

July 18

We wake in Aleghro, sleeping in, drinking coffees and making our way out past our La Posada del Mar by 11:30 to find Matteo and Fatima in a coffee shop in overlooking the water.
Drinking coffee, Matteo and Caroline chatted about European aristocracy and Fatima and I talked with the girls about organizing and social change. “Rights are not culturally relative,” declares her hat.
Matteo starts to sing an old Camper Van Beethoven song we listened to in 1987.
“There will be good guys and there will be bad guys, there will be cops and criminals.  And if you don’t live in America, then you’ll probably be living somewhere else….”
“You’re dad meant much more to me than my father,” he confessed, a kind of brotherhood through the years, that we’ve only rarely discussed.
University graduation is today
Kids are celebrating, confetti everywhere.
We stood out talking about everything, getting a boat for the day.
All day, we meandered out to rent boat, people sun bathing on the rocks below.
The Italians know how to do it.
Its like the beach at Ortigia, Sicily.
These waters lull and seduce you into a hypnotizing haze.
And the day continues, our boat careening past Capo Caccia, past breathtaking cliffs, reminding us we are all very very small. So beautiful. The ocean could gobble us up in a second, grotto after grotto swimming all between rocks ten times larger than us, the waters clashed into the walls, sound echoing from wall to wall, enveloping us.
And we boat back for a lovely meal overlooking the water, chatting about movies and politics, wandering through the lovely city into the night.
Bella luna in the distance, eternal summer grasping us.


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