SARDINIA, MAY 2013

Date: 
19/05/2013
Country: 
SARDINIA

19/5/2013. Arrived last night with Joan who came with me on the trip to Sardinia. Some problems with tickets etc but all was solved. Peppe was at the airport Alghero to collect us. It was quite a nice trip. Met interesting people in the plane from Dyce to Amsterdam. A group from Vienna had come to Scotland to teach for one week in Portlethen School. 5 teachers and 4 students. Today has been a excellent day as expected. This was the same celebrations as last year where more than 50 villages came to Sassari to take part in a show. It was better than last year where I was at the same event something they do always on the third Sunday in May which it was today. Joan liked it very much so many different things. Some of them were dressed as goats, some as cattle with horns. It took about 5 hrs with so many villages performing and the weather was excellent while last year it was raining.
Some of the people with horses or the best rider showed off in the afternoon almost standing on horses moving very fast and changed horses if there were 3 or 4 horses running together. Never seen that before. Then we went to see a couple of very old churches from the 1107 or 11 century 900 years old. Finally went out to see forest producing cork for bottles. Then dinner with Peppe and Sabrina.

20/5/2013. Today has been more relaxing but not so much to do. Went into the city to show Joan more of the city some shopping centres etc. In the afternoon also to see 2 nice churches. The cathedral built in the 12 century and another church very old. I went to the University first with Peppe to sign a few agreements as far as money for my travel and the lectures I am going to give. Had lunch with Peppe and Sabrina and afternoon some shopping but the only thing we bought was post cards! Of to dinner with Peppe and his wife.

21/5/2013. Today I had to lectures to students about how the nylon bag technique came about. I had only about 26 students to speak to but very enjoyable group even if their English was not very good. In the afternoon went to Sassari museum to see many things. Joan was so impressed by the pottery work with clay from 2000 years ago or before BC. Here AC means before Christ and BC means after Christ. Their time also up to 24 not 12 pm. Tonight we went to a restaurant with Peppe and Sabrina and had some food made from a type of peas which were finely ground and cooked never had before but good food. Not quite sure of the programme tomorrow. It will depend a bit on the weather. Time goes very fast but no lectures tomorrow.

23/5/2013. Yesterday was a sort of holiday. We went to Alghero the town at the airport to see many things. Peppe took us there showed a few things but he had to go back to Sassari to work so we were looking at many things along to Mediterranean sea which come into Alghero. Many boats to take you out along the sea. Several churches to see and shops which Joan likes in an open market. She bought a bag to contain many things. The guy she bought it from was from Senegal in Africa. We went back to Sassari by bus also to see a few things like wine plants etc. Lots of wine produced in Sardinia. Today we went to shopping in Sassari in the morning. I had to lecture in the afternoon from 4 to 6 pm but only about 10 students came to listen. A bit disappointing. Joan went to the museum this afternoon and did some paintings of the many things we had seen in the museum last Monday. When we returning Peppe was waiting to visit an old Church in Sassari. Very nice and very old church. A old Monk was playing on the organ. Tomorrow is 24 May my birthday. We have to start early to go to some farms with many students and may be a birthday party in the evening as we celebrated last year. We had dinner with Peppe and his wife tonight. He will collect us in the morning.

24/5/2013. Had a lovely day. We went out with the students about 9 and went first to a large sheep farm where they were making cheese from sheep milk. They had even milking machines for them. It was such a good humour. At lunch the students and Peppe brought many things to eat at a table in a garden. It was good humour the students and their teachers had a good time together. The students were in their second year. Then Peppe told them that I was celebrating my birthday and they also sang for me the song Happy birthday to you. In the afternoon we went to a goat farm almost two hours drive from the first place. By the way in Peppe’s car there were only two students and in 2 other small busses belonging to the University there were 8 students in each car. On the goat farm there were about 400 goats and about 100 sheep. The milk was made into cheese and whey. This farm had also a restaurant where they invited us to have a bit to eat and even played music so we could do some dancing! We then had to go back to Sassari. We got back in our car about 8. Joan did not feel very well so she was not in our trip to farmers but we all went out to a lovely restaurant where I also celebrated my birthday last year. So 4 of us were there and met by the owner. Peppe’s wife Saprina also came so we were 4. An excellent dinner which Peppe wanted to pay for. So back again to Sassari for a late bed time.

25/5/2013. Today has been relaxing. Peppe and Saprina collected us at 11 and we then went out to visit a few historical place mainly old churches from 11 to 12 century but also an old village to see how farmers lived and worked 200 years ago seeing their tools and buildings. Many of the walls in the building were based on stone rocks but another wall built from prepared cement stones. We came home about 8 and had a good dinner with Peppe and Saprina. I paid for our lunch in a wonderful restaurant which came to about 200 Euro. The most expensive lunch I have ever paid for!

27/5/2013. Now on way back. We are at the airport in Rome waiting for a plane to Amsterdam. Yesterday 26 was a very relaxing day we went to the northern part of Sardinia to a town called Stintino on the coast near to some more island. So many things to see. Old places near the coast used to stops enemies for entering Sardinia. Areas used for generating salt from sea water. A system of drying water from the sea. Joan even tried to taste it. So many bushes and trees I had never seen before many wonderful yellow and blue flowers on the coast. Small fish just out of fish eggs could be seen. Something new for me. There were large areas full of windmills and other large areas with solar panels for generating electricity. Many sea birds black or white or both colours I have not seen. Also many ruins of buildings used for stopping enemies entering Sardinia. Also some set up from the second world war 1938-1945. We then had our final dinner in Peppe and Saprina’s house and back to Leonardo da vince hotel at about 9 as we had to get up at 5 to get to the airport at 6. Got in just in time for the plane to Rome. So this afternoon should be back to CRAGIE Park. We are resting in the KLM lounge in the airport as we have to wait 4 hours here before the plane to Amsterdam take off. Plane to Amsterdam gave us good treatment. They upgraded us to better seat at front. There was very little waiting time in Amsterdam. I tried to go shopping in the airport but not time to get anything. We went to the gate and found that when we were all tested the first bus to airplane had gone. Only 6 people came later. We were 2 of the 6! But we got to the plane ok. Due to so little time I was afraid our luggage may not get to the plane in time as has happened before but it was at the airport. We hired a taxi to CRAGIE Park and here we are. Has it been a good trip? Yes just wish I could have spent more time in lecturing to the students. Only 3 lectures and not many students so the lectures were very expensive! As all was paid for including travel cost for me.