Today we were heading from Fonni to Cagliari, Sardinia and were given the option of two routes: One along the coast and one through the mountains. Given the opportunity, I will always choose the coastal route, as I prefer being near large bodies of water. The route was actually about half through the mountains and half along the coast so I got the best of both worlds. About 20 kilometers into the ride, the route showed us going along a road which was closed to traffic and 80% barricaded off. That meant that 20% of the roadway was open and wide enough for a motorcycle to fit. I ignored the road-closed sign and barricade, squeezed my way through and rode on. The BEST thing about riding on closed roads is that there is no traffic to deal with. The downside is that the roadways are not maintained. It was a beautiful route along a river and much more interesting than jumping onto the elevated motorway.
I began feeling a bit peckish around 12:30. Having found from my several moto trips through the backcountry of Europe that restaurant close by 2:00, I knew that I needed to start looking for a place for lunch. I was on the coast so I wanted a restaurant overlooking the ocean. I found a sign directing me to a marina and I figured that there would be a good selection of water fronting eating establishments. Whilst I was partially correct, as there were only a few, I was able to find the perfect spot overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Now, I don’t know if I look German or if it’s because I am riding a motorcycle with German tags but whenever I stop, the locals seem to want to speak with me in German. I know, maybe, three words in German and none of them well. I have learned to just smile and say “English?” They look confused but generally switch to English, I ordered the mixed grilled seafood platter and a bottle of water (in English) and settled in to enjoy the view. Quite frankly, they could have served me cardboard fried in road tar and it would have tasted like a five star meal given the view and cool ocean breeze. The mixed seafood grill was exceptional.
Back on the road, I followed the coastal route into Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia. My progress was slow as I couldn’t help but continually stop to take pictures of the most amazing blue ocean water. I was approximately 150 meters above the ocean at one of my photo stops. The water below me was so clear that I could easily see the seabed below the water: Darker blue areas were rocks and the lighter blue areas were white sand. I so wanted to go for a swim but I needed to get to the hotel in time to shower and be ready for dinner. I pressed on.
The hotel for the night was in the centre of town across from a marina. It was, by far, the coolest hotel I have ever stayed in. The interior décor can best be described as if Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Tim Burton got together, dropped some acid and then decorated the hotel: Very eclectic and very wild. The staff was amazingly warm, gracious and accommodating. If you ever find yourself in Cagiari, Sardinia for the night, you HAVE to stay at the Hotel Mira Mare. Be forewarned, however, that unless you want to climb the stairs to the 3rd floor lobby, you will need to take a very tiny elevator. It is not quite the size of a phone box and fits 1 person and 1 piece of luggage. If you pack like most tourists, you will need to make 2 trips.