Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Trip to Sardinia - sheep country


Sardinia - sheep country, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

I really did know so very little about Sardinia before going there, but I was sure I would find many sheep and, of course, many shepherds. Sure enough, they were there and none more characteristic than this fellow who was very keen to be photographed while milking his ewes.

Funnily enough, I had just taken a photo of a mural of a man milking his ewe in the town of Villamar and the two photos came out almost identical, as you can see above.

Although initially shy, we got to understand that the country folk quite liked to have their photograph taken, as just after this, we stoppped at the very small town of Gergei, where it has to be said, we saw the shortest people we had seen on the island. It has to be said. Sardinian people are very short. The shortest (but also longest living) of all Italians, and maybe in Europe. It is difficult to capture this in photos as everybody tends to be short so difficult to get a sense of perspective.

Gergei had the look of a close knit community, with its piazza's, church (set in a lovely rustic square surrounded by trees), chapels, murals, bars, post office and hairdresser. We were invited in for a beer at the bar where we were asked to photograph everyone there (almost), which were then to be sent to their e-mail addresses. The Cat found a relative of his there, a cousin, it seemed.

Before this, we had stopped in Barumini, famous for one of the largest nuraghi complexes in Sardinia, having lunch in the very characteristic wild horse restaurant. Potato filled ravioli in tomato sauce was one dish. The antipasti seemed a bit disappointing, a bit Spanish with olives, dried tomatoes and artichokes in vinegar, salty cheese and so on. Not untasty, but not particularly fresh. The wine was good though. It was a big complex and the room next door, again filled with murals, was full of a party of children of about 8 or 9 yeras old and next to that an even bigger room full of old people, who had been conned into coming by the promise of a cheap-ish meal, after which they would be subjected to hard selling of what looked like badly made household goods. No doubt they'd be clever enough to hold onto their money, as I think these people are quite canny.

The night was spent further on in Isili in another almost completely empty hotel. The Cat had managed to negotiate a one euro reduction for € 18 to €17 a night each for B&B on the basis of being a local Sardinian. I think he paid for it by having a bad bed which gave him a bad back. Not a lot going on in Isili and the restaurants in both the hotels were completely empty, so foolishly took teh car out to look for soemwhere else to eat. However, despite having pretty scenery and being near the nuraghi and the wild horses, this is not real tourist country, so an hour or so later, after a longish drive around bendy roads, we were back in Isili after ten, feeling quite hungry. The shutters went down in front of our faces as we debtadec whether to try one of the hotel restaurants, so we wnadered around resigning oursleves ot getting a packet of crisps from a bar, when low and behold, a pizzeria came into sight and it was open and still serving food!

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