Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bosa Bustle

When people go to Sardegna, they usually laze on the beach for a week or more, enjoying the relaxing sand, sun, and hydrating (or not) beverages. Not so Martello e Trofie Wife. Martello wanted to see as much as possible during this trip, since we were not yet sure if we’d ever have the opportunity to return. So we planned (or at least outlined) a most unusual near circumnavigation. From the northeastern corner of the island, we next headed west and south to Bosa, a medieval town on which the guidebook had sold Martello. It being a Sunday in August, our journey there was anything but smooth, involving a bus, two trains, and a chartered taxi since the bus that was supposed to take us from where the train let us off was MIA (though a German–Italian nonna who spotted us at the train station was kind enough to invite us over for a beer; our (or at least Trofie Wife’s) American skepticism/mistrust still hasn’t quite warn off).

During these long bouts of travel, Martello enjoys taking nearly endless pictures of the scenery as the train whizzes by (Trofie Wife prefers to read). Given that Sardegna had just suffered a bout of forest fires (along with nearby Corsica and parts of Spain) in recent weeks, we saw quite a bit of charred fields and huddles of sheep that we weren’t quite sure were alive or dead (Sardenga’s sheep census seems to rival that of New Zealand; Sardinian sheep are responsible for the delectable pecorino sarda cheese. Thank ewe!).

View of Bosa

When our taxi finally pulled up to the hotel in Bosa, it was evident that Martello had hit upon yet another charming spot. The building was of an old world style, similar to our hotel in Pisa. But one of the main attractions (and the reason we put in for two nights here) was the town’s beach, which the guidebook said was quite wide and excellent for lazing about. Unfortunately, as we learned after a very long walk that involved crossing a major highway, while the hotel was in Bosa, the beach was in a town called Bosa Marina; the guidebook did not state this fact. Bus service to and from the beach as we learned on Day 2 was spotty (and the bus stop difficult to locate). Also annoying: Bosa Marina, while boasting many a place in which money can be spent, does not have a single ATM machine (though it does have a tourist office). Given that it was vacation season, there had been a run on the two ATMs in Bosa proper and one machine was not dispensing cash (at that point we probably had five or so euros between us). When we finally were able to get some, the line was ridiculously long (and Trofie Wife feared there'd be no money left by the time it was our turn--they don't accept credit cards at most gelateria--Martello found this anxiety to be ridiculous). Note to anyone doing any sort of city or town planning: if you’re designing a future tourist hotspot, please make the place’s name and location clear and do us all a favor by not naming your town the same thing as a neighboring town!

Beach on Bosa Marina

Bosa Marina beach

The whole distance from the hotel thing aside, the beach was quite spacious and lovely, lest the sulfuric smell emanating from the sea, which we were told was due to the algae (right…). While eating lunch at a beach bar, our waitress mistook us for Spaniards, then when we tried to correct her, she guessed we were every type of European before barely believing that we were American. At this point Martello and I realized we could be secret agents. We’ll let you know how that turns out…. .

We also ate fairly well (not a shocker), enjoying pizza on the first night after our epic nighttime return from Bosa Marina alongside the highway. At that pizza joint we began noticing (but did not order) something called pizza americano. What ingredients is our home country honored with? French fries. On pizza. Strangely enough, people actually order it (upon returning home we started noticing it on Ligurian menus). We, however, like our arteries too much. Our hotel also boasted a well-known restaurant and we had a delightful meal there, albeit it took forever to be served (not so much hustle from the wait staff, though to be fair, they seemed understaffed and overtaxed). We also enjoyed strolling through the lovely cobblestoned streets and seeing Sardinian handcrafts, which include pottery and sheep-based textiles. And then it was on to the next town… .

Bosa proper centro

Where there is zucchero filato, there is Trofie Wife

Baci e gelato,
Martello e Trofie

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