Sunday, August 7, 2011

Enroute to Alghero July 30 – August 1

Finally, no more Mistral, instead, weather forecasted light wind for the next two days.  On this early crispy morning, we raised anchor at 6am and started our ‘run’ to Alghero, 100NM away. We cautiously motored through the Canale di San Pietro as there’re no shortages of shoals, reefs, shallow areas, and a precipitous rock-Isola Pan di Zucchero (Sugar-Loaf) jutted out of the sea.  We were now rounding Sandaria’s windy south-west corner. To the left of the channel, we saw the town of Carloforte with its white belfry of the cathedral from afar.  There’s an island, Villamarina, a private resort next to Carloforte.  To the right, with it’s wind turbines and chimney stacks, Porto Vesme looked very industrial.

Soon, we were on the Golfo di Oristano, passing this town named Buggerru (what a name!), with an impressive steep slope along the coast.  Further up the coast, there’s a prohibited zone used for firing range by the air force near an area around Capo Frasca.  Fortunate for us, there were no fight jets screaming down at us on this day.  At the Sinis Peninsula, one could see the eye-blinding white quartz sand beaches near the town of Oristano. 

After 10 hours of motoring, we entered the Isola Rossa, easily identified by the Rossa Torre and a rather dilapidated white three-storeyed lighthouse, and to our next anchorage, just outside the Bosa Marina and the beach areas.  To get into the town of Bosa, it’s a 30-min walk along the Fiume Temo.

The town of Bosa, at the foot of a mountain, by a meandering river.

Colorful fishing boats at Bosa

Alghero's Old Town, overlooking the town dock

Alghero was founded in the early 12th century, and taken from the Genoese Dorias by the Aragonese in 1353.  Alghero was peopled by settlers from Barcelona and Valencia.  Today, it still preserves the Spanish flavour with some still speak Catalan.  The town is filled with labyrinthine alleys and cobbled streets, the lively port of Old Town is flanked by battlemented walls and defensive towers on all but the landward section.  There are many sightseeing and activities one can do --- see the Cattedrale di Santa Maria, climb the campanile (bell tower) and various torres, visit the Museo del Corallo, and from April to September, there’s the travelling exhibition on Gaudi architecture, but the best way to tour Alghero is to simply walk. The historic town walls are now dotted with restaurants, bars, and shops, making for an unparalleled experience in modern shopping with a historic ambience. There are Romanesque and Gothic architecture along the historic town's main streets, and you can gaze up at the remaining defensive towers to get a good idea of what life might have been like in the days of seagoing raiders.

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