"One day it occurred to me that it had been many years since the world had been afforded the spectacle of a man adventurous enough to undertake a journey through Germany on foot. After much thought, I decided that I was a person fitted to furnish to mankind this spectacle. So I determined to do it. This was in March, 1878." Mark Twain, A Tramp Abroad



For our last hurrah, we went to the island of Sardinia off the coast of Italy for a few days of relaxation at the beach. When most people go to Sardinia, they head to the Northeastern side of the island called the 'Emerald Coast', but we prefer a quieter, less touristy, more 'authentic' locale for our beach vacations, which is why we headed to the town of Alghero on the Northwestern side of the island. (And it didn't hurt that the discount airline Ryanair flies there. We are sure going to miss those cheap flights when we leave Germany!!) There is a nice, sandy, strip of beach just outside of the town that was perfect for us to recline on while Penelope explored to her little heart's content (more on that later). 

While Penelope took a time out from the beach to nap in her crib on wheels, we took advantage of the time and walked around the old town of Alghero. It was nice to take a break from the sand and explore the narrow cobblestone streets and quaint crumbling buildings of the town. 

We also enjoyed walking around the huge marina and admiring all of the sailboats, yachts and fishing boats floating in the blue water.

The area has been settled since pre-historic times, but in the early 12th century the town was fortified with these huge rock walls and towers since it has such a strategic position in the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the walls and towers are still intact, and they were our favorite part of the city to take a stroll.

Here is one of the towers built into the wall.

The narrow streets were fairly quiet and residential, but every so often you came across a hidden piazza that was bustling with cafes and gelaterias or a main street filled with clothing and jewerly shops, especially ones selling the coral jewelry that the city is famous for.

Only in Italy would you call buildings with peeling shutters and stucco in need of repair 'quaint'.

The best part of the city is this strip of the wall that overlooks the sea.

The views down to the rocks below and out to the cliffs of Cappo Caccia across are amazing.

Looks like little P is awake and ready to go back to the beach!

When evening hits, this part of the city comes alive with people dining outside at the many cafes. You couldn't ask for a better view to go with your dinner!

We ate at a small Osteria there one night. The area specializes in seafood (of course!), so I bravely tried one of their local specialties. It involved pasta with a huge red type of shrimp I'd never before encountered with olive oil and tons of dried caviar sprinkled on top. I'll admit that I had a hard time getting over the fact that the shrimp were served simply cut in half (heads with long antennas and then the legs and tails part) buried in the pasta. I certainly wasn't going to eat the heads, and by the time I peeled off all legs and tails my pasta was so littered with shrimp parts that it wasn't very appetizing. But if that's your thing, go for it! 

The wall across from our table provided Penelope with some amusement while we finished eating, and it was apparently the perfect spot for a bedtime story.

After dinner we met the only American family we encountered during our entire stay in Alghero. They had been coming to that same area for a summer vacation for over ten years. That showed us that we had indeed stumbled upon a pretty special vacation spot.

Sunset at the city's edge.

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