Our 3rd day in Sardinia began in the same manner as the last - pathetic breakfast at the "B&B", then a morning at the beach. This time the beach was lovely, and we were looking quite fit sitting alongside some bulging beauties from Poland. We were happy to see a flag raised nearby where we were sitting that said "Alghero: Catalan Country of Sardinia" - força al català! I should also mention that by this point I looked like I had a plethora of third nipples all over my body thanks to mass-quantities of insect bites that I had incurred during the night.
Once we'd had our fill of the beach we again chose to go the cheap lunch route and had another round of oil-soaked delicacies washed down with Sardinian beer. This time we added a plate of Sardinian cookies, which unfortunately were underwhelming. By a little after 2 we were just about ready to head to the port for our 3 o'clock excursion to Neptune's Grotto.
The Grotta di Nettuno is a stalactite cave a 45-minute-or-so boat ride from Alghero. Discovered by local fishermen in the 18th century, it has since developed into a popular tourist attraction.
Though a big overpriced to enter (12€, not to mention the 14€ boat trip it takes to get there) it was certainly a sight to be seen. The boat ride was lovely - I could have spent the whole afternoon with the sun and ocean breeze on my face.
The entrance to the grotto is only around a meter above the sea level at the foot of the 110-meter-high Capo Caccia cliffs - apparently in gross weather it's impossible to even enter. We did so pretty easily, despite the semi-violent rocking of the boat, via a ghetto little ramp posed between the gap and the rocks. The "tour" was incredibly tedious - I don't understand why they hire people that are clearly only proficient in one language, their own, to give bilingual tours.
The caves, nonetheless, were stunning. Apparently the diving in the area is incredible, too, with tons of underwater caves to be explored. The stalactites apparently grow less than a centimeter every hundred-some years so in one's lifetime not much growth can be seen. I couldn't help but think that at any moment one of us could have been impaled by a plummeting sharp, salty, rock-mass.
I wish the photos came out less yellow, but it seems I need more professional equipment to capture it as I saw it.
Back on the mainland we had some time to kill before dinner so we sat at an outdoor cocktail-esque place and tried to be Italian with our Campari and sodas. I would have gotten something more legitimate had the cocktails not been 12€. I could buy a bottle of Bombay and Euro to spare with that money in Andorra. Non, grazie.
We had been saving a certain restaurant, Mabrouk, for our last night's dinner, but apparently it didn't feel like opening...ever. Its fixed price four-course fish feast is to supposedly to-die-for. Oh well. Since it was starting to rain we ended up at the same place we had dined at for lunch the day prior. Whatever, it was delicious. Disappointed with not having experienced Mabrouk, we knew we had to get down to business at "Angendras". We started with a nice bottle of Prosecco and then each ordered a starter to share. I went with the degustazione di mare - LEGIT. It was a beautifully arranged array of fresh fish tidbits, from tuna tartare over
sliced kiwi to braised swordfish and prawn tempura. Alex did one of the pasta starters - Sardinian lamb ragù with San Gavino saffron. Also quite nice. For the main course we split the "copatze" Algherese fish soup - mussels, prawns, and huge chunks of monkfish and other unidentified white fish in a tasty broth - and then the Grilled King Prawns over Sardinian fregola pasta and minted vegetables. I'm going to miss eating like a king everyday...
What proceeded was basically "Fulbrights gone wet and wild". It began to downpour, and provoked by the Prosecco Alex decided it would be best to run the 20 minute journey home. Cramming my camera, etc. into my crotch I followed her and luckily I was not soaked ENTIRELY through upon arriving to our lodging. What a way to finish a day...
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