Sardinia at first sight

12/11/2011 17:05:23

Sardinia at first sight

The very first time I travelled to Sardinia is still vivid in my memory. I was young and I was in love, I never surmised this would even take deeper roots. I lived in Milan at the time, a frenzy city that I have come to appreciate very much. My means were according to my status as an upstart worker, so my transportation was public. I did not spend money for a cabin or sleeping chair on the ferry that would take twelve hours to bring me from Genua to Porto Torres overnight. But I was young and I didn't care. I had planned to find myself a spot in a corner to lay down and get some sleep.

Porto Torres
Porto Torres
We were well under way, everybody settled somehow for the night on the chairs and benches. A man approached me and started talking. He told me he was a clergyman travelling with a group of elderly people from Sardinia that had paid a visit to the continent. I don't recall where they had been, but it might well have been Lourdes. As he had cabins for all and one for himself he said he had an empty bed which he wanted to offer to someone that could use it for the night.
I was a bit wary. I politely refused but he insisted. He said he felt sorry for the young people that had to travel with soo little to spend and that he was glad he could be of some help. I answered him that it had been my free choice to travel this way, it was not something he should feel sorry about. This made him insist even more to share the cabin with me as he said he liked my answer very much. And so it happened that I made the first crossing from Genua to Porto Torres in a cabin talking about free will to a clergyman, my very first experience with Sardinian hospitality.
Station
Station
The next morning I disembarked and took the train south. I can still feel the general sensation of august heat, no air conditioning but a slight breeze from the window as the train moved, and the fields with little green, bushes and small trees scattered around, the station in the middle of nowhere where the train halted for a long time. Railway personnel walking up and down in the shadow, people carrying their heavy luggage, suitcases, plastic bags, boxes held together with tape, someone calling out. pushing a small trolley with refreshments below, the seats sticking to my bare skin and clothes. Travelling by train definitely had something romantic about it.
Descending at the station of Marrubiu-Terralba-Arborea my real experience with Sardinia began. Bit by bit I came to know what lay beyond those fields of sunburnt grass, dry bushes and immobile rocks and I am still discovering.

Sardinia at first sight

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