Sardinia in december
That it can be cold in Sardinia in december we experienced during our winter trip to the island. The weekend before we arrived the weather changed from an exceptional warm autumn to a cold winter. At our arrival the rain poured down when we left the plane, but then for ten days we had the most sunny but cold weather you can imagine for a mediterranean island. It was not only exceptional good weather to make pictures, we even saw the snow on the Gennargentu mountains very far away when we travelled south. But first things first.
We stayed our first night in Alghero and then one night in Sassari. I had always wanted to visit this fascinating town of the north which is called Tatari in native Sardinian. Sassari has been an important town ever since it's foundation in the Middle Ages and is the second largest town of Sardinia after Cagliari. So the next morning we left Alghero after a stroll around the historical center of this town protected by it's walls and ramparts on the seaside and drove north in our small Panda. Our first stop was the archaeological site of the prehistorical altar of Monte d'Accoddi, a piramidal construction that can be considered unique for Western-Europe. This altar was built in two phases of which the second phase incoporated the room of a former house-structure. The room was however not accessible for visitors. Next to the altar there is a huge menhir, a big oval stone and a stone table. I will describe the whole archaeological site in more detail in the coming months. The altar may be considered among the most impressive archaeological sites of Sardinia.
The prehistorical altar of Monte D'Accoddi
Our visit to Sassari was more than satisfactory. The historical center breathes the atmosphere of it's medieval and risorgimental past with beautiful palazzi on wide squares next to narrow streets with picturesque views. In the evening the town bristles with life (although that could have been for Christmas), it is not only an administrative center to the north of Sardinia, it also has a reknowned university. We visited the archaeological museum, museo archeologico GA Sanna, which has an extensive and very important collection of every prehistorical and historical period of Sardinia. We dined in a nice restaurant and slept in a characteristical B&B at just a few hundred metres from the town centre.
The archaeological museum at Sassari
The second day we had arranged an appointment at the Centro di restauro dei Beni Culturali Sassari at Li Punti to see the exhibition of the giant statues of Mont'e Prama. This exhibition, with free entrance, was set up to show the work of restoration done on the 25 statues of the 7th century BC that were found in 1974 and represent boxers, archers and hoplites next to 13 models of nuraghi. The exhibition was overwhelming and very interesting. I will certainly publish more on this exhibition in due time. During our visit I had the opportunity to meet the owner of the site neroargento.com, just like me he has a passion for prehistoric Sardinia.
The exhibition of the giant statues of Mont 'e Prama
The rest of the time we spent with family enjoying a Christmas celebration in the Sardinian way with lot's of food and wine. The 26th we made a tour with the family to Piscinas, a territory on the westcoast of Sardinia with the highest sanddunes of Europe stretching for kilometers inland. The rough and at the same time enchanting natural environment on a sunny but cold day in december, with clear views of the mountains behind, is breathtaking to say the least. That day we visited not only Piscinas but stopped on our way back also at Funtanazza and Torre dei Corsari.
The dunes of Piscinas
As we made up to leave Sardinia clouds were gathering again in the skies, we had been lucky with such beautiful weather for the ten days we spent on the island. The short vacation had been satisfactory, not only because of the interesting and beautiful sites and places we visited, or the because of the exquisite food (biological, homegrown) and wine, it was also very satisfactory because I had the opportunity to meet great people I had exchanged messages with only via twitter and facebook. Next time I sincerely hope to meet them again.
Sardinia in december