I am currently on my way to Sardinia, to attend the IEEE QoMEX conference, where my paper has been accepted for a presentation. I went to Italy twice; to Roma and to Venice, but never to Sardinia. I am quite excited! 😀
I first took a KLM flight from Cardiff to Amsterdam, and I am now in my connection to Cagliari. My first flight went pretty quickly as I spent all the journey chatting with my neighbour; a researcher from Wales on her way to a conference in… Nantes! The world is small...
Arslan, a Pakistani friend I met in Plymouth last year, will pick me up at Cagliari airport, host me for the weekend, and show me around the city. Looking forward!!! Stay posted for more stories! 😀
I reached the city under a beautiful blue sky. We first went to Arslan's place, to drop off my backpack - and refill my water bottle.
We started by going to the highest point of the city, the Castello area, for a nice view on the harbour and on the mountains. (This is where I discovered two mosquito bites on my leg, haaaa ! 😦)
We kept on by walking around, wandering around the city - still in altitude.
We then walked towards Saint Remy, which could be a really nice area, but they have been doing renovations for ages... Italian way ~ la dolce vita! 😉 You can notice a pineapple on my head lol.
It is now time for....... the best gelato in the city!!! 😀
We went to a really nice restaurant in the city centre for dinner (called Laif); we had a buffet and a cocktail for... €8! In most places, you can only get a cocktail for this price. The buffet was made of "tapas", it was really good. Of course, we sat in terrace! 😉
Buonanotte ragazzi! 😀
We slept in until 11am, but it was cloudy until noon anyways; so we did not miss much! 😀 After a late breakfast, we took the bus to Calamosca, a small and quiet beach. We had a swim in the (cold) water, and then chilled in the sun with our books and music... Tutto bene!
Around 3pm, we started to be hungry and decided to head back to the city for a lunch. However, it was Sunday (Italians are Catholic) and pretty late... Arslan did not want to go to the touristic place (I quite agree!) and all the local restaurants he knew about were closed. We walked to Mangia, as he said they had good food, but the store was closed. We heard some noise, and decided to check inside....... The owners told us it was closed. I was in a big need for toilets (tiny bladder), thus asked them if I could use their bathroom. When I went out, the lady told me: "we are having a family gathering for a holy communion, but we have a lot of food, my sister prepared a buffet, would you like to join us?"! I was so surprised, like: really??? 😀 I said "are you sure? really?" and stuff, but they had already prepared a table for us. The grandparents even moved to make more space for us, "prego, prego" and they all wished us "buon appetito" and "buone vacanze"! Awesome! 😀 Food was delicious (homemade) and we even had tiramisu for dessert...
After this lucky moment, we decided to go back to the beach; but this one to another one, Poetto. And we ended the day at Amici per la pizza, probably the best pizzeria ever! It is a bit out of the centre, but definitely worths it. Huge pizzas, fresh ingredients, wood-fired oven, cool owners... and prices from €3 to 7!!!
On Monday morning, I went for a walk in the Parco di Monte Claro. The sky was very dark, and it even rained for a few minutes. Nothing really special to see there; good for a jogging I guess.
I then walked towards via San Saturnino, as I saw on a travel blog that there was some nice street art there. The sun came back, as well as the high temperature.
In the afternoon, I went back to the airport to pick up my mum and to join the shuttle for the conference.
I am a bit late in my writing - but I am back to my blog! 😉
The conference was held in the Flamingo Hotel, in Santa Margherita di Pula (see the map at the top of the article). There are some (really) good points about this hotel, but also some (pretty) bad ones. Let me explain...
... perfect location! Nice swimming pool, private beach, cats... 😀 But a few "downs": very slow wifi (or NO wifi), which is a bit annoying for a multimedia conference (AND for my interview...), and pretty bad food.
But me and my mum really enjoyed it - and even more because it was free! 😉 Also, it was great for me to catch up with all the people I met in Plymouth: Arslan, Werner, Saman, Elisavet, and all the others. 😀
On Wednesday evening, we joined a trip to the Ancient city of Nora, one of Sardinia's most important archaeological sites. Nora was first Phoenician (8th century BC), then Carthaginian (4th century BC), and finally Roman (1st century AC). The visit was free for us; I believe it costs around €8 otherwise. We had a very interesting guide. I would definitely recommend the site if you are around Cagliari! 😀
The conference ended yesterday around lunch time. I spent the afternoon at the Flamingo, enjoying the pool and the beach; and then reached Pula with a local bus (€1).
I enjoyed a great breakfast in the garden, with homemade chocolate-pear muffins and other delicacies. I then went for a walk around Pula, a small but colourful city.
I finished my visit of the city centre in... 1h30, because I really took my time lol. As I had still 3 or 4 hours to kill before my bus to Pula (indeed, it was Saturday, and the National Day, thus not much traffic), I decided to walk towards the coast (a few kilometres away), and then found a way along the sea... I met no one for at least one hour! Great view! It was pretty hot though.
Already the end of the week... 😦 I spent my last night at the Hostel Marina, in Cagliari. I paid €20 for the night, and I should admit I really liked the place! 😀 Very well located, friendly staff, clean and HUGE rooms...
I took the bus to Poetto beach, where I enjoyed my last swim and tanning session! 😉
Tips for Sardinia? Always have cash on you - most shops/restaurants will tell you their card machine do not work. Be careful with your belongings - many thieves, particularly in Cagliari. Bring your mosquito repellent!!!
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