On Thursday we visited Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia which is part of Italy. Sardinia has a similar story to Malta. Since they are both in the strategically important Mediterranean Sea, many civilizations have had an impact on their culture and they were both heavily bombed in WW II. It is estimated that only 20% of the buildings in Cagliari survived the bombing; but since it was part of a Italy, the bombing was by the US and Britain.
Sardinia is supposed to be an autonomous region of Italy, but our guide was having none of that. She and her husband tried to start a snorkeling and diving company, but Rome took 70% of what they made in taxes. They had to close within a month. This was about the only thing I understood in her tour, since she spoke very quickly and mispronounced many of her words. The name of her tour company was Trumpy Tours. I have been trying to come up with something clever to say here that wouldn’t get me in trouble no matter your political beliefs, but I failed. You will have to come up with your own punch line.
There were many shallow pools of water for producing salt on the outskirts of town. To my surprise, there were quite a few flamingos in the ponds.There were a lot of old city walls.The old town was full of squares, tunnels, and narrow streets. Every Italian town has to have a lot of churches.We could go down into the catacombs beneath the church alter. All the designs on the wall are made with marbles of different color.The Tower of the Elephant was once used as a defensive rampart and then a prison. It takes its name from the small elephant sculpture on the left side of the door near the top of the door.Because the town is built on a hill, it has many viewpoints and you could see our ship from most of them.The city had a lot of graffiti and many of the buildings needed a little work. We did not add Sardinia to our hypothetical trip to Sicily and Malta next year. This banner hanging from an apartment window caught my attention. I guessed that the sign related to rescuing refugees in the Mediterranean and some humanitarian rescue group. With the help of Google I learned that Open Arms is the name of a rescue boat operated by an NGO that rescued 218 migrants from a raft off the coast of Libya earlier this year. Shortly after the rescue they were approached by the Libya navy with guns drawn and ordered to return the refugees. They refused and fled to southern Sicily where the boat was impounded and the captain arrested. Earlier this month the boat was released, but the captain is still facing charges.
Our next stop is Algiers.