Alghero, Italia!

Well this was the official start to the hopefully the many travels to come with Ryanair’s cheap discounts around the continent of Europe. We found this flight for 9.99€ each way and my buddy Stephen from California and I said that we had to take advantage of this opportunity!

So we ended up taking the 1.5 hour bus ride from Barcelona to the secondary airport used mainly by Ryanair in Girona, España. After that it was suppose to be a 1 hour 15 minute ride to Alghero however being the last flight of the night, I suppose the Ryanair staff were extra tired because we touched down in Alghero not 45 minutes later! So Ryanair experience number 1 was smooth and extremely efficient!

First sights of the beautiful Italian island were unfortunately during the night time, but we checked in at our Bed and Breakfast located right along Via Lido (Beach Street) facing west over the Mediterranean Sea. We had an incredible balcony to watch the sunsets and the beaches had white sand that was as fine as silt!

But it was an early rise the next morning to head off for some coffee and to see the Old Walled City of Alghero!

Little bit of history, the last colony to have control over Alghero before it was added to the Italian state system was actually Catalunya. So the history of the Aragón and Catalunyan empire still has its effects it the old city where the majority of the street names are in Italian and Catalan as well!

But this walled city was used by the Spanish, the Carthaginians, the Romans, and the Phonexians way back when in history. Now adays, it is the major tourist attraction that displays its stunning walls along the ocean, its incredible churches within the city, and of course…the best ITALIAN FOOD EVER!

So day one began at what became my favourite coffee spot. It was a small coffee spot along the wall where you sat drinking your coffee overlooking the ocean with not a hint of land for the eye to see. I found my new favourite coffee drink called the Macchiato which is literally a coffee cup that is lined with Nutella and then the coffee is poured in, so that when you take your spoon, you get a spoonfull of Nutella and Coffee at the same time!

Then it was touring around the churches, the theatres, the defence towers and the rest of the old city that made days 1 & 2 go by pretty quick! Quick food notes, Incredible type of De-Caf coffee made from a local Barley in Sardgena, Cafe D’Orzo…highly recommended to try just for the rich taste. Pizza Capricciosa, Amaro Liquore, Ichnusa (2012 is the centennial birthday of this local Sardegna Beer) Limoncino (Local favourite liquor which is similar to our Limoncello) and of course the incredible array of Pasta, Pizzas and Gelatos that you can eat all day long. I also tried for the first time an incredible plate of Swordfish, it was very tasty!

An extremely good place that we found was San Francesco’s Pizza. This small little Pizzeria we ate at everyday and the owner would make fresh Margarita Foccia Pizza every morning and cook it right in front of us when we arrived! The best tasting pizza in Alghero by far!

The last day we jumped on the tour bus and headed north along the incredible coast line to the cliffs leading down to the 65 million year old Grotto di Nettuno (Caves up Neptune) After descending 652 steps we ended up at these caves and took the tour, seeing incredible Stalagmites and Stalactites formed by dripping fresh water from above and depositing calcium carbonates to form incredible columns in this massive cave.

After the last evening spent having gelato and watching the sunset, we hopped on the Ryanair flight back home and were left craving just one more plate of pasta or pizza of Alghero!

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About JR Hammond

Hello everyone my name is JR Hammond and I am currently on an international exchange at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona Spain. I would have been entering my third year in the Rotman Commerce Program at the University of Toronto St. George campus but I decided to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to explore Europe. I will be living in Barcelona for the entire year and I will be posting and blogging about all the adventures that a student of my interests could have in this incredible city. I am a social and sporty person so my blogs will be vary from everything from volleyball, bars and parties, traveling, to as simple as which bakery sells the best bread! I hope you enjoy my adventures of the September 2012 to June 2013 school year!

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