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Today, we arrived at our penultimate port-of-call, Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia (pronounced cal-ee-ar-lee).

No surprises; it was very hot again, and when we stepped off the boat, it was with no particular plan in mind. We decided we would wing it (mostly because we were still tired from yesterdays walk).

Because there is no pedestrian movement allowed within the port, we had to catch an ‘inter-port’ shuttle bus to the gates. Once outside the gates, we picked up a map in the tourist information centre located at the town hall and headed up towards the market place.

The heat was stifling and entusiasm for any hard walking was hard to come by, so we were pleased to discover a lift in the top corner of the market place that provided easy access up to the old town. Here, there are little churches tucked away into corners and a notably large tower known as the ‘Elephant Tower’.

As far as we could tell, this was due to a small carving of an elephant on one of the corners of the building. The tower itself only has three sides; viewed from the back, all its floors are visible, and a few people were sat around waiting for a guided tour. Apart from the extended views they would almost certainly afford, We didn’t really fancy it (it looked like a high number of steps would be involved), and instead, continued on our exploration of the old town.

I particularly loved the narrow ‘ghetto’ streets, with washing hanging out, and the good viewpoints that were opened up to us all round.

Our meanderings eventually brought us to the cathedral, and after some dodgy navigation, we finally found ourselves at a large amphitheatre. After a pause for a sit down and a welcome drink at a small cafe there, we were a little disappointed to find that the amphitheatre was closed to visitors, although we were able to take some photographs through gaps in a fence that ran around the outside of the property. It is a shame it wasn’t open – although, it looks like it may have been closed for some time – it would have been fun to explore.

Below the amphitheatre is the Botanical Gardens. A charge of €2 each to go in didn’t tempt us, however, and felt we were ready to head back to the ship.

Dinner in the evening was supposed to be a Mediterranean Outdoor Buffet, on the Lido Deck. Unfortunately, as we left the port, a high wind blew up, and as they were losing glassware at an alarming rate, they decided to move it inside to The Grill. A very sensible decision.

I did manage to capture a rather nice sunset, though…

Peter Woolley

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