Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sardegna - Friday night

Leo told me to expect the Meridian flight to be similar to Southwest Airlines. It's Friday night and quite a few people are here for this once a day flight to Cagliari. The inbound planes comes in about 10 am each day and departs again in the evening.

I see this plane has very recently arrived from the northern part of Sardegna. They were really delayed and so are we.

Since the rain has now stopped, I'm happy we had to wait.  At this small Florentine airport, the shuttle takes us from the terminal to the plane's uncovered, outside boarding stairs, rain or shine. We would have been drenched!

The flight over was full, including an entire soccer team! I saw them all again a few days later, on a big screen TV, in a bar in the mountains of southern Sardegna.  They were E series from Milano in town to play Cagliari. The soccer stadium is close to our hotel and Leo was a little worried we might get trapped in the middle of all the local fans tonight.

Leo met me at the very modern stylish airport just outside the city center and port.  As I went through the door beyond the arrival gate, there he was. I always feel a thrill, even after ten years.

No customs check here because I am still in Italy, although I did see an airport sign: Sardegna: Another Continent!

Leo already had reserved a rental car with stick shift.  He had maps too, but it was too dark to read them. Really really dark.  He tried to exit the airport but instead we re-entered three times. Laughing,  we finally got our bearings and off we went.

He had a business card from the hotel.  I put its address into my brand new Garmin to give it a test. The result was really a pleasant surprise.  Of course Leo was thrilled.

The Italian woman's voice from the Garmin guided us right through the darkness, telling us where and when to turn. It was almost midnight when we pulled into the Hotel Quadrifoglio Cagliari (Four Leaf Clover Hotel).  We were both very very tired.

Leo's class, taught through the University of Cagliari, consists of only two young men. They will be using this essential knowledge in their new jobs. He is exhausted after teaching, talking and answering questions for a full eight hour work day, not including lunch. He's found it to be much more intensive than teaching in a classroom full of students.

In Italy each hotel guest must present identity papers or a passport. Police have access to all names. The hotel xeroxed my passport so I felt relieved not giving up possession.   In the Italian spirit, I'm always given respectful treatment.  Italians love to see a couple in love.

Leo had already bought me milk, water, yogurt, pastries, apples and tangerines. Everything but the pastries were neatly lined up outside the glass door of our small patio-balcony. Leo is so sweet and thoughtful!

We laid out the maps to plan our weekend.

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