31 August 2008

Bandits and Murals at Orgosolo in Sardinia

There seems to be a tradition in the mountain villages of inland Sardinia of painting murals on shops and houses. Sometimes these relate to what the shop sells, other times they're traditional scenes from everyday life. But one place where the murals have started to take over is the village of Orgosolo where the whole village has become an outdoor gallery of street-art.

Murales at Orgosolo

So much so that the village has become a tourist attraction in its own right as people come to see and photograph the murals. As you know I love a good bit of street-art and so it was also high on my wish list to go and see Orgosolo. Unfortunately the children didn't share my enthusiasm and after they'd taken cursory look I left them playing cards in a cafe fuelled by Fanta and gelato, while I wandered around with my husband.

Read more of this article on my new travel blog at Heatheronhertravels.com

Back to Travel Blog Home

29 August 2008

Photo Friday - On the beach in Sardinia

Today I'm joining in to Photo Friday with Debbie at Delicious Baby, to highlight those photos I which don't quite fit into any other post but may have an interesting story befind them.

Old folk enjoying the beach

I saw this group of elderly locals on the beach while on holiday this month at Cala Gonone in Sardinia. They made an unusual sight among the families of holiday-makers with their towels and sun umbrellas and as I watched them, I made up a little story in my head.

Grandpa's been suffering from swollen ankles and his doctor, knowing the healthy properties of salt water and sea bathing prescribes a daily bath of his legs in sea water. So after his siesta the small group make their way to the beach and settle him in the deckchair, while his devoted daughter bathes his feet, supported by advice from grandma and friendly chat from a passing neighbour. Grandpa feels pampered and relaxed after his paddle in the sea and returns home feeling much better for having been the centre of attention, just as the doctor knew he would.

Or could there be a completely different story behind this group of old folk enjoying their hour on the beach?

You can see the other Friday Photos by following the links from Delicious Baby here.

Back to Home

23 August 2008

Sea caves and a boat trip - in Sardinia

One of the highlights of any stay in Cala Gonone is to take a boat trip in the Gulf of Orosei to visit the many beaches that can only be reached from the sea.

We left at the unfeasibly early hour (for the children) of 10 am, in a largish boat, laden down with picnic, beach towels and plenty of drinking water. The smaller open boats looked inviting, but we soon realised that we had made the better choice, as we were able to take in the views of the coastline from the shady lower deck, rather than being fried in the merciless sun.

Read more of this article on my new travel blog at Heatheronhertravels.com

Back to Travel Blog Home

Window shopping for coral in Sardinia

When on holiday I spend idle hours window shopping which I could never afford at home. I admire the handicrafts in shops designed to tempt the relaxed holiday-maker into parting with their money. Here on the coast of Sardinia there are many jewellery shops filled with coral jewellery, harvested from the seas around Alghero.


Although it's attractive, I always thought that it was better to enjoy the beauties of the sea by diving or snorkling, rather than removing shells or coral and destroying the natural environment. Am I wrong? It's obviously not such a concern here in Sardinia. But if I'm tempted I think I'd rather splash out on the intricate gold or silver filigree jewellery which is also a traditional craft here in Sardinia.

Read more of this article on my new travel blog at Heatheronhertravels.com

Back to Travel Blog Home

19 August 2008

A prehistoric village with a sea view at Nuraghe Mannu - in Sardinia

If you look at the map, you can see why the Nuraghic village of Nuraghe Mannu was sighted where it was. Aside from any considerations of an outstanding sea view, it is high on the cliffs at the centre of the crescent shaped Gulf of Orosei, with a ravine dropping away at one side and a mountainous outcrop at it's back. Not much danger of being taken by surprise then.

View from Nuraghe Mannu

You can still climb what remains of the single watch tower which might once have signalled the first signs of danger to a whole series of watch towers along this coast. As you clamber over the fallen walls of square cut basalt stone, you have to imagine the large village that thrived here during the Nuragic age between 1500 and 1000 years BC. At that time the coastal area was a dangerous place to be, under constant threat from raiders from the sea.

Read more of this article on my new travel blog at Heatheronhertravels.com

Back to Travel Blog Home

18 August 2008

Swimming in river pools - near Gola Gorruppu in Sardinia

To make a change from the local beach at Cala Gonone where I'm on holiday, we headed inland today, where the terrain quickly becomes rocky and mountainous. West of the town of Dorgali we followed signs for Gorroppu and were soon on an uneven dirt track which gave us a few nervous moments with the hire car. We were heading for Gola di Gorroppu, a deep gorge, where the walls rise steeply to 200m on both sides of the canyon. In spring you must choose your moment carefully to trek here, in case you get swept away by a flash flood.

River near Gola di Gorrupa

On parking the car we crossed the river on a makeshift bridge made of metal pipes and old planks and walked along beside the river full of white boulders and pebbles.

Read the rest of this article on my new blog at Heatheronhertravels.com

Back to Travel Blog Home

12 August 2008

They're changing the guards at Buckingham Palace

Since my visit to the garden party at Buckingham palace in July, I wanted to see more of the place that the Queen lives and works. The State Rooms of Buckingham Palace were first opened in 1992 to raise money for the damage caused by the fire at Windsor Castle. Now they open in August and September each summer, while the Queen is enjoying her Scottish holiday at Balmoral. I arrived with my son a little early for our tour, and we established ourself in a prime position in front of the palace, hoping to see the changing of the guards, but no guards appeared so we decamped to the nearby St James's park for a picnic.

It reminded me of that poem by AA Milne (see it all here)

Read more of this article on my new travel blog at Heatheronhertravels.com

Back to Travel Blog Home

9 August 2008

Castles and cream teas - at Dunster in Devon

As I'm having a break in August from the world of work, I decided to take a couple of days to visit a friend in north Devon and together we played at being tourists, visiting some of the local sites. This part of Devon is marked by the wild landscapes of the Exmoor National park, but around the edges of the moor the landscape is green and rolling with steep sided lanes and picturesque thatched cottages built from the local stone or painted in shades of Devon cream.

We called in at the village of Dulverton on the southern edge of Exmoor which is a good place to while away an hour or two, with interesting shops selling farm produce, antiquarian books and stylish gifts and jewellery. We tried lunch at a local gastropub called Woods which has received rave reviews and manages to combine an old Devon charm of wooden beams and deer antlers, with a bustling modern approach and delicious food. We both had salad dishes, mine of scallops and prawns and my friend's of steak, although mine was a little light to keep me going so I topped up with a bowl of chips.

Read more of this article on my new travel blog at Heatheronhertravels.com

Back to Travel Blog Home

7 August 2008

Camping in sunshine and showers - on the Gower in Wales

After the wet weekend camping in Cornwall last August, when our tent practically blew away and we had to decamp to a friend's holiday cottage, I'd vowed my camping days were over. Nevertheless, when my sister in law suggested a camping weekend together in South Wales, on the beautiful Gower peninsula, I took the optimistic view. In my imagination I was already basking in the sunshine with a view across the fields to the sea, nibbling on strawberries with a bottle of white wine chilling in the cool box.

Read more of this article on my new travel blog at Heatheronhertravels.com

Back to Travel Blog Home

4 August 2008

Guest Post - Nomadic Matt visits Penzance

While Matt Kepnes was visiting us last week, I persuaded him to write me a guest post on something he'd enjoyed while travelling in the UK. You can find Matt's other travel tips, hints and photos on his website Nomadic Matt's travel site.

While I was in Cornwall, I was fortunate enough to visit to Penzance, a coastal town in western England. Penzance is famous for being near St. Michael’s Mount, a historic church built on an island in the harbor. It’s similar to that of Mont St Michel in Northern France.

My friends and I spent the day driving through the English countryside. I’m in love with the English countryside. Rolling green hills, grazing farm animals, and the occasional house conjure up images of a simple and relaxed lifestyle. Everything is so green, so peaceful, and so picturesque. Every train ride, every car ride sees me staring out the window in awe. The English countryside is my favorite thing about England.

Read more of this article on my new travel blog at Heatheronhertravels.com

Back to Travel Blog Home