This is the flag of Sardinia, which is actually an autonomous region of Italy. Boats here fly the Sardinian flag rather than the Italian one, and visitors like us are looked at more favorably if we fly it too along with our Italian courtesy flag. The Corsican flag is rather like it, but with just one Moor rather than four. It seems a rather odd flag for an island now part of Italy, but evidently in the 11th century the Spanish king (they ruled Sardinia for a long time) defeated four Moorish leaders. One source explained the red cross as referring to good old St. George, who slew the dragon, but we really couldn't figure out the connection. Anyway, we are flying the flag and seeing Sardinia. Our Italian is not much help here however, as in addition to their own flag they have their own language! The sign leaving one village said "adioso" rather than arrivederci, so the Spanish have left their mark.
Harry baked his delicious Chocolate Sliver Cake for my birthday, and we had a wonderful day. The next morning, as the Mistral hit with full force, we rented a car and set out to explore. Dotted across the landscape are rock towers, the remains of neolithic people here. Called nuraghi, they date from 3300 BC to around 1000 BC. Little is known about what they actually were, but it is fascinating to see these interlocking circular remains of stone towers still standing in fields, over 3000 years later. We also found a necropolis from the same period, which was elaborate groups on interconnected chambers dug into the rock below the surface of the ground. Photos of these are on the recent photo page.
We spent the night in a nice B&B in Alghero, another walled city with a medieval core. It was nice, but the highlight of our 2 day trip was a circle through the middle of the island to find a city called Busachi. It is not in the Lonely Planet, on the internet lists of "things to do", or even on the road map of Sardinia, but we found a little brochure on it in the library. It said "walking through the town, among its houses in red trachyte (stone), you can meet women wearing their traditional costumes every day with pride". We laughed, because in 1988 in what was then Yugoslavia, we went to the island of Susek to see something similar, but everyone was wearing shorts and T-shirts. No so here! We didn't feel comfortable taking photos as if these people were objects, but I did grab this one from the back. The people were so open and friendly, and everyone smiled and said hello as we walked through the streets. In just the short time we were there, we saw 3 ladies in local costume and one man, wearing a white linen shirt with billowing sleeves, brown loose trousers, and a cap. On the drive back, at one point we drove 12 kilometers without seeing even one other car. We love exploring the little back roads.
Our next opening in the weather seems to be Wednesday, but who knows. For the next few days we will concentrate on some neglected boat chores like polishing the stainless. Not so much fun, but it must be done.