Sunday, October 23, 2011

Saturday 22 October Sassari to Golfo Aranci

Pictures posted on October 29.

This was a satisfying day in that we completed our travel over all the rail networks of Sardinia. Some of the group wanted to visit the loco depot first thing but I bought a ticket to ride to Sorso and back. This is a short narrow gauge line worked by diesel railcars at present but there is much work going on to convert it to a tramway. I saw new ties and ballast as well as some new platforms. The overhead wires would complete the job although they would also need some additional trams. The area is a little greener than other parts of the island and there were groves of olive and walnut trees. The line is a short one (13 minutes) and we were quickly back at Sassari. There were good views towards the sea.
Sorso train at Sassari.
There are two ticket offices at the station, one for TrenItalia and one for the SFS narrow gauge. Tickets for the buses and tramway (Metro) have to be bought at the tobacchi, and different tickets are required for these. I rode the tramway to both ends of the line. It is single track with just two passing loops. They have four multi-section tramcars but because of the limited number of passing places and because there is no traffic priority for the trams the service is slow and infrequent. On the way back to the statione I got into a conversation with a middle aged lady sitting opposite. I gave her a Canada pin and she introduced herself and asked my name and the names of the two who were with me. Her friend also introduced herself. We parted with handshakes all round.

Click below to see Sassari trams in slideshow format

Sassari has some interesting doorways

After a one course lunch with the group (pork, fries and salad with grapes and red wine) we wandered down to the station to catch the train to Golfo Aranci with changes at Ozieri Chilivani and Olbia. We left on time at 1430 just as a narrow gauge train from Alghero arrived. This is the sort of operating stupidity that the Italians are good at – the Swiss would have made a connection.  But what can you expect from an outfit that has three ticket offices and two types of urban transport tickets.  On the second part of the trip we sat opposite an old lady who appeared at first glance doddery. However, she got out her cell phone at Monti and called a grand daughter. I carried her bag but she hung on to her case and walked smartly down the steps where her grand daughter was waiting and thanked me from behind a hug. The area around Monti is renown for white wine and there were a large number of cork oaks as well. We all got down on to the platform at Olbia only to find out that it was the same train that continued on to Golfo Aranci.
Golfo Aranci was the end of the trip
Group Photo at Golfo Aranci - taken by John Bennett
 Golfo Aranci was the end of the run and the end of our trip. We stood together for a group photo and then the bus came to return us to Olbia. We walked around the town and had a glass of wine at a wine bar (Proseco and an excellent red). It was pretty busy on a Saturday evening with lots of girls and boys walking around separately in groups. The meal at the hotel started off with lasagna and there were roast vegetables and veal and more wine. There was some singing (a Gricer's (Policeman's) Lot and Jerusalem) and speeches.

We said our good byes and went with Luciano and two other couples (Diane/Chris and Deb/Dan) to the ferry for the trip to Livorno.

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