Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Italia: Day 7.

"A vacation spot out of season always has a very special magic."
~Max von Sydow

Today, our last full day in Cagliari, was just magical. After rehearsal and lunch, a few of us ventured out to the beach. I had already run down by the shore, but I wanted to go to a real beach and go swimming in the Mediterranean and we had five hours until we left for our concert that night. We could see that there was a beach just west of our hotel, about a 25-minute walk away, but I asked the front desk attendant if there was a bus and what the best beach was. Puerto-something or other. Just get on the "PF" bus and go for awhile. :)

At the bus stop across from our hotel

Lisa, Dan, Mary, Ashley and I were waiting at the bus-stop when we saw Sophia and Maureen come out of the hotel, clad in obviously beach-like attire. They were walking to the beach. Come ride the bus with us and come to an even better beach, Puerto-something or other. :) We convinced them. Our bus came and I'm sure we were quite the sight: white skinned beach-clad Americans who were furiously searching our wallets for the appropriate coins to come up with the 1,70 euro required for a roundtrip fare. The driver, luckily, was very patient with us. I wouldn't describe him as nice, but he was patient.

I had no idea where Puerto-something or other Beach was, so using my Italian phrasebook, I began chatting up the lady who was sitting at the front of the bus, Maria Christina, and asked her if she would help me to know when to get off. She was hilarious and didn't speak a word of English, but we completely understood one another through my broken Italian and a lot of hand gestures, including her pulling open my shirt, peeking inside to notice my swimsuit to ensure she understood that we were headed to the beach. She thought my attempts at communicating with her were funny. I just thought they were normal and if I do say so myself, very coherent for a non-Italian speaking American speaking Italian. :)

We arrived. The sand filtered through my toes and flew around with every flop of my flip flops. The water was beautiful. I quickly shed my t-shirt and flip-flops, carefully placing them over my purse to keep sand from getting in and walked down the beach to the water. The first contact made me gasp in a quick breath, but I soon realized how warm it really was.

Bobbing around chest high in the Mediterranean, I looked out over the water and all around me … seriously, it was magical. The beauty was amazing, but the feeling was even better. You know those memories that seem to just click and save in your brain? Yeah, well swimming today in the Mediterranean was one of those moments.

That photograph will be in my mind for a long time. :) Beautiful! Floating in the sea, just free. I still have sand on my legs and toes.

For some reason we chose a spot on the beach adjacent to the old, abandoned hospital. Sophia was scared. :)

Lisa, being the smart mom that she is, knew that we'd need something to sit on in the sand, had brought one of the hotel comforters with her to lay out. Seriously, I laughed my head off at her with her large duffel bag stuffed with a comforter (not a light blanket, mind you, but a full-on comforter) but I quickly admit that it was fabulous.

We also attracted the attention of several beach vendors. Musehn from Bangladesh (capital: Dhaka) brought his jewelry, which, lucky for him, we couldn't resist. Maureen bought a necklace, Lisa some earrings, and I, a beautiful pearl ring, set in a flower design of marcasite. Despite his persistence, I stopped with the one ring. "No money," I told him. He could barely speak English, but he was quite the salesman.

Lisa, Emery and Musehn
(and yes, my skin IS so white that it matches the sand)

And we can't forget Share (Cher?). He wanted to sell us blankets, but really I think he just wanted to sell us anything (himself, maybe)! He was from Senegal (capital: Dakar) and didn't speak English very well either. He spoke French, of which, surprisingly, I understood much. Merci,  Madame Johnson (7th grade) and Monsieur Daudin (9th and 10th grade).

Share and Emery
He is black and I am white. Literally.

I had a great time explaining to Musehn and Share that their countries' capitals sounded very similar. Dhaka and Dakar, pronounced almost entirely the same. There may have been some writing in the sand.

Share was a ladies' man, for sure. I took two pictures with him. The first was fine, but my hair was blowing in my face, so I requested a  second, for which Share was very happy oblige.

Share and Emery, Take Two.

Before the second shot was captured, I made a joke that Share wouldn't mind taking one more picture because he liked standing body-to-body with my boobs touching him (sorry, Grandpa) a little longer, thinking that only my American friends would understand, but Share totally replied, with an emphatic, "Uh huh." I still am not sure if he really understood what I said. I don't think he did, but he sure responded "appropriately," although you can see the smirky grin on his face in the second shot, which wasn't there the first time around.

Funny (and fun) day at the beach.

We had another amazing concert in the Basilica di San Saturnino with Coro El Leon de Oro from Spain. Hot and sweaty again, but it was all made right with gelato at intermission.

Lisa in front of the Basilica di San Saturnino
Emery in front of the Basilica di San Saturnino

Emery (that's me) and Blythe (my tour roommate)

Dinner following (again, at midnight) at a pizzeria with all of us and our festival directors. Among other dishes, I had a delicious pasta (surprise) with clams, mussels, and shrimp. Now for packing. (Not my favorite part of traveling.) Off to Rome tomorrow, then up to Arezzo.

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