Alghero is a town unlike any others in Sardinia. The people here still speak Catalan, reminiscence of a past Spanish invasion from hundreds of years ago, and it’s also known as “Barceloneta”, little Barcelona that is. One of the most famous tourist attractions is the Neptune’s Grotto and since we have spent most of our vacation at the beach so far, I give them the option to visit Capo Caccia and the caves below.
My idea is not very successful, especially amongst the two youngest Americans, while my friend Donna does not disappoint me once again and gladly accepts it immediately. She starts reading all about this area in her portable tourist guide while we are still trying to come to an agreement on what to do and where to go. Democracy sometime fails to work therefore I’m the one that makes the ultimate decision.
“One for all and all for one. I own the car, I drive the car, I’ve decided we go to Capo Caccia” “Are we going to get on the ferry or should we walk down the stairs? I believe there are hundred and fifty-five steps to reach the entrance but the view is supposed to be spectacular!”
In the meantime Donna, sitting next to me since she is the navigator, give me a puzzled glance. She’s still reading the guide and pretending to look for something in her purse, she bends over and whispers in my ears: “There are many more than that”. This is a piece of information we do not want to share with the others, since they are pretty upset right now for the very little democratic decision.
Once we get to Capo Caccia, the view from above is really breathtaking. We are on the highest point and we can see the entire coast, from the very high cliffs to the small bays where the boats are rocking in the bluest waters. The mood gets better from now on. At the end of the day, we can definitely give up a day at the beach if we can have such an amazing view.
We start going down the steps as we opted to walk instead of taking the ferry since we do not want to waste any time waiting to depart to and from the grotto. ‘There are six hundred and fifty-four steps” Donna tells me with half smile on her face. “Wow..I’m not worried about going down as much as I am about coming back up. I think we are going to lose them along the way” I answer while looking at the girls strolling behind us.
We only spend one hour inside. The cave is about four kilometers deep but only four hundred meters can be visited by the tourists. Going back up is even more difficult that I had imagined. It’s one o’clock, the sun is high and very hot. I turn around few times to make sure my friends are following me, taking a break every now and then to rest and catch my breath.
Jessica and I reach the parking lot before the others, while Donna is trying to encourage Aleisha, whom is the one that has more difficulties walking up the stairs. We wait for about ten minutes before seeing their faces picking through the fence at the entrance.
“Aleisha, did you have fun?” I ask her ironically knowing she will probably tell me off. She’s out of breath, but I can see the hand rising up in the air and with her middle finger doing something that does not need any translation.
It’s the international salutation!!!