Italy, Sardinia: Universe in the Mediterranean

Text: Beatrix Keckeis • Photography: Christian Neuhauser

Five motorcyclists had enough of the long cold Austrian winter. They left to find spring. Between the turquoise blue sea and the blooming flowers they found it in Sardinia. They, like everyone else who travel Sardinia, will definitely be back.

'This is like a fairy tale. Or is it a dream, and I'm not here at all?' It's May, a few days before Whitsuntide (an Austrian Holiday). Andy, Sveti, Henoch, Christa, and I, Christian, had been half-frozen less than 24 hours before. In the chilly daybreak, we left from Tamsweg, the cool Lungau district. Those who stayed behind shook their heads. Too bad for them with their numb fingers and cold noses! That's the Austrian mountains in spring.

As we ride across the Austrian countryside to Italy, everything started to change. In front of us was the sea, with its breathtaking blue-green color almost impossible to describe. We are surrounded by aromatic fragrance from the blooming flowers and silence. Only the wind lisps quietly. Loneliness. Only the five of us and our four bikes stand in the landscape, which appears in an almost unreal light shining deep into our souls.

But Sardinia welcomes us with a heavy thunderstorm and clouds in all shades of color we would expect to see only in a Hollywood film. After an eight-hour ride on the highway, from a freezing to a finally mild southern breeze, we board the ferry in Livorno, Italy. No problem. We made reservations in advance with the ÖAMTC (Austrian Motor Vehicle and Bike Touring Club). Inside the ferry, the crew secures our motorbikes properly and we take our luggage up to the cabins. As we are on vacation, our next stop is at the bar for a nice glass of red wine. We are happy and excited and forget about the time. One last glass of the delicious Italian red wine before we find our way into bed. We have to get up early the next day. We will arrive in Olbia, Sardinia, at 9:00 a.m.

After arriving on the island, we continue where we had stopped last night. We flee from the unwelcome thunderstorm into the next Caffè-Bar. We kill time by drinking a creamy cappuccino. After the first shower is over, we get a bit of sunshine, but the rain shower returns immediately. Now we can really say that the Sardinian baked goods are excellent. We tried them all.

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For the complete touring article, including facts & information, map(s), and GPS files, please purchase the Spring 2001 back issue.