The Lovely Port of Olbia, Sardinia, Italy
Olbia is on the northeastern side of the island of Sardinia. There are several lovely beaches there, or so we heard.
Also, we enjoyed being on the Carnival Breeze so much that we took in as much of the nightlife as you can with a thirteen year old. We saw the shows, we went to the Dive In Movie and Mary Polly participated in whatever late night offerings were happening in the Circle C (the club for her age).
So by the time I roused her to wander off the boat into Olbia on this gorgeous day, we just had a few hours to roam about the town, which we enjoyed very much.
With a view of the Mediterranean Sea from everywhere and sunny, blue skies, Oliba’s pastel brickwork and lovely open air markets and restaurants felt like a wonderland. We were still sleepy as we wandered about which contributed to our dreamy state.
We were abruptly awakened from this state, when we stumbled out of a gelato shop enjoying our treats in the sun and were suddenly surrounded by several policeman questioning us in Italian. Mary Polly looked horrified as I pulled out my phrasebook and our passports, trying to figure out what they wanted.
At first I thought we were in trouble for eating our gelato outside, because picnicking is forbidden in some places in Europe, but then one policeman took our passports inside the gelato shop and a loud argument ensued between him and the proprietor. He came back outside to ask us more questions we could not understand.
Friends, I wish you could have seen Mary Polly’s face.
I finally decided that he was asking us how much we paid for our gelato. I could still be wrong about this, but we think maybe they were making certain that tourists weren’t being charged a higher price than normal for gelato?
Olbia was most certainly among the most welcoming ports we encountered. The port provides a free shuttle from the Carnival Breeze to the town center, which runs all day so you can go back and forth if you want. So perhaps the police are protecting the tourist industry?
Whatever the case, the incident served as an adventure for sure because we were detained for long enough to completely unnerve Mary Polly. Also, we were making a scene. Several people stopped and gathered around trying to translate.
When they finally gave us back our passports and sent us along our way, I was laughing hysterically and Mary Polly wanted to get straight back on the boat. I think she thought we might still get in trouble.
Instead we walked down to the edge of the sea and sat in the sun for a while. Laziest day ever. It was beyond lovely.
You could see our boat from Corso Umberto, which is the main street of the historical town center. Olbia, which means The Happy in ancient Greek, seems like the perfect place to spend a week or two on holiday. I imagine one could be quite happy for a long time here.